There are a multitude of issues that Christian leaders and organizations face which can determine their success rate in reaching God-given and God-pleasing goals.

Lately I’ve been coming across two that seem to be everywhere I look. Today I want to unpack each of these.

1. A Lack of Clarity

I had a conversation with a leader I coach who had just returned from a conference with people in his organization. As I often do in these situations, I asked him what his takeaways were from the conference. He said three words:

  • Clarity
  • Clarity
  • Clarity

It wasn’t the first time I heard the need for clarity.

Here are a few questions related to establishing clarity:

1. Where are we going?

Does everyone involved know what the target is-what we’re  shooting for?

2. Why are we going there?

Does everyone involved know the reason for our target? How it’s part of the purpose, vision and values of our company, church, tribe, organization or group? What is the clear WHY behind the WHAT?

3. How will we get there?

Is it clear to everyone what steps we intend to take in order to hit the target, reach the goal?

4. How can we know if we’re making progress?

Are there specific ways we will monitor, measure how we’re doing to see if we are getting closer and closer to reaching our stated objective?

5. What is my role in helping us get there?

What, specifically, am I being asked to do, being held accountable for and know how it’s tied in with the overarching purpose, vision and values we espouse?

I’m reminded of the question asked by Jack Nicholson’s character of Tom Cruise’s character in the movie “A Few Good Men.”

Question: “Are we clear?”

Answer: “Crystal”

As leaders we we’ll want to do everything possible to be “Crystal Clear” on the above  five questions. In many situations it’s not as clear as we think it is or needs to be.

Which brings us to the second issue:

2. A lack of communication

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years which can make or break an organization, church or group, it’s the lack of timely, thorough, concise and clear communication.

From yet another movie, “Cool Hand Luke” with Paul Newman in the lead role.

Luke keeps escaping from a jail camp he’s in and he continues to get caught and sent back only to try to escape again. Finally the camp boss says to Luke, out of frustration:

What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.” 

There are a few things which can lead to a “Failure To Communicate:”

1.  Not insuring that  the right people are in the loop on what’s being communicated

2.  Not confirming that everyone understood what was communicated. Not merely did they receive the information, but did they understand what it means and how it affects them

3.  Getting the word out to everyone who needs to know what was decided in a  face-to face meeting or on a call.

How many times have I heard:

—“Why didn’t I know this?”

—“Why didn’t my supervisor tell me?”

—“I had no Idea.”

—“Why am I always the last person to know?”

—“I never heard this before.”

4.  How will we follow up with what’s been communicated?

How will  we communicate this decision, this new direction, this new initiative, this major change to everyone? In most cases, it’s better to over-communicate than to under-communicate.

People don’t like to be left in the dark about what’s going on. Does everyone understand their role in making this decision happen and are we doing a good job of keeping them motivated to follow through with the needed implementation?

Here are a few ways communication channels can get broken:

a. There ‘s no communication. Someone dropped the ball and nothing was said.

b. Unclear communication. Some communication took place but it was not at all clear or understood.

c. Insufficient communication. There wasn’t enough said, so it left people with a lot of questions which held things up.

d. Wrong information in the communication. What was said was flat-out inaccurate or misleading which caused suspicion, lack of trust or unnecessary pushback.

So, my fellow leader, let’s be:

Crystal Clear!!!
Communicate well and sufficiently to everyone concerned!!!