Clarity is Magnetic
I recently attended a leadership development conference where pastor and author, Andy Stanley, was one of the opening speakers. His core message was equally applicable to all leaders, including CEO's, politicians and those seeking to drive change within their organizations.
I listened with interest as the pastor spoke about how we want to have leaders with integrity, ethics, and a desire to do the right thing. Standard topics for a speaker like this. But I sat up a little straighter in my chair when he said something I wasn't expecting a pastor to say...
"Yes, we want leaders with integrity, but we follow leaders with clarity."
He went on to share examples of past political and business leaders who may not have demonstrated integrity in their actions, but thanks to their degree of clarity with which they shared their vision, they enjoyed incredible support from their followers.
He went on to say things like...
- "We value integrity. We follow clarity. We vote/act on clarity." and
- "Clarity Wins. Clarity is Magnetic."
As a business leader with a strategic planning background, I have always known that clarity is important. But what I learned from Mr. Stanley was that while integrity is important in order to drive change in an organization, clarity is absolutely critical.
If you wish to be an agent of change within your organization, your agenda must be crystal clear. Leaders may want to support your ideas, but if there's another change agenda competing with yours (and there always is), the one with the most clarity will get the support.
Getting people to support your change is not an integrity issue, it's an issue of clarity. It is vital to realize that these leaders are simply following the most magnetic idea and direction for change.
I remember this one particular meeting I lead quite a long time ago as a new leader for change. I had skillfully summarized all of our key indicators visually on a single page and I placed a "gold star" where I could say (according to benchmarked research) that we were best in class.
Well, when the senior executive saw this he quickly moved into action, asking each of the leaders in the room that reported to him, what they needed and when they would expect that their organization could reach that gold star level.
Each leader took his/her turn responding to that question on the top of their heads. It kick-started the winds of change that lead to several gold stars on that chart only a few quarters later - a great feat. That simple task of placing a gold star on key areas, provided the clarity and momentum needed to fuel the change. On that day, the clarity of the gold star was indeed magnetic.
My encouragement to you is to bring clarity where there is any level of confusion (or possible confusion). Create clarity for influence and leverage the magnetism that clarity creates.
Interested in listening to an audio on this topic where Donna delves into this a bit more? Then click here to listen to her podcast episode.