Great Leaders Create Clarity
Great leaders have the ability to simplify and get everyone focused on a shared goal or vision.
Years ago I was working with a company that was struggling. The CEO called a meeting of his top leadership team to discuss how to get the company back on track. The CEO’s speech to the team was a tirade of dissatisfaction, frustration, and anger, which he ended by shouting “Every one of you has to go back and get your people on board! That is the most important thing I expect from you, to get everyone on board!”
The CEO stormed out of the room and everyone looked at each other in silence. You could have cut the tension with a knife. Finally, one of the Senior Vice-Presidents said what everyone was thinking, “Get on board with what?”
This CEO was a classic example of an ineffective leader. He had put forth so many “priorities” that there was no clarity. No one knew what was really important. It’s so much easier to come up with twenty priorities than it is to come up with three priorities. The obvious problem with twenty priorities is that it’s a faulty concept. You can’t focus on everything. Having twenty priorities means having no priorities.
The more complicated you’ve made your business or your life, the less effective you will be. Complication freezes you into uncertainty and inaction.
Simplicity enables you to create clarity, which lets you get yourself and everyone else focused on a shared vision, goal, or priorities and move forward. It’s extremely hard for anyone, much less an entire organization, to focus on anything that’s complicated.