When I graduated from high school, I thought I was going to become an astronomer (actually, before that, I really wanted to be an astronaut, but…bad eyesight).
If you know me at all, you know I still love all things space and science fact/fiction. So how the heck did I end up being a “Clarity Consultant,” whatever that is?
Like for many of us, it was a long and winding road. Nobody goes to school to do clarity, except for maybe diamond-cutters and jewelers.
One of my favorite things to do, when working with individuals on clarifying their purpose, direction, and message, is to dig into their Origin and Evolution stories. It’s endlessly fascinating. Maybe that’s one reason I ended up majoring in Psychology in college, instead of Astronomy (another reason: calculus and physics. Turns out I’m not wired for advanced mathematics.)
So how did I eventually become obsessed with professional clarity and effective communication? Here are five evolutionary milestones I can look back on.
- I always had some kind of fascination with advertising/marketing/messaging, even as a youth…and I have no idea why. I do know that as I entered into career roles, I kept gravitating toward branding and marketing ideas. I’m internally designed for processing ideas, and how to express them. This is DNA-level wiring.
- Partway into my career path I discovered the StrengthsFinder approach and it totally revolutionized my thinking. This launched my journey into personal/professional clarity as a cornerstone imperative. I stopped trying to become what I wasn’t, and began to embrace who I really was. And I began to help others with their self-assessment.
- Some years on, I began talking to partner companies and realized that the vast majority of them did not have a clear, differentiating message. In fact, most of them didn’t have a clear brand identity based on unique strengths and skills. This was when I realized that I could consult with both individuals AND companies about the same core need: a well-articulated purpose, direction, and message. Over a number of years, I developed a process and a language that has become clarity consulting.
- Many of my clients were in the commercial training space (pharmaceuticals/biotech), and I noticed that there were some very deficient practices in the area of vendor and project management. A lot of this boiled down to – you guessed it – unclear communications. So I developed a framework to bring clarity to professional communication and collaboration. I realized that clarity isn’t just for brand – it’s for all forms of communication.
- That last realization – clarity is at the core of all effective communications – put me on an obsessive path to discover and articulate a universal approach to becoming clear, which I call the Clarity Formula. My book Clarity Wins (2018) contained a lot of the ingredients, but in the last couple years I have been able to define the rest of the framework to include a train-able method to help people become great communicators.
Nowadays, I help individuals and companies arrive at identity-direction-messaging clarity, AND I lead workshops that help teams work and collaborate with clarity using brain-friendly communication techniques.
So, that’s how I got here, all-in on a mission called Clarity. One gentleman told me years ago that I did not find clarity; clarity found me. I think he’s right. It’s a delightful obsession because there’s hardly anything more rewarding than helping people and companies at a crossroads to find a clear path forward, and clear words to express it.
This morning, I got on the phone with a complete stranger, and 20 minutes later, we had her next career direction mapped out. Twenty minutes is not normal – two 90-minute sessions is more usual – but, however long it takes, what could be more thrilling than clearing the professional fog and setting the GPS?
I get to be the one helping others read the label of the jar they’re in, and it’s more a calling than a job. It doesn’t even feel like work. It feels like joy.