Friday, December 5, 2014

clearness counts

Writing a weekly blog can be an arduous task, having to come up with new ideas week after week.  That is why I am grateful when I come across another blog that provides fodder for me - both in writing and in my daily experience.  I was recently introduced to The Accountability Blog written by Linda Galindo, and this week's topic was entitled "Wishy-Washy is a Thing...Leader be Clear!"  I read it right before heading into a meeting in which I realized I had been less than clear (okay, I may even have been wishy-washy).  It was important for me to send a clear message so that goals could be accomplished.  What I began to understand after reading Linda's post was that clearness counts.  So today's blog is more of Linda Galindo's ideas rather than mine, with a few twists and turns from my own experience.  Here's what I learned:

  1. Don't be unrealistic - this would include setting realistic goals, understanding the players involved and what they can do, and knowing your culture.  If what you want to have happen can't yet happen, don't expect it to happen (at least not right away).
  2. Tell them what you want - those great ideas in your head need to get translated into tangible tasks and results.  This would include goals, mileposts along the way, reporting structures, and ways of behaving.
  3. Culture is critical - this is a great opportunity to build the culture you want...but if you don't say what the culture should look like, then others are guessing what you want it to be.  For example, be sure people understand whether you want decisions made as a team or in a chain of command.
  4. Know your team - While I may be a person who likes a suggestive style, others may need more clear directions (specific deliverables at specific times).  Don't frustrate the team by only acting in a manner in which you are comfortable.
  5. Ask for and expect pushback - nothing is more frustrating than having members of the team walk away without fully owning the decisions made at that time.  Make sure that everyone has a chance to express their frustrations and misunderstandings so that clarity happens for the entire group.
  6. Don't be afraid to be clear - sometimes this means that you need to state very boldly what you expect and what the consequences are for not meeting those expectations.  That way no one is surprised by what happens later in the process.
One of the reasons leaders are successful is that they are comfortable with ambiguity and are able to live in a "gray" world without going crazy...and one of the reasons leaders are NOT successful is that they stay in that "gray" and ambiguous world, even when trying to be clear.  Remember that you are not the one carrying out the operations of the organization, so if you want to get things done, remember that clearness counts.

1 comment:

Linda Galindo said...

Many thanks for the reference to me and The Accountability Blog Don. I love the topic of accountability in leadership and many resonate with the frustration of wishy-washy. Great article, I'll post to my network.