We all know how important it is for leaders to create clarity around them and show direction in a way that aligns and inspires people. This applies to entities from smaller start-ups to bigger organizations. Leadership paradigm has been shifting from top-level wisdom, hierarchical organizations to more of purpose lead organizations. Organizations that emphasize self-management and collaboration over command and control. In any case, clarity and focus with priorities and principles are needed in both type of environments, also as indicated also in the latest HBR 2019 Jan-Feb double issue (see Structure that’s not stifling and The hard truth about innovative cultures).
Our brains need a combination of clarity and freedom, too. Dr. David Rock, a neuroscientist, has presented that clarity on one’s status, certainty about what’s going on and what will take place and autonomy are key building blocks in successful social interactions.
A common purpose and joint focus enable channeling individual and organizational energy right. Energy is the piece that advanced organizations will be focusing more in the future. Leaders will not only be focusing on attracting the right competences, skills and experience but also ensuring organizational vitality and energy. Almost everything we do is based on our motivations and energy. Leading energy starts from leaders’ own understanding and managing their energy and continues into leading core teams’ and organization’s energy. Energy is the force with which we get things done. There is a good article about managing energy already written in 2011 in HBR that sets the baseline; Manage Your Energy, not Your Time – Leaders will need to learn how to optimize their own energy at first and set the example. Leaders create the culture by their behavior.
We need all three: Clarity Focus Energy®. For organizations to grow and produce results, all three elements must be in balance. This applies to both – individuals and organizations. The more balance leaders have themselves in these elements, the better they can lead and inspire others to innovate and grow.
How good we are in each of these elements depends mostly on how aware we are of these essential elements and how they act in us by nature. We have different relations to need for clarity and focus and we have different relations, e.g. amounts and direction of energy. Some people are happy with a high-level picture whereas others need much more details to be driven. Some people struggle with keeping focus and others primarily focus on gaining deeper understanding and structure but lack outgoing, inspiring energy. Some get energized from big challenges, some from genuine connections with other persons and others do not understand why everybody does not get drive and focus on goals vigorously.
This is where the understanding of different personality types – starting of our own personality – kicks in. Leaders who understand their relation to Clarity Focus Energy® are in much better position to create Clarity, lead common Focus and boost Energy in their organization.
How to create clarity and focus then? What about energy?
- Clarity: Become aware of what is your bias in terms of creating Clarity. What is enough clarity for you? What about for others around you? If you asked your team to name the two common, strategic goals you have as a team or unit, would they and their reports answer the same way? Test it out!
- Focus: Build better habits – identify bad habits and work to create positive ones. A habit loop is made up of three pieces: the cue or trigger, the routine and the reward (Charles Duhigg, Power of Habit).
Check how technology can help you to create new, better habits
- Energy: Learn to optimize first your own energy and create a new culture through it. Take note of the ultradian rhythm during your day. Based on that you are in high performance mode, alerted, creative and able to focus for about 90-120 minutes. Then, your body needs time to renew its energy stores. Take a break – strategically disengage – in every 90-120 minutes. It is that simple. Which routines could you plan for your meetings based on this?
For more updates and information, follow us in LinkedInBook a Meeting