Clarity is essential to unleashing innovation, commitment, and energy within an organization. A clear mission and purpose bring meaning to people’s lives and allow them to understand how they are specifically contributing to the organization’s goals.
However, many organizations fall into the trap of using vague and generic statements that do not inspire or bring any real understanding. These statements, such as “we want to provide superior service and products to our customers while maximizing profits…. Blah blah blah,” are essentially meaningless and do not enroll the team in a clear course of action.
Creating Clarity of Purpose for the Organization
One powerful way to enroll your team in the cause is to avoid the “blah blah” and instead create a clear and specific statement. As Andy Stanley said, “the mist in your mind becomes the fog in your organization.” This means that when leaders are unclear in their thinking, it creates confusion and chaos throughout the organization. Bold leadership, which refuses to be cowed out by “how,” is crucial in this regard. Instead of getting bogged down in the details of how to achieve a goal, leaders should focus on the goal itself and let the team figure out the best way to achieve it.
Another important aspect of clarity is the concept of simplicity versus complexity. Complexity is the enemy of clarity, and growth often creates complexity that demands simplicity. When concepts are simplified, they become accessible to everyone, and people can engage fully.
However, if we constantly deal with complexity, it is a sign that we are still students of our craft. The goal should be to become masters of our craft by simplifying complex concepts and focusing on the most essential elements. Complexity is not a sign that you are sophisticated, it is simply a sign that you are still a student. Simplicity takes intelligence and experience. Simplicity has the power to create speed in driving the orgaization forward.
Clarity is essential to unleashing innovation, commitment, and energy within an organization. Vague and generic statements do not inspire or bring any real understanding. Leaders must avoid the “blah blah” and create a clear and specific statement that enrolls the team in a clear course of action. Additionally, leaders must focus on simplicity, not complexity, and avoid getting bogged down in the details of how to achieve a goal. By focusing on the goal itself, leaders can create a clear and focused organization that is capable of achieving great things.
Bravery is a Team Sport
One way to identify the most important tasks is to consider what is currently considered impossible in our field, but if it could be done, it would change the industry. We can identify areas where we can make the most impact by thinking about what is currently considered impossible. This requires bravery, as it means stepping out of our comfort zones and taking on new challenges. However, bravery is a team sport, and by working together, we can achieve more than we ever could alone.
In order to be a game changer in our industry, we need to become clear about three key things: what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how each team member fit into it.
The first is the reason for our work, the second is the passion that drives us, and the third is our role in the organization. By understanding these three things, we can create a clear and focused plan of action that will help us achieve our goals.
Simple and powerful answers inform everything in our organization. They tell us that we are making progress and that we are winning. They also form who we serve and how we serve them, as well as directing us on how to build our business and showing us the path forward. In today’s fast-paced business world, it is essential that we have clear and simple answers to guide our actions.
Creating Clarity of Roles for each team member
The temptation to complicate our jobs to make us seem more valuable to the organization is understandable, but it is actually counter-productive. In fact, it is the opposite that is true. The Pareto principle states that 80% of our value is in 20% of our time. This means that by focusing on the most important tasks and simplifying our work, we can create the most value for the organization.
As we move forward in our careers, it’s important to understand the value that we bring to our organizations. One way to do this is to ask ourselves: “What is the one thing that I do, that if I were to only do that one thing, the organization would move forward?” This question can help us focus on our core responsibilities and understand our true impact on the company.
At the limit of the Pareto principle, it means that if you were able to focus on that 80% benefit that takes 20% of your time, you could work Monday’s and take the rest of the week off and the organization would still move forward. While this is an extreme example to make a point, it shows the potential to take our contribution to the next level. If every team member engaged in this courageous process it would dramatically upshift the organization to jumo the curve to the next level.
By focusing on the most essential tasks and sinhibting all other tasks as much as possible, we can create the most value for the organization.
In times of high presuure, it’s key to know what our “one essential thing” is. This way, we can immediately focus on it and make sure that the organization continues to move forward, even in the face of challenges and high demands of work.
One-Line Job Descriptions
Long job descriptions can be useful for initial hiring, but within weeks that changes. So we create a one-line job description that encapsulates our primary purpose within the team. This can help us stay focused on our key responsibilities and understand how we fit into the overall goals of the organization.
