4 more Models of Leadership Clarity – Being Clear, for Others.

4 more leaders to model when seeking to be clear so that others can brilliantly execute strategy.

Last week I posted 4 Models of Leadership Clarity. All examples were of male leaders. Although I pulled those 4 based on my research of major companies that have orchestrated change, with Clarity being a big part of that, I feel the need to add more. This post includes all female leaders.

I shared last week that although your strategy may be a smart one, no one is going to see it that way if it is not executed brilliantly. What’s often missed when moving from strategy to action is that brilliant execution can’t happen if people aren’t clear about what is needed most from them.

For people to receive your message clearly, so clearly that they understand what you are saying and how they fit, they first must have their minds and hearts open to receive your message. The female leaders I am sharing with you today, all maintain their own authentic style and they authentically care about you and others. There’s no gimmick in their ability to build others up. What I think you’ll also see and hear is that they remain authentic to themselves and to the plan for the business without taking too personally how the other person reacts. The male leaders in last week’s post do the same.

Why I call this out is that women face more stereotypes in peoples mind about how to present themselves and behave; it can be more of a challenge to be heard in the way the communication was intended to be heard. It still seems harder for many people (any gender) to accept bold moves from a woman leader and accept without harsher judgment of a women in the lead that there will be mistakes and setbacks on the journey.

The first model is Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors (GM). In this interview with CNBC, Barra shows confidence and clarity about GM’s strategy. She holds this confidence, with passion and emotional intelligence, throughout as a red-lined stock ticker is presented, followed by a chart showing the huge leap required to capture market share (author note: this market share will most likely come from an expansion of U.S demand for EV by those who currently buy gasoline-powered vehicles, and not from Tesla customers switching). I am sharing from minute 2:45 to the end (min 4:50).

The second model is Safra Catz, CEO of Oracle. She was co-CEO when she was interviewed for the video I’m sharing. Catz is a billionaire banker in addition to being a tech CEO. What you’ll experience by watching her is simply a real human who is confident in her abilities, and in the future, while being humble about herself. Being a model of confidence and humility helps create safety (empowerment, trust, respect, inclusion, etc.) throughout the workplace. And this in turn sets the stage for communication to clearly land. I am sharing minutes 13:58 -17:19.

The third model is JuE Wong, CEO of Olaplex (the interviewer is pictured in the video thumbnail; Wong will show when you hit “play”). English is not Wong’s first language, yet she has an ability to not only be clear with her words, but clear in a way that is inspiring. A related point, not shown in the video, is that Wong truly lives the brand and cares about all Olaplex stakeholders. It’s amazing to me how little known she is outside of her industry. Wong was brought in as the Olaplex CEO early in January 2020. Since then, Olaplex net sales have increased over 81%. In September 2021 Olaplex experienced a wildly successful Initial Public Offering (IPO), starting at a valuation of $1.8 billion and rising up to $16 billion, and sitting in early April 2022 at about $10 billion. I’m sharing minutes 0:46-5:48.

The fourth model is Corie Barry, CEO of Best Buy. When a leader’s purpose for being in a role and their clear purpose and vision for the company are communicated authentically, and often, clarity grows. Barry has held the CEO role for Best Buy since June 2019. In January 2020 she faced a board-directed probe into allegations of having an inappropriate relationship with another executive earlier in her career. Certainly, allegations of misconduct should be addressed internally. A leader who shows respect for those scrutinizing her, can lead through it, and have the emotional resilience to put the bigger purpose for the organization out in front, models the way of clarity. This video interview was recorded well after the probe was over, and near the end of the pandemic’s turbulence. I’m sharing minutes 0:47-1:28.

It was such a pleasure to take the time to research and share these models with you. There are so many more! If you like posts like this, let me know.

4 Models of Leadership Clarity. Being Clear, for Others.

4 leaders to model when seeking to be clear so that others can brilliantly execute strategy.

With this post I aim to help you be clear for others, with a bit on how to communicate and more about how to be so that your communication has the best chance of landing with another person. I’ll provide insight followed by a video clip of a leader who models this way.

Clarity involves getting clear for yourself and being clear in your communication with others, so that they might also gain clarity.

