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.

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.

Continue reading “3 ways to be more inspiring”

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?

Continue reading “Pause to empower”

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.

Continue reading “Steve Jobs – A role model of Clarity”

Orchestrating a Pivot from performance management to performance momentum (Part 4 of 4)

Performance Reviews, Accountability, Pivot
Pivot to performance inspiration and accountability. Determine how reviews fit.

In this series I am focusing on the performance review, which for many organizations has failed to meet its goal of improving performance of the team(s) overall.

To catch up here are links to
Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Consider a Pivot from the single annual performance review, which for most organizations is ineffective or harmful for a variety of reasons (see Part 2) to a more continuous flow of performance conversations, with managers who are able and willing to help people rise and build great teams, and including future-look conversations held separately from any review (see Part 3).

A well-orchestrated Pivot requires first defining the desired state (vision), discovering what is right now, and then communicating the vision and strategic direction so that each person or group can choose their best next steps (because a successful Pivot involves orchestrating many shifts by many people all aligned toward a common vision/desired state).

Sometimes you’ll have to take a step back – and it may be a big step. Continue reading “Orchestrating a Pivot from performance management to performance momentum (Part 4 of 4)”

In a vibrant business, performance is inspired and reviewed. (Part 3 of 4)

Performance Reviews, Future Goals, Passion, Engagement, Alignment
Bring out passion with future-look conversations

If what you want is a vibrant business, consider – what will it take to orchestrate change – to Pivot – from performance management to performance momentum?

Performance momentum only happens when people are clear about the strategic direction, objectives, values, and how they fit. Alignment and engagement drive momentum. Vibrancy is evident, in (and for) the business and the people who work there. Continue reading “In a vibrant business, performance is inspired and reviewed. (Part 3 of 4)”

What’s harming the effectiveness of performance reviews? (Part 2 of 4)

performance conversations, performance reviews
Pivot to more effective performance – change the context

Part 1 of this 4-part series ended with a question: Does a “bad” (ineffective, even counter-productive) review result from being delivered by a “bad” (out of touch, controlling, low emotional intelligence, or worse) manager?

My answer: Sometimes, yes, but not always. Continue reading “What’s harming the effectiveness of performance reviews? (Part 2 of 4)”

Performance Reviews are not inherently ineffective. But most need to change. (Part 1 of 4)

Better Performance Review
An effective performance review is possible

Employee reviews weren’t meant to be ineffective or harmful to the morale of people you want on your team. However, too often, the performance management processes and policies organizations ask managers to follow, and promoting the wrong individuals to manage teams, are causing performance reviews to fail.

An employee performance review exists for performance improvement. Performance, in this definition includes both achieving in one’s role what the organization most needs from them and doing so in keeping with the organization’s core values. Continue reading “Performance Reviews are not inherently ineffective. But most need to change. (Part 1 of 4)”

A meeting type that promotes active listening (Open Space)

Open Space and Creating a Safe Place in the Workplace
Meeting method – Open Space. Who shows up is the right “who.”

Catalyzing momentum is a transformational process; it is not a one-time motivational or informational presentation. The ongoing process of well-orchestrated change, and Pivoting in a way that can be transformational, is still new to many organizations. Often, change is hindered because people do not feel safe to speak out or initiate change.

I’m always looking for next steps and methods that help to “open-the-door” to closer alignment and greater momentum for my business clients and readers. Here’s one…

One method is called Open Space. It is well-described here by Achim Nowak, bestselling author and founder of Influens and Brilliant Best.
Continue reading “A meeting type that promotes active listening (Open Space)”