As a leader, what does it take for you to be successful, and have the career and life you really want? From what I’ve seen, I believe we need to create a framework for clarity. I introduced this in my last post.
You see, clarity of mind stands as a basic framework to hang other usable skills, and great leaders learn how to find it. Clarity is the ability to see things as they are with an accurate perception and understanding. It’s a freedom from uncertainty or confusion. It’s the skill to grasp fundamental truths and distinguish false alternatives.
In Leading with Emotional Courage: How to Have Hard Conversations, Create Accountability, and Inspire Action on Your Most Important Work (Wiley, 2018), Peter Bregman writes that one of the most distinguishing character traits successful leaders possess is clarity. I agree. This encompasses not only reaching a state of clarity, but continuing to embody it. In other words, providing clarity to others is just as vital as establishing it within yourself. After all, what is the point of a leader being clear if no one else benefits from it?
To go from effective to great, you need to assess your recent performance and create a framework to reveal patterns over time. Ask yourself what things went well. Just as important, ask what kinds of things did not go well.
The next step is to discern common causes for the things that did not go well. An historical picture helps to reveal patterns. As Bregman suggests, the goal is to find a personal theme behind it all. You may find your theme to be similar to these examples:
- Emotions get in the way of clear thinking and reasonable responses. When I have calm responses rather than emotional reactions, outcomes are much better.
- Overthinking makes things more complicated. When I break things down into simple compartments, solutions are more effective and longer lasting.
- Rushing to conclusions with impatience takes me down terrible paths. Taking a more deliberate approach, dealing with one step at a time, yields a better understanding and thus better decisions.
Your theme determines the corrective action needed to reverse the affects you don’t want to see. Make it your ‘theme for clarity”. Let it be simple, doable and easy to remember. Make it your focus every day.
For example, if your theme is rushing to conclusions, practice dealing with one step at a time. A deliberate awareness will become an automatic state of mind. Be all you can be by finding your best self-improvement theme.
What do you think? How might this framework help you find a theme for clarity? I’d love to hear from you. You can call me at 704-827-4474; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here, or on LinkedIn.
This content was originally published here.