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Your Leadership Orientation: Clarity

"Mystification is simple; clarity is the hardest thing of all.”
– Julian Barnes, Flaubert's Parrot

You feel most at home when things are ordered, and situations are relatively predictable. You revel in creating checklists, maintaining processes, and ensuring high standards. Yours is the domain of best practice.


People know they can rely on you to keep processes moving efficiently while keeping people informed. You are skilled at onboarding new folks in policies, procedures, checklists, and standard processes; you have probably shaped or created many of these systems. You know where to find facts, historic details, and documents.


You work best in contexts that demand consistency and precision. Your leadership gift is in getting things done and getting people where they need to be. Sometimes, though, your systems can lose their usefulness without continuous, well-informed updates. Moreover, you can find yourself becoming a bottleneck for important information to flow in times of change.


3 Quick Tips for

Calibrating Your Leadership Compass

1) Stay Connected

You know you're in trouble if your process-building finds you working through the day without talking to anyone. Sometimes your high productivity can leave people behind when you don't take the time to bring others up to speed on updates and improvements you've made. Moreover, sometimes your work can impact others in surprising ways. Make sure to check in on how your work can enrich others' work – even other work teams in your organization or community.


2) Watch for Unpredictability

Sometimes processes and procedures that look so perfect in one moment can have disastrous effects when applied in the next. What may seem ordered and predictable may shift, so you'll need to be extra-sensitive to signs of change. But don't fight it! Let go of what you can't control and look to other experts or change-makers when things get unclear. Meanwhile, watch for opportunities to simplify and streamline what others might be making too complicated.


3) People over Process

No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try to create clear paths for people, they will never be predictable. Some folks will respond readily to your leadership, and others will struggle to stay in-bounds. Try not to get frustrated. Your approach may not be the best fit for everyone, but chances are, much of the work you lead is helping many. Sometimes your process improvement efforts can get abstract and lose their meaning, so watch for ways to match your talents to addressing real human needs. You'll feel more connected when you do.

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