Eric Boles, former NFL player, shared the following anecdote…

He said that when his team was down at the half and came back to win it was not because of a motivational speech provided by the coach in the locker room. When only motivation was provided, the team came back and played the second half the same way they had played the first – only more fired up, and they typically just lost harder. However, when the coach used the half to provide clarity about the strategies used by the other team, his team would return to the field to win.

Boles’ insight is as valuable in business as it is in football.

The people you lead don’t need motivation. Motivation is an internal response to an external influence. What they need is a clarity that drives the flame that fuels their performance. It’s this simple:

A consistent lack of clarity in communication will equal an inability to maximize performance both individually and collectively.

If you think you’re consistently clear in your communication and direction, you should pay particular attention to this post. It’s written specifically for you.

Here are three reasons clarity matters:

  1. Providing clarity in communication to the people you work with is your primary accountability. Fail to do so and you’ll understand first-hand what real frustration looks like and how it negatively impacts performance and results.
  2. Authenticity matters. This means that you’d better be consistently clear in your direction, feedback and interaction. Want to see great people leave your leadership and your company? Take the opposite approach and watch what happens.
  3. Questions connect awareness and action. Establishing clarity begins with being willing to ask questions as readily as you provide direction. Your people know when you’re not knowledgeable on a topic. There’s no negative in admitting this and asking questions to gain the needed understanding and clarity. The problems start when you provide direction with little to no awareness or expertise and you believe your opinion offers the needed/required insight. To this, I simply say… “get over yourself” because you’re creating confusion and chaos ahead of clarity.


It’s astonishing how many leaders believe that they’re knowledgeable about everything.

How often do people you work with feel unmotivated to start a project because they lack clarity on what’s expected?

Final Thought

What results would be achieved if you valued the clarity of understanding, awareness and communication as the leadership connectors to your people? Take a moment to step back and consider the clarity of your intention, interaction and direction. What would your leadership look like if you boldly asked your team members one, two or all three of the following questions?

  1. How often do you feel unmotivated about your work because of my lack of clarity?
  2. How am I an obstacle to you having the clarity needed to think and act more proactively and independently?
  3. When has my lack of clarity caused us to achieve results that were less than what they could have been? Describe how that made you feel and the impact it had on you.

Bring clarity to your leadership by bringing clarity to your team,


P.S. Go ahead… share your thoughts in the comments.

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