6 Questions for Greater Organizational Clarity

Clarity is Key

For many business leaders, strategic planning presents a constant challenge, especially when it comes to clarifying and communicating personnel roles and future vision to the rest of the company. But effective strategy always begins with clarity at the top and ends with effective communication throughout the organization. So before you rush through your next strategic planning meeting, or spend hours banging your head on the table in an effort to organize the planning process, try out the following exercise with yourself and/or your team. The process below comes from the “Organizational Clarity” tool that we teach to leaders all over the world.

An Exercise in Organizational Clarity 

The Organizational Clarity tool provides a powerful framework and process to help you cement strategic clarity at every level of your organization. Starting with leadership, the tool guides you in working through the highlights of employee role considerations as well as strategy, vision, tactics, and other business elements as they relate to your company’s overall goals and values. It’s best to think of this tool as a lens of sorts – a structured approach that empowers you to dive deeper into the important questions and intricacies of your company. The section below will provide a few questions to help you kickstart the process of bringing simplicity and clarity to your organizational strategy. Feel free to complete this exercise for yourself, or otherwise bring it to the rest of your team during your planning meetings. 

1. Leadership: Is your leadership structure clear at every level? Do people know their roles? What can you do to help bring clarity to their roles, responsibilities, expectations, and necessary skills?

2. Values: Do you and your people know and understand what you value? Are your principles and standards clear?

3. Vision: Is your vision compelling? Does it motivate everyone to the great cause?

4. Strategy: Do you know which 4-6 strategic initiatives will lead you to your vision? Are they clear, concise, and attainable?

5. Structure: Is your structure built around your strategy and do you have the resources needed to execute your initiatives?

6. Mission: Do your people know what to do?

Simple, Scalable, Sustainable

Just as important to this process is the need to consider every element in light of the mantra Simple, Scalable, and Sustainable. It’s not enough to merely build a strategy, you must drill down until you reach a strategic plan that is simple enough to communicate, scalable enough to reach throughout the organization and provide growth opportunities, and sustainable enough to be attainable without bankrupting the company, becoming unrealistic, or inhibiting effective business operations.

Ultimately, organizations don’t grow (healthily) by accident. Only the intentional leadership of Liberating leaders can empower organizations to do or achieve something that is much greater than its individual parts. Great leaders focus their time working ON the business rather than IN the business. Your responsibility as a leader is to do your part to clean up your area, division, or company, and this tool will help you do so in an organized, comprehensive manner.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how the Organizational Clarity tool can improve your leadership and strategic planning, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

It’s Time…To Make the Difficult Decision

It’s time.

 Time to make the difficult decision that you don’t want to make, but know you need to:

  • Time to replace someone that should have been let go months before.
  • Time to place a boundary on a difficult relationship.
  • Time to change jobs though it will be painful.
  • Time to be honest and challenge those you work with to step up their game.
  • Time to confront someone being dishonest.

Whatever that difficult decision is for you, now is the time to jump off the fence and make it. We all know the feelings of anxiety and doubt, and that oftentimes it seems easier to just not decide – to not take the risk of beginning something new or ending something old and familiar. In reality, however, we all know that waiting and hoping for things to change without taking proactive steps never truly solves the problem. Things rarely change on their own and, actually, tend to get worse rather than better when we tiptoe around the decisions we know must be made. That’s why it is time to make it.

Decision Communication 

Take a look at a few of the practical ideas below to help you get started on the road to confronting your difficult decision:

  1. Write out your decision/words first and show a trusted friend. Drafting something in an email that you have to show to an objective person forces you to lose the drama and focus on the facts.
  2. Be “for” the other person as much as possible. Let them see that you sincerely want the highest possible good for their life.
  3. Communicate in the same way that you would want them to communicate with you.
  4. Be succinct, direct, compassionate, and clear.
  5. Reiterate your points and ask them to respond back so you know that they have heard you and understand you.

In the movie Moneyball, Brad Pitt plays a GM who asks his analyst to let one of the players go. Unfortunately, the process goes horribly wrong and the analyst can’t seem to do anything right. Brad’s character corrects the situation by making the tough decision that would most benefit the team, though he does so in a kind, direct, detailed, and clear manner. Ultimately, the team improves and the player responds appropriately, thanking his coach for the chance to play.

You Can’t Afford to Stay on the Fence

Just as in the case of Brad Pitt’s character, all people involved in a difficult situation are better off with timely, clear, and honest, yet compassionate decisions and communication. One more tool to help you reach these decisions is the dreaded deadline. Despite how intimidating they can be, deadlines force you to organize. They give you a clear mark on the calendar and empower you to prepare for the decision communication and follow up process.

When you make the hard choices you establish clear direction for your organization. Do the right thing – the hard thing – and you will be glad you did in the end.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how decision making and tough choices affect your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

The One Thing Good Leaders Must Do To Become Great

If you want to become a good leader, or better yet – a great leader – then there is one thing that must happen. This one thing is not fun, nor is it inspiring, and rarely is it ever written about. But this one thing is crucial:

GREAT leaders must die to themselves.

Dying is not easy, but in a paradoxical way, it is life-giving. When leaders die to their own agendas and forfeit their attempts to control other people, they actually gain. On first read that may make no sense, but it’s true. Ironically, the act of forgoing the good of others for the sake of our own benefit (selfishness) actually becomes the most dogged enemy on our path to achieving what we desire. 

