As we draw to the end of 2021, one of the most important lessons that we can learn from the last 12 months is how essential it is to establish clarity even in the midst of uncertainty. Is that an oxymoron? No, not at all. You see, uncertainty is difficult to navigate, it can be stressful and it can lead to a serious case of indecision. But let us not forget that a wrong decision is better than no decision. The truth is, we will always face some level of uncertainty but despite this, there will always be things that we can be certain of. And for leaders of organisations (or teams), one of the best things you can do is to ensure that your team knows exactly what those things are, i.e. one of the best things you can do as a leader is to achieve clarity in the midst of uncertainty.
Clarity is one of the four critical disciplines for achieving organisational heath…where politics, confusion, silos and staff turnover are minimal and morale, productivity and clarity are high. And one of the six areas around which a leadership team needs absolute clarity to ensure organisation health is, ‘what is most important for us right now’. In other words, a leadership team needs absolute clarity around the single most important goal for the organisation (or team) for the next 3 – 4 months…i.e. that one thing, that if it were achieved, would most move the organisation (or team) forward…that one thing, over and above the ‘business as usual’ standard operating objectives that would most contribute to its success. That may be implementing a new IT system, building a deeper level of trust on the team, improving customer service lead times, etc.
This may all seem obvious but let’s be honest, most organisations, if not all, have so many priorities and not enough resources to pursue each and every one of them, certainly not all at the same time. There will always be conflicting demands on our money, on our time, on our systems and on our people. And this is when silos begin to form, projects get abandoned midway or turf wars take place. No, establish clarity and gain alignment around what is most important right now.
So, let me leave you with this question, if I were to ask each of your team members what is the most important priority for your organisation (or team) for the first 3 – 4 months of the new year, would I get the same answer? If not or perhaps if you’re unsure, can I encourage you as the leader to have that debate with your team, seek their input and then their buy-in around the decided course of action. Make sure you and your team go into 2022 with clarity in the midst of the uncertainty.