Imagine with me if you will; you’re on the road travelling in a car with a driver(leader) The fork in the road is, the driver is fuzzy about where you’re headed. It has been ten hours on the road, you’re tired, hungry and in need for a hot shower. How would you feel? Without clarity, we are lost. It is even worse if we are following a leader who lacks clarity.
What is clarity really about? A synthesis of definitions brings clarity to the concept of clarity: it means being free from anything that obscures, blocks, pollutes, or darkens. Being clear as a leader means being simple, understandable, and exact. The leader helps others see and understand reality better. Leaders constantly bring the most important things to light: current reality and future possibility.
Clarity will help you in the following ways:
Clarity Makes Synergy Possible: Collaboration is lost to sideways energy every day in the workplaces. Why? The three reasons I see most are mistrust, personal ego, and lack of strategic clarity. I have observed that lack of strategic clarity is the most prevalent of the three. Leaders rarely clarify what working together really looks like. Breaking work silos requires clarity first.
Clarity Makes Success Definable: Everyone wants to be a winner. But in too many organisations, people don’t know how to win. What does scoring a goal together look like? Where is a scorecard I can carry that lets me know whether or not I am making a difference? Painting the picture of victory and unleashing people’s drive for achievement requires clarity first.
Clarity Makes Focus Sustainable: Henry Ford said that the great weakness of all human beings is trying to do too many things at once. How does a leader or organization learn to say no to the good things that are the enemy to the best? If the secret to concentration is elimination, you can’t do it without clarity first.
Clarity Makes Leadership Credible: The silver bullet syndrome has left many leaders impotent. Firing one disconnected idea after the next, year after year, leaves employees cautious at best and disillusioned at worst. Real visionary leadership is not about just having a bunch of creative ideas; it is about having creativity within a clarity that builds momentum over time. From this clarity the consistency and passion of a leader is more credible because followers are able to internalize what matters most in the church. Leaders earn more confidence with clarity first.
Clarity Makes Uncertainty Approachable: To fear the future is to be human. It can paralyze people and deter them from living with courage and investing into company initiatives. Marcus Buckingham says, “ By far the most effective way to turn fear into confidence is to be clear; to define the future in such vivid terms, through your actions, To lead by rallying people around a better future, albeit unknown, requires clarity first.
Clarity is the preoccupation of an effective leader. If you do nothing else as a leader, be clear. — Marcus Buckingham.