For instance:

  • When a person desires accolades and attention more than serving others, they lose the respect of their team.
  • When a leader covets power and control, they tend to gain it temporarily only to lose it in the long-run.
  • When a mind becomes self-absorbed, others feel it and tend to distance themselves.
  • When “Self” is the centerpiece of your life then everyone else appears to be a subject in service of your desires, robbing you of life-giving relationship that brings context and meaning to the things you accomplish.

On the other hand, when leaders give themselves away for the highest possible good of those they lead, they tend to gain influence through their impact which quickly leads to respect, honor, and even followers.

Great leaders die to their self-absorption, their self-pursuit, and their selfish control. When they do, they gain more easily what they had tried so hard to obtain.

Consequently, the dying process actually leads people towards the life and leadership they had always desired. 

A Quick Self Assessment

When you see other people succeeding, what are your thoughts? Are your thoughts focused on them in a congratulatory way or are your thoughts consumed by you and how you should do more? Do you get frustrated dwelling on and speculating about why you didn’t get a certain opportunity? What about when…

  • Someone else gets the promotion.
  • Facebook shows an anniversary trip to Tahiti.
  • A friend’s child makes the team that your child didn’t.
  • Your buddy launches a new startup that takes off while you continue the grind in your current job.
  • A friend’s spouse seems to have think of everything while yours seems to have forgotten the little things of romance and love.
  • Your boss just returned from a pro sports tournament on a private jet.
  • Or you see a picture on Instagram of your friends in incredible places

The Price of Envy

Unfortunately, envy and the tendency to think of “self” first produces insecurity, which becomes the ultimate enemy of liberating leadership and healthy relationships.

Whatever the case may be, whatever is happening in life to cause you envy or look to yourself first, it is a dangerous trap. It lures you away from dying to yourself and instead tempts you to place yourself, your needs, and your agenda above the good of others. It draws you in, filling your thoughts with self-talk that punishes you with self-pity and defeatism, while simultaneously secreting negative thoughts about others and turning them into the villains in your own personal soap opera.

Envy produces insecurity, which is itself a combination of instability, hopelessness, and self-pity. When we give power to our insecurity we give it permission to direct the screenplay of our drama. Under its direction our actions create patterns of fear, passive aggression, and a relentless desire things we don’t have.

And to think, it all starts with a simple thought – a thought about what we don’t have or a worried consideration of what/who we are not becoming.

The Reward of a “For Others” Mentality

To be secure, on the other hand, is to be mature. To be dependable. To be “for others” more than for ourselves. Once we get to the end of our desire for that which is not to be, we can begin to build on who we are, what we have, and the hope that spreads out before us.

So be intentional about fighting envy today, and remember that dying can lead to life.

The only cure for insecurity is to die to ourselves so that you may live for others. Only then will true, deep influence accumulate and healthy relationships grow to their greatest potential. 

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how envy and selflessness affect your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

24 Easy Ways to Empower Everyone Around You

Here are simple habits that will help create a culture of empowerment.

Source: 24 Easy Ways to Empower Everyone Around You

How to attract and retain great people – DREAMS

Attracting and retaining great people is not easy at the best of times, let alone when the pay is not great or even non-existent.  Here are some great pointers from Goffee and Jones, via Mindtools:

  • Difference – Attract and encourage differences
  • Radical honesty – Be radically honest
  • Extra value – Add extra value to people’s strengths
  • Authenticity – Emphasise authenticity
  • Meaning – Make work meaningful
  • Simple rules – Keep rules simple

Source: Goffee and Jones’ DREAMS – Team Management Training From MindTools.com

12 Surprisingly Effective Ways to Get Organized | Inc.com

Successful people don’t have more hours in the day, but they do have more time–because they know how to organize their lives.

Simple but effective list, that we can all adapt for our own lives (e.g. I like to add bible study into my morning routine).

Source: 12 Surprisingly Effective Ways to Get Organized | Inc.com

The Secret to Success: Authentic Grit – Happify Daily

How can we reach a new level of resilience? Here’s everything you need to know about authentic grit—who has it, why it matters, and how to get it.

Source: The Secret to Success: Authentic Grit – Happify Daily

How Successful People Work Less and Get More Done

Shifting gears on the weekend to relaxing and rejuvenating activities is essential for any successful entrepreneur.

Source: How Successful People Work Less and Get More Done



1. They Disconnect
2. They Minimize Chores
3. They Reflect
4. They Exercise
5. They Pursue a Passion
6. They Spend Quality Time with Family
7. They Schedule Micro-Adventures
8. They Wake Up at the Same Time
9. They Designate Mornings as Me Time
10. They Prepare for the Upcoming Week

Bill Gates Says These 5 Traits Guarantee Success | Inc.com

When the world’s richest man offers career advice, it’s smart to listen.

Source: Bill Gates Says These 5 Traits Guarantee Success | Inc.com

1. Knowing how to say no.
2. Welcoming criticism.
3. Optimism.
4. Being willing to fail.
5. The ability to focus on a goal and keep progressing towards it

7 things you can do to build psychological strength | Seth Kahan | LinkedIn

To succeed in a turbulent environment you need a robust psychology. This is where many fall short. They clutch when they could reach. When faced with calamity they set their sights on survival rather than leadership. Rather than going for real opportunity they set their sights low. If the game changes and you don’t, it’s game over…

Source: 7 things you can do to build psychological strength | Seth Kahan | LinkedIn

1. Feed your mind well

2. Associate with the Best

3. Focus on Constructive Futures

4. Focus on Lessons Learned

5. Build Capacity through Intentional Stress

6. Rest

7. Maintain Strong Boundaries

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