Clarity affords focus

“Clarity affords focus.” Thomas Leonard, Life Coach

If you don’t have a clear sense of your purpose and goals, you cannot use your innate gift well.

A lot of us are rushing through life without being aware of what we want or why we want it. We often disguise our materialistic goals as our life goals. Owning a big house, driving a swanky car or buying the latest phone are empty goals unless they are infused with a life purpose that resonates with our very being, something that empowers us, brings us alive.

But we spend very little time clarifying this purpose and identifying our innate gifts which can help us achieve this purpose. As a result, many of our materialistic goals do not bring us the desired pleasure even when we achieve them.

And this lack of clarity of our life goals translates into confusion with all the other tertiary goals including our work or family life goals.

A few years ago, Harris Interactive, the originators of the Harris Poll, polled 23,000 U.S. residents employed full-time in key industries and key functional areas. Among other things, they reported the following findings:

  • Only 1 in 5 was enthusiastic about their team and organization’s go
  • Only 1 in 5 had a clear “line of sight” linking their tasks and the team and organization’s
  • Only 15 percent felt their organization fully enabled them to execute key
  • Only 17 percent felt their organization fostered open communication that was respectful of different
  • Only 10 percent felt their organization held people a
  • Only 20 percent fully trusted their organ

In his excellent book The 8th Habit, Stephen Covey explains these findings as follows:

If, say, a soccer team had these same scores, only four of the eleven players on the field would know which goal is theirs. Only two of the eleven would care. Only two of eleven would know which position they play and exactly what they are supposed to do. And all but two players would, in some way, be competing against their own team members rather than the opponent. Can you imagine the personal and organizational cost of failing to fully engage the passion, talent and intelligence of the workforce?

Is everyone aiming at the same goal? If not, there will be scattered energy. Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, often shared with his teams the GE philosophy for the organization: either they were #1 or #2, or they would fix, close or sell. His blueprint for transforming GE’s performance was to keep it simple. That is the power of mission and focus.

A part of good leadership is to set a clear direction, find your employees’ innate gifts and encourage them to use those gifts. By doing this, you encourage your employees to work to their potential. You may lose some employees when they realize they do not belong in your team—but better to get them off your team early rather than late.

It is important to have a common or shared vision. Once people buy into a vision, it is easier to implement. You need the contribution of everyone who is part of the vision.

(Adapted from the book, “Business, Balance & Beyond” by Azim Jamal)


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