On an early morning, rain soaked trip to the Houston International airport, I maintained an extremely tense grip on the steering wheel. Traffic was high and visibility low, as eighteen wheelers boxed me in, contributing massive amounts of side window spray and sending stress levels soaring. My driving compromised, I struggled not only to see, but find the right exit where I would hopefully return the car and still make my flight.
ARE YOU FEELING THE ANXIETY?
The next morning was completely different. I was back home, driving in sunshine and blue skies leisurely headed to the Dunkin Donuts on A1A. I knew the exact route, just two rights and a left and less than two miles. Life was good.
Clarity is a leader’s best friend. The opposite is true of our "Houston experiences."
When clarity goes down, anxiety goes up. When anxiety goes up, performance goes down. It creates a downward cycle of unproductive behaviors. On the way to the airport, do you think I was able to creatively concentrate on "big picture" ideas and concepts? Let me answer that question for you: No, I was on high alert, just surviving the moment.
As a leader, your job is to keep the "commute" for your team as visible and stress free as possible.
Nehemiah is a great example of clarity in leadership. He, like the people, understood the problem. But as a leader, he took the next step, creating a vision of how they would solve the dilemma of broken walls.
Desired outcomes create pictures in the mind of finished products, achieved goals and transformational results. A simple, clearly articulated plan of attack creates a goal for us to rally around.
"This is why we need to rebuild the wall, and here is exactly how we are going to do it. It’s going to take six months. Here are the tools you will need and this is what is expected of you. The end result will provide us all new walls, gates, security and wholeness. Who's coming with me?"
When people, plans and resources are in alignment, projects, programs, companies and causes can experience greater success. Individuals, volunteers or whole work forces are engaged. Priorities are clear and often restated, so that everyone remains clear about where they are headed and how they are going to get there.
Creating clarity provides a roadmap for success. It gives your team exact direction on how to get to their destination. It puts gas in our tank and acts like Garmin, helping us get to the airport on time, even in the pouring rain.