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52 Leadership Tips #-22


After reading Buckingham's latest book I was again reminded how important clarity in leadership is.

"Clarity is the antidote to anxiety, and therefore clarity is the preoccupation of the effective leader. If you do nothing else as a leader, be clear. This doesn't mean you must describe in precise detail all of your tactics and plans and deadlines. On the contrary, to keep your followers challenged and engaged you must allow them plenty of white space to invent, create and experiment." -Marcus Buckingham

Did you get that? If you do nothing else as a leader, be clear. Wow, if you do nothing else be clear. Passionate, empowering, motivating, encouraging… forget all of those, if you are not being clear they don't matter! This is such a great statement because it forces us to get down to the basics. The blocking and tackling of leadership if you will. Leaders, you must be clear.

I also love the term "plenty of white space". Maybe I love that becasue I love white boards and use them every day. I don't know, but that is a great way to look at leading people. Offer them plenty of clarity, but also leave them plenty of space to create, to invent, adding their personality and their touch. I think this is where many leaders totally blow it. If they are clear and get clarity down, they fall short with the plenty of white space. Offering clarity without white space is smothering and will squelch the creative juices that should be flowing in your organization.

Leaders, above everything else you must be clear. Other traits are great and admirable, but the most effective leaders are vividly clear about what needs to get done.

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