You’re getting warmer, you’re getting colder

Are you unintentionally playing a game of “You’re getting warmer, you’re getting colder” as a leader?

That’s the question Rodger Price explores in a recent article for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, and as he shares, it happens most often when leaders don’t do the essential (and hard) work of getting clarity about their vision, and communicating their vision thoroughly and frequently.

Beyond Diagnostic to Prescriptive Guidance

What I enjoy about this piece from Rodger is that it’s not just diagnostic (which is helpful enough), but he considers how leaders can improve at communicating clearly about their vision and goals, and why they often avoid the hard work of getting clarity:

“It’s really hard on talented and self-motivated people to not understand where their leader wants them to go. Many work to figure out the direction by trying things and then seeing how their leader reacts to it. Sometimes they’re getting warmer, which feels good and hopeful, but all too often, it’s a frustrating and embarrassing version of, ‘No, you’re getting colder.’

“This is much less functional than creating clarity for the team around purpose, vision and values. Virtually any leader would agree with me on this. So why are so many not doing it? It’s really hard work!”

Use Coaching and Personal Balcony Time to Get and Keep Clarity

If you’re like me, then gaining and keeping clarity is a persistent challenge. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the daily decision making and urgent requests that getting time away and working with a bulldog coach–as Rodger describes it–has been essential.

My encouragement is to make some time this week to refresh your vision and consider how you’re communicating it. “Finding” the time to do this isn’t likely to work. Block it into your schedule; make it a priority. Then you can say ‘goodbye’ to the warmer / colder game, and ‘hello’ to more clarity for you and your team.