It will be 20 years this September since I started in my role as a life and leadership coach. I have enjoyed the journey immensely. I’ve been blessed and privileged to coach around 400 leaders in the US in addition to leaders in Canada, England, Australia, India, Puerto Rico, Albania and Slovakia.

Over the last several years I would be asked what the top issues leaders I coach are dealing with. I would always say there are two:

  1. Personal organization—Time, energy steward, pacing and priorities

       2.Selecting the right people to join your team

However, recently a third one has become painfully apparent.

     3.  Lack of organizational clarity

Today let’s camp on the third one.

I’m connected with different organizations in a coaching and consulting role. I pray for each of them and their leadership teams most every day.

As I continue to pray and interact with the leaders and those being led in these organizations, it has become Increasingly obvious to me that there is a lack of clarity on several fronts. This lack of clarity causes problems with the people working with, and for, their organizations. Due to a lack of clarity, the rank and file are not as engaged as they could be, not as motivated as they could be and not as productive as they could be.

A leader I coached working in one of these organizations came back from a conference a few years ago. When I asked him what were some important things he learned, he said, three things!  “Clarity. Clarity. Clarity!”

I’m seeing this lack of clarity in four areas:

Why do we exist ?–Purpose

What is  important to us?–Values

Where are we going?–Vision

How do we intend to get there?–Strategy

Some of the leaders seem to be operating with the mindset/philosophy of Ready, Fire, Aim instead of Ready, Aim, Fire.

The “Aim” part is missing. Adequate time is not set aside to think, plan, pray, hear from God and communicate with their people. Most people desire, and need, increased clarity in order to enjoy what they do and do it well.

I fear there’s a proclivity to jump into action to get things done as quickly as possible  without having sufficient clarity on purpose, values, vision and strategy.

In his excellent book “The Advantage” author Patrick Lencioni gives us some thoughts  to help us evaluate how we’re doing in leading with “Clarity.”

“The Advantage” is one of the best books I’ve ever read which provides excellent insight, tools and questions that help us lead well those looking to us for leadership. I highly recommend it. Here’s a book note from  my website.

The Advantage

Here are six evaluative statements from The Advantage which, if answered honestly, tells you a lot about the sense of clarity people have—or don’t have. Let your team answer each of these on a  1-5 Scale—5 we are doing great—1 we are failing


Members of the leadership team know, agree on and are passionate about the   reason the organization exists.

The leadership team has clarified and embraced a small, specific set of behavioral values.

Leaders are clear and aligned around a strategy which helps them define success.

The leadership team has a clear, current goal around which they rally. They feel a collective sense of ownership for that goal.

Members of the leadership team understand one another’s roles and  responsibilities. They’re comfortable asking questions about one another’s work.

The elements of the organization’s clarity are concisely summarized and regularly  referenced and reviewed by the leadership team

How about using these six statements with your team and have them honestly respond to how they feel things are really going?