Clarity > Accuracy
2020 has been a terrible year for those of us who get lost in the details.
Why? Because we have had very few details. Or way too many details. (It’s definitely one of those two.) The details we do have don’t answer enough questions, and the details we don’t have seem to be the exact ones that we need in order to make plans.
That’s why one of the quotes from one of the books on my summer reading list stopped me in my tracks. I loved it. Or maybe I hated it. (It’s definitely one of those two.)
Patrick Lencioni said this in The Five Temptations of a CEO:
…make clarity more important than accuracy.
Those of us who like details like to have all of the details. We don’t like to be caught off guard. But those of us in leadership know that a clear decision is often better than a delayed decision. Lencioni goes on to say:
Remember that your people will learn more if you take decisive action than if you always wait for more information.
In one of my very first annual reviews in this role, my then-supervisor gave me a critique that I’ve pretty much always agreed with and pretty much never forgotten: Your desire for perfection always leads to procrastination.
He was right. I do often wait to pull the trigger because I want to make sure I have all the facts. But what if I (or you) pull the trigger, then new details emerge and new decisions are needed? One last word from Lencioni:
…if the decisions you make in the spirit of creating clarity turn out to be wrong when more information becomes available, change plans and explain why. The only real cost to you of being wrong is loss of pride. The cost to your company [or church, or organization, or family] of not taking the risk of being wrong is paralysis.
Where do you need to get clear today?