I think we often forget the importance of having clear plans, and having clarity over what we are doing. But I would argue that this is the single most important ingredient and it was reinforced to me whilst I was watching one of my favourite comedies Bedazzled.
I actually prefer the original with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, but thats a whole different topic.
If you haven’t seen the film, its about a man who is in love with a woman, a woman who isn’t really interested in him, and the devil gives him 7 wishes in return for his soul.
Now I don’t want to get into the morality of the transaction, the thing I want to talk about is how the entire comedic element of the film was based around a lack of clarity.
With each of his 7 wishes the hero wishes for what he believes will be a perfect life with the woman of his dreams.
However, with each wish he is not clear enough in what he wants, and each time it ends in disaster.
With his first wish, he wishes to be rich, powerful and married to his one true love.
Which seems pretty clear, right?
Except the devil twists the wish, giving him what he asked for, but not really what he wanted, and he ends up as a columbian drug lord (rich and powerful), but married to an unfaithful wife who doesn’t love him.
So close, but no cigar.
With another wish, having learnt from his previous mistakes, he wishes to be handsome, intelligent, charming and that the woman of his dreams is madly in love with him.
Again pretty clear, right?
But the devil twists the wish again and it ends in disaster.
He is charming. Handsome and intelligent. His desire does truly love him and lust after him, but this time the devil has made him gay.
And the same happens with all of his wishes, where with each one he gives the devil a loophole and the wish ends in disaster.
Now I don’t want to imply that the people who work for us are devils, because nothing in could be further from the truth.
But the point that I am trying to illustrate is that without clarity, you open yourselves up to all manner of failure. Misunderstand, miscommunication, assumption and plain confusion.
You need to have a crystal clear picture of what success looks like and you have to have a clear plan which you can communicate to your teams such that you avoid the pitfalls mentioned above.
Once you have that clear plan you will become inspired because you can see how you can lead your teams to success, and your teams become more engaged as everyone wants to be successful, which gives you a huge boost down the path to success.
Clear plan don’t just happen, it requires leaders to take time, step back and look at the big picture. Sometimes it requires us to bring in fresh eyes to help us see whats already there, but we are blind to see, because we are too close.
If you need help creating clarity and coming up with a plan to inspire and engage your team contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help put you on the path to success.