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The Three Levels of Clarity

When I talk about “Clarity,” I am typically talking about one of these three things:

Clarity of Purpose – an understanding of your “why” – the overarching drive. This shapes mission.

Clarity of Direction and Focus – for whom, how, and where you are doing your work. This shapes strategy.

Clarity of Message – the way you explain who you are and what you do to others so that they “get it” quickly. This shapes all communications.

At the top level is purpose, because this feeds everything else. This is getting to the DNA; the keywords that express purpose are the initial gold nuggets of a Clarity session. Direction and focus are wonderfully variable, as we have such a complex and dynamic marketplace; so, it’s vital to arrive at a niche that is differentiating and profitable. Out of those two levels the message/narrative is created, which is how a company positions itself internally and to customers.

Here’s the thing – every one of these levels of clarity is vital for individuals, for teams, and for companies. I use the same Clarity process whether I’m doing career coaching with a 20-something-year-old, or consulting with a Top Five Pharma.

I like how Greg McKeown put the importance of team clarity in the Appendix of his book Essentialism (highly recommended):

Clarity is enormously liberating. It pushes away vagueness and scattered effort, and replaces confusion with focus. Clarity is the key to sustained vision and alignment.

Most companies, and departments, and individuals, can use a Clarity tuneup. Mission may be obscure. Strategy may be outdated. Messaging can become muddled. The Clarity process can breathe fresh life into your business and unify your team in aligned purpose and action!

Steve Woodruff conducts personal and team clarity sessions, and facilitates virtual and live workshops for learning how to apply the Clarity Formula to your professional life. He is the author of the book Clarity Wins. Contact Steve here.

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