November 9

Many leaders and creative pros focus on the negative, or all of the things that could go wrong, rather than on casting a compelling vision that inspires people to try new things. They operate like a lighthouse — “Don’t go here, don’t go there” — pointing out all of the potential problems or danger areas, but not really indicating what others should do. This is not terribly helpful to the creative process, which requires direction and focus in order to work effectively.

Instead, you must be a laser. A laser is pointed in a clear direction and cuts through the fog. There is no mistaking its direction, and it’s easy to follow. When you communicate about the work, you should focus on being clear and precise about expectations, direction, strategy, and priorities. When you do this, it provides just the right boundaries within which to channel the team’s creative efforts. Your clarity and precision will trickle down to the rest of the team.

As you consider your current priorities, is there any place where you are being less than clear in order to avoid potential dangers, but in so doing you are not providing your team or collaborators with the clarity they need to make meaningful progress or take strategic risks?

Focus on being a laser, not a lighthouse. Be clear, precise, and direct in how you communicate with others.

Question: Where are you acting as a lighthouse instead of a laser?

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