We can also identify our “A, B, C” seats – the tasks that we are good at, but have a different effect on us. Our “A” seat is the task that energizes us, our “B” seat is neutral, and our “C” seat is depleting. By identifying our “A” seat, we can focus on the tasks that give us the most energy and make the biggest impact on the organization.
Understanding our one thing and our “A” seat can help us focus on the tasks that have the biggest impact on the organization and give us the most energy. By focusing on these key responsibilities, we can have a greater impact on the company’s success and enjoy our work more.
For example, an executive assistant’s one-line job description might be “To free John up to do what only John can do.” In this role, the EA’s primary purpose is to take care of tasks that would otherwise distract the manager, so that the manager can focus on their own core responsibilities.
For an online business with connections to different systems, the one-line job description might be “Wiring expert.” This person is responsible for ensuring that all the systems are connected and working together seamlessly.
An admin’s one-line job description could be “To reduce friction in the business.” The admin’s primary purpose is to take care of tasks that create friction in the business and slow it down, such as paperwork, scheduling, and other administrative tasks.
A content creator’s one-line job description could be “To inspire and transform people’s lives.” The content creator’s primary purpose is to create content that inspires and transforms people’s lives, whether it be through written articles, videos, or other mediums.
What Would a Great Leader do?
“Have a big idea with strong beliefs” – Rudy Guiliani. This quote highlights the importance of having a clear and powerful vision for leadership. A leader with a big idea and strong beliefs is able to inspire and guide their team towards a common goal. But how do we develop this vision and these beliefs? One way is to ask ourselves, “What would a great leader do?”
This question raises the standard of our leadership above the circumstances. It forces us to think beyond the current situation and consider what a truly exceptional leader would do in our shoes. It also unveils our motives. Our corporate mission and vision statement will eventually conflict with our personal ambition. We can camouflage our personal agenda in the language of vision and mission, but by asking ourselves this question, we are forced to consider whether our actions align with our stated values.
Furthermore, this question reveals our weaknesses. It creates tension that deserves our attention. Great leaders don’t power up, they absorb the tension. This question will inspire us to reach beyond the limits of our personality and style. It forces us to consider what it truly means to be a great leader and to strive for that level of excellence.
Great leaders absorb rather than reflect. They take in the information and experiences around them, and use it to improve themselves and their team. They don’t simply react to situations, they proactively seek out new perspectives and ideas. They are constantly learning and growing rather than remaining stagnant. By absorbing rather than reflecting, they are able to create a vision and strong beliefs that will guide them and their team to success.
Releasing the the Passion of Vision
Simon Sinek has a great book called, “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.” In his book, Sinek emphasizes the importance of understanding the “why” behind our actions as leaders and organizations. The “why” we exist as an organization is singularly the most inspiring thing about our organization. It is the reason we exist. We wish to make a difference in our industry and that is why we do what we do.
Jonathan Haidt, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, in his book, The Happiness Hypothesis, uses an analogy of the elephant and the rider to describe the relationship between our rational and emotional sides. This analogy characterizes the rider as our rational side and the elephant as the emotional (desire) side. The rider for the most part can direct the elephant on the condition that the elephant does not have desires of its own. Clearly, the rider has limited control and influence.
To move people we need to move the elephant – to touch their hearts so that they feel inspired about the path we are on. We cannot simply explain the plan ot the rider and expect change. People need to be engaged emotionally in the passion of the vision.
The founders story tells us why they stated the roganization. It helps us understand thee “why” behind our organization. What was the founder thinking when this business or organization was created? What did they have in mind when they decided to invest their capital, energy, and talent into this enterprise? Understanding the founder’s story allows us to connect with the original mission and vision of the organization and become more aligned with the “why” behind our actions.
As Simon Sinek says, “People care more about what you believe than about what you do. People do not buy what you do but why you do it.The goal is not to sell people who need what you have, but to sell to people who believe what you believe. The goals is not to hire people who needed a job, but to hire people who believe what you believe.”
If you make the “what” the main thing people will work for a check. If you make the “why” the main thing, people will be loyal to the mission of the organization and the buy-in will be so much deeper.
– Dionne van Zyl, President of Brilliant Perspectives
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