Do You Draw the Target Before You Shoot? Do You Create Clarity?

Susan S Freeman Blog

I’m working with a number of my clients on creating clarity.  Why?  Because clarity is the first step towards alignment, and alignment is critical to leadership success.


In Leading Blog, Mark Miller writes:  “I saw a cartoon years ago in which Charlie Brown shot an arrow at a fence and then proceeded to draw a circle around the arrow. At some level, he found this satisfying. This is not how great leaders think.”

Creating leadership success means leaders need to draw the target BEFORE we shoot the arrow.

Miller continues, “I’m wondering how often, as a leader, we fail to clearly define the target. I think about all the times my leadership efforts have fallen short . . . how many of those failures can be attributed, directly or indirectly, to an unclear target or goal?

There are many things leaders CANNOT do for their people. However, clarity regarding intent should never be in short supply. People must always know what they are trying to accomplish.

The greatest gift leaders can give their people is clarity.

The power of clarity transcends targets, goals, and objectives – it includes vision, values, and strategic intent, as well as other tactical issues. But what we are trying to accomplish cannot get lost in the process.

Clarity enables alignment, and alignment is a prerequisite for performance.

When you identify the target with crystal clarity, I think you may be amazed at how often your team will hit the mark.”

clarityMany leaders think they are clear because they know their own thoughts.  They imagine that sharing them in conversations is enough for their teams to understand.  When I take them through the leadership alignment cycle, they realize that clarity requires a systematic process, mining the treasure that resides in the leaders’ mind, putting it into the light, shaping, refining and polishing.  When this is complete, there is lots more communication with and among the leadership team than they ever thought was necessary.

If you have big goals and see an opportunity to help your team better align with your vision, we’d enjoy hearing from you.

Our clients find that clarity is truly useful when it’s shared, embraced, and lived.

I invite you to post your comments here.

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