The speed of business and leadership is moving at an exponential rate.
We have more ways to communicate with the world than ever before. Globalization has brought the entire globe to our doorstep, all we need do is step into it. It’s also gives us a basket full of options. Plenty of things for our busy minds to think about. It’s also brought the competitive playing field to a level when almost any size business can strategically compete and win.
This also provides us with a challenge. It seems in a world where almost anything seems available, we still have trouble making decisions about what we truly want. That comes from distractions and a never-ending treadmill of activities which keep us busy, but just like a treadmill, all our activity doesn’t take us anywhere.
Today’s leaders, regarding clarity, can fit into two categories. Those who have clarity about what they want and those who don’t.
Leaders who are effective and successful know exactly where they really want to go, why they want to go there and then what to do to make it happen.
Leaders who have clarity:
Do not feel rushed or stressed with so many options available
They approach each day knowing what they must do
They pursue each day with energy, eagerness and passion
They have a clear vision and are focused on opportunities for it
They know how to execute their strategies to get what they want
For leaders who have clarity, the decisions become easier and you begin to become evermore confident in your choices about the future. If you do not have clarity about what you want, you will constantly be bombarded by options and choices with rabbit-trails everywhere that lead you and your organization no where. At the end of each day, you will have worked hard, you will be tired and like the treadmill, you will not have moved an inch forward.
Working through a strategic process to achieve clarity is much like a visit to an optometrist. He will have you look at a chart on the wall, and adjust your lenses until even the smaller letter on the chart will have a high degree of clarity to your eyes. The strategy process does the same. You continually adjust the lenses of the view of your plan, until you have clarity of the smallest details.
Having clarity enables you to identify high-leverage activities which are relevant to your strategic agenda. These are the things you should be doing as a leader which will propel you toward your vision at a high rate of speed.
Here’s what you must have in order to have a high degree of clarity:
You must know specifically where you want to go or specifically where you want your organization to go
You must know why you want to go there, why is it important to you and others?
You must know how you are going to get there
You must know the negative result of not going there
There is always a lot of talk about long range plans and it’s true they have value. In today’s rapidly changing environment, we recommend to our clients to:
Have a 5-year plan
Realize it’s value and effectiveness will last about 1 year or less
Put your strength of focus and execution into the next 90 days
The rate of change is moving so rapidly, you can’t possibly know all the things which may alter your plan one year from now. There are many things which could happen that you could never have predicted and over which you have no control. This is why clarity requires a continual adjustment of your thinking, at least on an annual basis.
A high degree of clarity keeps you moving toward the destination you envision and keeps you away from things which distract you from moving toward that vision.