leading with clarity

By May 6, 2010Leadership

No one really enjoys ambiguity.

As I work with fellow leaders, I’ve learned that one of the greatest gifts a leader brings to those around him is a sense of clarity.  When we are clear on our vision/mission/objectives/responsibilities … we are free to focus and achieve.  A lack of clarity not only confuses but paralyzes even the most capable people.

How do you get to clarity?

  1. Ask questions.  If something is unclear, ask for the other person to explain it another way.  Ask for examples.
  2. Repeat back to the person what you are understanding them to say.
  3. When possible, write it down.
  4. Establish benchmarks.  We may not be able to visualize the end result but perhaps we can see the quarter-mile marker just up ahead.
  5. Don’t assume.  If you’re unsure whether or not a person is understanding you, ask them.  If you’re not sure if they have an appreciation of the background of an issue, give it to them.
  6. In your own mind, know what a clear picture looks like.  It’s hard to communicate with clarity if we are unclear about it ourselves.

Getting to clarity is not always easy.  It may be difficult.  In fact, it may be painful.  But it’s always worth it.