Clarity:

There is nothing quite like clarity to make a leader effective. Real clarity is born from a clear sense of purpose and acceptance of what is, not from wishful thinking or ego protection. It is honest, easy to understand, and calming; never arrogant, confusing, or mean-spirited.

Clarity in leadership builds self-confidence, wins trust, and strengthens teams. People know what's up and why. Direction and expectations are explicit and understood. Over time, clarity builds a momentum that uplifts and connects all involved - an energy that I call amare, or love. (Find more about the seven principles of love-powered business here.)

On the other hand, lack of clarity causes good leaders great suffering; spinning in circles, avoiding decisions, and never realizing the pleasure of full commitment. Though counterproductive and illusory, there are big payoffs (there always are!) that can sustain lack of clarity: 1) keeping options open, and 2) avoiding possible conflict. 

Reflect honestly on these questions:

  • In what areas do you and your team most need greater clarity?

  • What company beliefs and behaviors enable getting clear? Which inhibit getting clear?

  • What might clarity make possible that is now impossible?

7 Powerful Amare Techniques for Greater Clarity

  1. Find your courage. List three times in the past when you had real clarity. Reflect on how you got there, what supported you, and the fact that you survived and maybe even thrived as a result. Confidently invite in those same resources next time you seek clarity.

  2. Recognize what clarity feels like. Pay attention to its visceral qualities - often calmness and peacefulness (even when you don't like what it's saying and want to argue against it!). Moving forward, stay alert for those sensations as your signals of clarity.

  3. Focus on why, not how. Getting into details can obscure clarity. For your topic, keep asking yourself "why" it matters and what good will be achieved, rather than allowing the myriad of "how" possibilities to confuse you. First things first.

  4. Acknowledge what is clear. Assess if there are inconvenient or painful truths you or your people are clear about, that you wish were different so you pretend lack of clarity. Accept the truth and determine how to productively deal with the situation.

  5. Say no for a bigger yes. Remember the sense of purpose that helped you get clear. Sustain that clarity by identifying small things to say no to, in order to say yes to something greater and aligned with that purpose. 

  6. Gain some altitude. With a particular question in mind, imagine being on a mountaintop looking down at yourself and your company. Simply observe for a moment or two, without any judgement. Notice what becomes clear. Say thank you. 

  7. Follow clarity with commitment. Once you are clear, act on that clarity by making decisions and commitments that will advance the purpose at hand. Be clear too about how your clarity informs the decisions and commitments, so all is in alignment.

Clarity takes practice. Once you commit to leading with clarity, you'll find it to be a very loyal, helpful, and trustworthy friend.