Movement vs. Clarity


So many times leaders sacrifice clarity for movement. We start our group or organization down a path to achieve results and when bad things happen (and they will) we abandon the vision or mission (what made things clear for our people to act and work) for the sake of movement or activity.

Abandoning the clear path to our ultimate result for simply visible movement/activity destroys the people we lead. They become confused and feel what they do no longer has meaning. They feel tossed in a sea of unfocused activity that generally serves to take their eyes off the ultimate result they are pursuing and the clarity they once felt.

Certainly mid-course corrections need to be made in many situations. We’ve all experienced a plan gone badly; however, mid-course change still needs to reflect the ultimate result we took such pain to develop and paint. Staying in a zone of clarity gives your people a sense of belonging, purpose and trust. Movement simply for activity-sake undermines morale, causes people to question their role and leads to distrust – especially the next time you attempt to paint another ultimate result or vision for them. They quickly think to themselves, “Why should I invest in this new one, when you so quickly abandoned the last one?”

Trading movement for clarity will hurt your efforts and the trust you have with your people.


4 Responses to “Movement vs. Clarity”

  1. Wayne,
    This is an excellent reminder of a powerful and important concept. In my experience, the greatest threat is from above. As the boss, you can inadvertently start unwinding clarity below you by insisting on activity just so you feel that you adding value. You need to get the right people in the job and then trust them to get it done!
    Good work.

  2. Jerry Park says:

    Busted! Wayne, I am tempted by this when things don’t happen when I had hoped they would. Impatience can be good but can also kill the whole thing, too. Thanks for this reminder.

  3. Jim Thomason says:

    So, so true. I’ve seen in so many companies the tendency to solve problems with new initiatives, policies, software, reorganizations, you name it. Often times the plan is good, but before its completely implemented management tries to solve the problems created by its implementation by flushing it for another initiative, policy, software program, reorganization, etc… Following new initiatives with a steady course and continuous improvement processes lead to the best outcomes. That’s the Toyota system and their cars go 500,000 miles.

  4. BJ Bueno says:

    People often confuse motion with progress.

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