As leaders, we want to be clear. Breakthrough performance becomes possible with alignment and momentum. Alignment and momentum both hinge on clarity. Ineffective communication results in a disconnection between strategy and execution.

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3 ways to be more inspiring

We can all get better as leaders in our ability to inspire.

Inspiration followed by action, is powerful. When combined with a shared vision, objective, or goal, the resulting performance can be magical. Why, then, aren’t we always inspiring?

For most leaders, leading and creating a workplace culture where people are motivated to do what is needed isn’t always easy, even though everyone knows what to do.

Weaving a lean improvement culture, where known ways of doing things are improved little by little over time, can be harder.

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Orchestrate Life and Leadership

As a leader, do you practice leadership?

I use the phrases get clear for you, set the stage, be clear for others, and create a rhythm to describe how leaders continuously orchestrating change for their organizations. Because there will always be change required and it is you, the leader, who ensures that an ability and willingness to always be moving smartly forward is natural in your organization; it’s simply what everyone knows is expected there, and they are committed to do their part.

Choose whichever words or phrases remind you of your practice, and continue support your ability perform and to orchestrate change. Know that holding the position of leader does not mean you are practicing leadership. Consider what your current leadership practice is, and what about your business, role, workplace or life that is not yet aligned with what you really want. Now consider what can be with an effective leadership practice in place.

Your performance requires a personal practice

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Pause to empower

Leaders, pause to empower your teams to help them gain clarity and choose their next steps.
Leaders, empower your teams to perform at their best.

Today I shared a conversation with a business owner about remote conversations. We especially honed in on the power of the pause.

There are many types of pauses. The pause I speak about most in Pivot to Clarity is one that takes you away from the busy-ness of work and life, to think deeply, creatively, and strategically about the future.

Now, let’s talk about pausing before we speak, and throughout any conversation. There’s even benefit to pausing while presenting. If having your words land in an understandable and memorable way with the other party or audience, read on. 

If you’re like me, you may be a quick thinker, and find it easy to allow words to flow eloquently … and yet … are you being clear? Are you being so clear that others can get clear?

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Steve Jobs – A role model of Clarity

The video below is from 1997, when Jobs presents the thinking behind Apples famous “Think Different” campaign. You’ll hear about getting clear and being clear within the first 5 minutes of this video.

He first shares how he and the senior leadership team got clear about which direction to head. They thought differently.

He then shares how communicating the strategy clearly (being clear) to engineers, allowed them to get clear for themselves; they understood and committed to the strategy.

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Pivot – how? What Orchestrating Change Requires from a Leader

Pivoting an organization is not a quick shift – it is an orchestration of many shifts made by many people over time. Focused & Nimble. Alignment & Momentum.

This blog is about leadership and, as entitled, collaborative action. That means — more than one person is involved. Pivoting your business, also requires leadership, collaboration, and action or execution.

You may envision pivoting as being a super quick shift, like footwork in basketball, and as used as an analogy for individuals or early-stage start ups that move quickly from one strategy, idea, action, market, mindset, etc. to another. Leaders know that turning-on-a-dime is often not possible and rarely sustainable across the organization.

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Your perspective is a choice.

How are you looking at your life, leadership and business – and all that is in your world?

There is the world and there is the world as you perceive it, and the perspective – your point of view – you associate with it. You are not in control of the world. You are in control of your perspective, which creates your world. And so, you are in control of your world.

Your world encompasses you and everyone in your circle. Further, as a leader, your circle creates many circles with many people touched by the ripple resulting from your actions and words.

How you show up, and what you say and do, are driven by your perspective. You create a context, at work and in every place you lead …

Leaders, you can’t change a person but you can change the context you create at work and in every place you lead.

… You can choose to change your perspective.

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Momentum, Mindset, and the PPP

Pivot: From ___ To ___

Your state of mind may be blocking your momentum toward a better future.

Many business leaders were not prepared for an external threat that results in a forced shutdown or significant and sudden loss of customers. As a leader, what you do next can greatly influence your own well-being and that of so many more – in your workplace, suppliers and vendors, community, other stakeholders and beyond such as those who serve who you serve. It’s the ripple effect of your words and actions.

What you say and do is driven by what you believe, and by your mindset. While beliefs take some time to change, you can shift your mindset at any moment.

You are in complete control… of your mindset.

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