Think about how fun and rewarding it is to serve a leader who’s providing clarity. Think about how miserable and frustrating it is on a team that lacks it.
All the marks of an exceptional leader—authenticity, initiative, trust, courage, insight—stem from clarity.
Being clear with yourself about your purpose and core values enables you to answer tough questions, make quick decisions and act with confidence. Being clear with others engenders trust and guards against misunderstanding, thus reducing friction and frustration.
As a leader, I strive for clarity in three main areas:
• Clear Thinking. When I get bogged down by unnecessary distractions, my team suffers. I need to keep focused on what’s important in the moment—our purpose, our people, the problem at hand. Exercising, eating right and getting enough rest all help me think clearly.
• Clear Communication. Poor communication can negate great leadership. It’s that simple. I could have the best vision, best solution, best intent, best plan—but if I can’t communicate it clearly, none of it matters. Understand your receiver and deliver a message on their terms, not yours. Aways get a back brief.
• Clear Conscience. Transparency and authenticity go hand in hand. The more clear and open you are with other people about your thoughts, feelings and ideas, the more believable and trustworthy you become in their eyes. And the easier it is to sleep at night. We waste so much energy maintaining our personas and facades.
As leaders we deal with ambiguity every day, but where you can, strive for as much clarity as you can with the resources you have. It’ll make life easier for you and those you lead will love you for it.
Where else do you think clarity is important?