Leadership is Being Clear

Posted on Jul 30, 2013 in Blog, Leadership | 4 Comments


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Being clear is essential to leadership.

Leaders make decisions, which are only as important as a leader’s ability to communicate their decisions to other people. We are constantly reminding people about things, asking questions, motivating people. Leaders translate values and vision into tangible goals and objectives. If we are not clear, people do not know what to do or why it is significant.

Part of the leadership challenge is that our minds are capable of thinking about so many different things, in so many different ways, at the same time. We gain analytical momentum, multitasking at the speed of thought. When you take into account our physical and our emotional processes, it is a very complex network of thoughts. It can be a challenge to translate our diverse mental activity into clear, concise language.

It is difficult to lead well when people do not understand what we are saying. It is even more difficult when we do not understand what we are saying.

Leaders often need to be clear very quickly. It is easy for us to get caught up in the urgency of a situation, or the importance of a decision, and be unclear very quickly. This can frustrate most of us, and we generally become even less clear.

We want to be as clear as we can. We focus on finding the exact words to best convey a specific meaning.

It is easy for us to lose track of the underlying principles or values that makes our precise words important. It may be faster for us to be clear about details, but unclear about our supporting reasons.

We may be more effective leaders, in the long run, if we pause long enough to be clear about the values that support our actions.

What are you being clear about today?

[Image by liber]


  1. Dianne
    July 31, 2013

    Good to focus on this. I am attempting revision of resumé and creation of a new mission statement. Boiling down, rendering.

    • Strategic Monk
      July 31, 2013

      Yes! I have learned a great deal by clarifying, smoothing words away to get to the truth that I understand. I also remember things said with clarity more often than things that are not.

      Thank you, Dianne.

  2. Dougie Cameron
    July 31, 2013

    Thanks for sharing this Greg – it has given me pause for thought.

    I was immediately attracted to the concept of communicating the visions and the values from a position of empowerment. But then I thought about the differing needs that our teams have – some will be empowered, some will be panicked without the detail.

    Thought provoking!

    • Strategic Monk
      July 31, 2013

      Thank you, Dougie.

      Leaders have a responsibility to appreciate and ensure that particular goals and tasks reflect overall values and vision. Some communication describes the big picture, some translates those principles into more specific action steps. Organizations need leaders who can accomplish that with clarity and consistency.


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