Sunday, November 13, 2011

15 Potent Strategies for Fighting Confusion « Leadership Freak

15 Potent Strategies for Fighting Confusion « Leadership Freak

15 Potent Strategies for Fighting Confusion

By Dan Rockwell

Confusion is common. Clarity is rare. Confusion and chaos inevitably rule unless someone intervenes.

Any fool can create confusing complexity. Successful leaders always fight confusion and find clarity.

Clarity is leadership’s secret and most powerful weapon. Clarity allows followers to know where they’re going and how to get there. Without it everyone flounders.

How to fight confusion and find clarity:

  1. Exclude things. Courageously rejecting options and alternatives allows clarity to emerge. Aha moments occur when clutter is swept away.
  2. Stop thinking. Recreation helps us stop thinking. Get lost in something else, play golf, run, read, cook …
  3. Give yourself advice. If you were advising someone else, what would you tell them?
  4. Skip a meal or two.
  5. Doodle.
  6. Journal.
  7. Sleep on it.
  8. Pray.
  9. Set a deadline.
  10. Discuss it with tough-minded people.
  11. Hire a coach. I call Bob Hancox. He presses me into clarity whether I like it or not. Thanks Bob.
  12. Take a small step. Move toward one of your options and see how it feels. Sometimes making a choice helps us know. Take small steps in private or with small groups. Frequently changing your mind in public is a leadership nightmare.
  13. Revisit values, mission, and vision.
  14. Ask, “What happens if we succeed?”
  15. Change locations. Go to a park. Coffee shops help me.

Bonus: Forget what others want. This may be the most useful and most difficult suggestion.

Fundamentally, finding clarity is eliminating and aligning; eliminating options while aligning with values.


Clarity precedes decision making. This post is not about decision making. I’m offering suggestions on finding enough clarity so you can make decisions.


Yesterday’s post and lively discussion offers many more useful suggestions regarding clarity: The Single Greatest Gift Leaders Give.


Can you remember when a moment of clarity hit you? What was happening?

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