Organizational Clarity

imagesThe idea I had was a great one.  I would start a coffee shop that would sell great coffee, provide a meeting place and become an economic engine for our organization.  It was a great idea! I had the logo and brand created, developed a branded coffee line, found a location to lease, even had a sign made for the building. It was one of my BEST ideas!  I went to sign the lease, and standing there in front of the landlord, I asked myself the question:  “Russ, what are you doing?”

While it was a great idea, it had nothing to do with the vision and purpose of our organization.  I had convinced myself that it did, but it really didn’t.

I realized that this “distraction” was really about me.  I was a little bored with the administration of the organization I was leading, I was looking for something exciting and new, and I wanted a challenge.

I didn’t sign that lease.  The coffee business went away, and all that’s left of this great idea is a full size sign that for years sat in the bathroom of our office.  To me, it was a reminder to be sure that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing!

This is organizational clarity. Remember your purpose. Remember the vision. Remember the goals. Remember the plan.

I think as leaders it’s easy to get off track from time to time. Either we are energized by new ideas and uncharted territories, or we just get bored with the organization we’ve built and the role we play.

The best way to address this is to keep your purpose front and center.  Know your purpose.  Communicate your purpose. Remind yourself of why you do what you do.

There is a time to evaluate your purpose. When you do this, you begin by asking yourself and your team 2 things:

#1) Is there still a need for what we do and what our organization is trying to accomplish?

#2) Is this need still something that we feel called to address and do we have the resources to address it? (people, funding, gifts, structure)

What are you doing to keep your purpose alive and focused?

How are you helping your team remember why it is you do what it is you do?

Patrick Lencioni, in his book, The Advantage, shares 6 questions to help with organizational clarity:

#1) Why do we exist?

#2) How do we behave?

#3) What do we do?

#4) How will we succeed?

#5) What is most important, right now?

#6) Who must do what?

Walk through these questions and see if you find some more clarity.

In my experience, when I revisit our purpose regularly, it helps me focus, it gives me energy and it pushes me to be more intentional about how I use my time.

Take some time to think through the purpose of your organization.  You’ll find some renewed clarity.

Organizational Clarity

Russ Cline has wide experience in church, mission, and global leadership. Beginning in the local church in Southern California, then moving to Ecuador for 16 years to be a part of launching three distinct organizations, Russ is now back in Southern California working with Extreme Response International in providing leadership coaching and organizational development to leaders around the world. Russ' passion is to come alongside organizations and to help them identify areas of growth, focus and change, resulting in greater impact and effectiveness. Russ graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business and Christian Education and completed his graduate work in Organizational Development. He has been married for 31 years to Gina, and they have three kids: Rheanna, Riley and Raylin. To learn more about Russ, visit: Write directly to Russ at: twitter: leadwithruss, leadermundial

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