We’ve previously covered Fog Factors within this weekly series of questions, to help us write more clearly and accessibly to our intended audiences. However, as leaders, we should also be doing our bit on the organisational conditions which help drive and sustain progress. So what are they? Three simple things leads to progress. They are:
- avoid complexity;
- enable confidence; and
- be guided by purpose.
We have all been in the situation when complexity has been overbearing and just created fog for us. The causes of complexity include:
- a fuzzy purpose;
- option overload; or
- perception of obstacles.
As leaders we can exert great influence on all three of these ingredients for complexity. Reducing complexity creates simplicity.
Simplicity leads to clarity. There is no shame in admitting you don’t know all the answers. One of the Habits of Highly Effective People we are currently practicing is “Seek first to understand” – this is vital in creating clarity to move forward and avoid stalling. Anger and frustration is often what becomes vocal during times of complexity. Hear it, because it will indicate what is important to clarify and the process of clarification is that flashlight in the fog for folk. Anger means people care about the issue that angers them, redirect that caring into productive activities, not disruptive ones. Be that flashlight and see how that newfound clarity produces confidence.
Confidence then fuels progress. The clarity will have highlighted purpose and that newfound purpose will easily answer the omnipresent question when folk are frustrated, that being: “Whats the big deal anyway”. This purpose is what you really want to be known and remembered for after all, isn’t it?
What more could a leader ask for anyway?
Click this link to access a short slide deck of this weeks question Flashlight in the Fog.