Clarity. There is a lot packed into that word. When I work with clients, we follow a process to help them gain clarity around their vision and plan. Later in the process we ask them to clarify the major functions in their business and then clarify the roles and responsibilities for each of those functions.
Often this takes several sessions as teams learn to let go of the past and dig into why, what and who they are as a business … both now and in the future. Sometimes leaders are hesitant to weigh in with anything contrary to how things have always been or that is contrary to the owner’s vision. Other times, they fear getting crystal clear on their Core Focus (their company’s sweet spot), will leave opportunities and money on the table.
Recently I began working with a new client who has a founding Corporate Office and a number of independent operations that they have acquired. During the Corporate Office interview, we were reviewing the V/TO™ (Vision/Traction Organizer™ — think strategic business plan in two pages) and it seemed a bit scattered. I asked the question, “Do you see your primary role as the ownership group/HQ to sell and service products or to support your growing number of independent operators who sell and service products?”
I had just asked the million dollar question. The prior strategic planning work they had done did not provide clarity on their role. Were they a little frustrated? Absolutely. But being a growth-oriented and humble group of leaders they quickly realized how this switch in focus would clarify their role and create potential for increased efficiencies and opportunities.
In EOS®, we coach leaders to take regular Clarity Breaks — a time to sit, think and reflect on the business, goals and values. Most leaders (myself included) do not do this with discipline and consistency. I have to wonder if my new client’s leadership team had made a practice of taking Clarity Breaks, would this "aha moment" have happened a year ago? Dwelling on past mistakes is not productive; however, learning from them is!
Finding clarity gives us confidence and provides focus to make better decisions. It lets us say “no” to things that are out of alignment with our why, what and who. Conversely it also allows us to quickly and confidently say “hell yes!” when opportunities are in alignment with our Core Focus and Core Values.
If you are ready to take a Clarity Break, grab your yellow legal pad and find a quiet place to hang out with your thoughts.
Here are a few questions to help you find clarity with your leadership role as well as your business:
- Am I living my personal values?
- Am I focusing on the most important things?
- Which processes are working well?
- Which processes seem overly complicated?
- How strong is my bench?
- What should I delegate to others to leverage my Unique Ability™?
Cheri Kuhn is a Professional EOS Implementer and founder of the Perfect Planner. Read her leadership blogs at traction-advantage.com/news/.