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Clarity and Leadership

 

Clarity and Leadership

The man who inspired me to write about Moses and Leadership writes with clarity and conviction. Rabbi Evan Moffic writes this about Moses,

“When Moses appears before Pharaoh, he comes with a clear message. In God’s name Moses says, “Let my people go so they may serve me.”

 

Moses does not come with ambivalence. He does not come with doubt. He comes with clarity of conviction and vision, and he reveals them to Pharaoh.

 

Had Moses waffled, Pharaoh would have pounced. He would have led Moses to compromise or delay the dream of freedom. Moses’ faith gave him the clarity. And he put it to good use.”

 

A good leader has understanding, empathy, courage, respect, a keen sense of gratitude, great listening, able to learn, ability to teach, but most importantly clarity. Clarity of purpose, direction, plan, and action.

Clarity is paramount in any endeavour. Wanting to ask someone out on a date, knowing what you want to do with your life, wanting to make a difference in the world, or wanting to help people. You need a clear picture of what you want to achieve. From there you need a clear plan, action steps, and most importantly a clear ‘why’ you want to do it.

All of this involves teaching. Whether you must learn or need to share this with a team or your supporters. Teaching is more than gaining knowledge, to gain the knowledge you need to appeal to the brain and the heart, or it doesn’t stick. You need to appeal to the heart to start the engagement process. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik wrote with clarity when he penned.

“Teaching involves more than the transmission of knowledge and understanding. It requires empathy between teacher and student, and a sharing of feelings, thoughts, and motives. There is an interaction of personalities, an exchange of values and insights.”

A leader is a teacher first and foremost! But Rabbi Soloveitchik goes on,

“What we require is the warm embrace as much as the brilliant idea; sympathetic understanding, true befriending, and a human reaching out; a suggestion to our modern mitonenim (restless, complaining ones) that “we care”; the teaching role is inadequate.”

To be a genuinely great leader you need the whole package – to teach with feeling, not only clarity.

What is clarity?

When you think of a fresh, clean, refreshing stream gurgling and bubbling along – you think of transparency, purity, and cleanness. When you bring clarity to a situation you bring transparency, purity, and cleanness. But it is more than just the stream.

 It takes a body of water, which by the process of evaporation water is absorbed into the air. The water that is absorbed into the air is free of all contaminants and impurities. As it rises into the atmosphere the air is cooler which in turn cools the water and turns it back into water droplets. These droplets grow to a point that they are too large to be held in the air and they fall. They fall onto the mountain, it trickles down joining other trickles creating a rivulet, which grows with more rivulets making a stream.

Clarity is the whole picture.

 

How do you create clarity?

  1. Courtney Carver writes, “Identify what matters.”
  1. Start by making a list of all the things that you want to accomplish with your specific project, or the time you have, or the year, or your life, or the company.
  2. From there you need to prioritize what the most important objective that you want to accomplish are.
  3. Then list them from most important to least important.
  4. Take the most important item and make a list of the steps that need to be done to achieve that objective.
  5. Once again prioritize the steps.
  6. Determine who is going to do that step.
  7. Work on the most important one first, till complete.
  8. And then do it again. Rev Schuller writes, “Inch by inch it’s a cinch, by the yard it’s very hard.”
  1. Practice and live your life with mindfulness.
    1. Only work on what is important to you. Why waste your time on busy work when you can either work on important things or just relax and drink in the moment?
  2. Take a break every so often and give your brain a break.
    1. We often go, go, go – go crazy. Most of the time you are running on autopilot and go through the motions. Have you ever driven to a medium or distant destination only to arrive and wonder how you got there – you were on autopilot. Mindfulness is doing the exact opposite, slowing down, enjoying the moment, refreshing your brain, clearing it out if you will, and taking a break. That is why even a few moments of meditation, self-relaxation, or self-hypnosis does wonders.
  3. Act, reflect, adjust if needed, and repeat.
    1. Take the time to reflect on what you did and what you would do differently with every decision you make that is important to you. I had a professor at university who was also a high school counselor and he said that every day on his way home he would stop somewhere that was quiet and scenic and reflect on his day and see if there was anything that he would have done differently. He found that particularly valuable and gave him a clear mind when he finally came home. From there he was able to enjoy his family and be in the moment with them. 
  4. Let go of the things that don’t matter.
    1. Often, we get into arguments about the little things which then blow up into big things. Or, on the other hand, we get attached to an idea, item, or a person which drains our energy and enthusiasm. The art is in learning when to let go, it is finding a balance between what you are gaining and what you are losing.
  5. Dr. Deepak Chopra recommends setting up routines and part of the routine is to get a good sleep every night.
    1.  By having routines, you get better sleep, improve your mental acuity, perform better, enjoy higher energy, and can keep a better emotional well-being.

  1. Learn to communicate with clarity and impact.
    1. Communicate on a level and using words that the person you are talking to understands.
    2. Listen with intent and actively engage with the person or group you are communicating with.
    3. Slow down a bit. It’s not that you are talking too fast, but you need to give your audience a chance to process exactly what you are saying and meaning. They may not be engaged immediately, so you need to allow them time to engage.
    4. Communication is like crafting an ad. You need to get their attention, cultivate their interest, fuel their desire, and finally give them something to act on. The easiest way is to outline a common problem and work towards coming up with a solution.

 

These seven steps are a good beginning. By having clarity, you will experience a richer, fuller life.

 

Chuck Groot is an author, speaker, teacher. His love of God has spanned over 6 decades and he finds the more he studies the Bible, the less he knows, the more he succeeds the more dependant on God he becomes, and that there is nothing outside of loving God our Father, and being loved in return.

 

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