Uncommon Clarity, Inc.
December 2009


Welcome to the Clear Thoughts™ newsletter from Uncommon Clarity

In This Issue
  • Thankful Thoughts - Five Years!
  • Process Thoughts - Handy Trumps Good
  • Strategic Thoughts - You Haven't Moved Yet!
  • Parting Thoughts - Self-esteem or Self-delusion?

  • Process Thoughts - Handy Trumps Good

    At a recent Board meeting, the discussion was confusing and disorganized at best. With time and patience both ticking away, a motion was made, seconded, and approved. It is unclear what was decided. What is clear is that the directors were tired of the decision. This, as a matter of fact, is THE most common driver of decisions.

    The handiest option wins when people run out of energy for deciding.
    The "handiest" may be the easiest, most complete, least risky, or best understood. The handiest is not necessarily a good option.

    You may recognize this "dying energy, quick decision" syndrome in situations such as these:

    • "Let's just do plan B" or "Why don't you three go figure it out" creates the welcome opportunity to end a prolonged discussion.
    • Someone joins an extended process late in the game and suggests a new option. Postures sag and only the newcomer has any energy for continuing the decision. The new option, despite its merits, gets short shrift.
    • When selecting produce, the third piece usually wins. You lose patience with the decision and the piece in your hand is handy and good enough. (Or it's awful and you quickly retrieve the first or second.)

    On the flip side, Obama is facing an incredibly important decision in Afghanistan with options ranging from bad to abominable. Thankfully, he is following a rigorous decision process that reflects the seriousness of the situation. He is considering multiple possible outcomes, options for achieving those outcomes, and the factors critical to the success of those outcomes. The factors are numerous and include everything from the state of the Afghan government and local police to Pakistan and nukes, from cost to the availability of troops, and from the quality of our intelligence to the nature of insurgencies.

    And yet, the media and the American people don't seem to have his patience. They want an answer. They accuse Obama of dithering and ambivalence. You don't have to agree with Obama to appreciate the fact that he is not tiring of the process and grabbing the handiest option!

    Don't let dying energy chart your course:

    • No decision of consequence should be handled so poorly that impatience drives a premature conclusion
    • The rigor of the process should be in proportion to the importance of the decision
    • A strong process energizes as tangible progress is made
    Get clear about where you are in a decision process so you can control it and make demonstrable progress no matter how complex the situation.

    Related articles:

    Strategic Thoughts - You Haven't Moved Yet!

    When my daughters were young, long before they became college hockey players, I loved getting out on the ice with them and tooling around. I still love it, though it was more fun back when I could touch the puck occasionally!

    I remember retreating to the bench for water, gasping for air, when my single-digit-aged daughter swept alongside and quipped "Why are you tired? You haven't moved yet."

    In a pickup hockey game with the kids, whether I have moved in their eyes is quite irrelevant. Not so with your business. If you "haven't moved yet," it's time to recognize the fact and do something different.

    • Are you dragging out a decision that could have been made already?
    • Do you have projects that seem to be in the same place month after month?
    • Do you envision greater success, enjoy energetic discussions, and then watch as business-as-usual rules?
    • Are you postponing important initiatives until the "time is right"?

    If you "haven't moved yet," continuing as you are pretty much guarantees you will continue to stand still. Meanwhile, time and opportunity pass you by.

    Call us at 413-527-3737 or toll free at 800-527-0087 to discuss how Uncommon Clarity can help you accelerate!

    Parting Thoughts - Self-esteem or Self-delusion?

    Believing you are great when you are not, is self- delusion. Believing you have the right to be greater and the capacity to work hard to achieve more, is self-esteem.

    Best regards,

    Ann's Signature

    Ann Latham

    P.S. Share the Clear Thoughts™ newsletter with friends and colleagues so they too can see why we have loyal subscribers worldwide.

    We encourage sharing of these Clear Thoughts™ in whole or in part with attribution, copyright and website address, www.uncommonclarity.com, included.

    You are receiving this email as a friend of Uncommon Clarity, Inc. To ensure that you continue to receive emails from us, please add ann@uncommonclarity.com to your address book.

    © 2009 Ann Latham. All rights reserved.

    Thankful Thoughts - Five Years!
    Ann Latham

    Five years ago I moved to Massachusetts from Minneapolis and founded Uncommon Clarity. It has been a wonderful five years of helping clients:

    - Develop exciting new strategies that "sucked the air out of the room"

    - Establish practices that are "better than 'best' because they work for you, in your plant, with your people"

    - Achieve "clear and measurable progress ... at a speed not possible without her guidance"

    And much more. For these opportunities, I want to thank my clients, enthusiastic subscribers, and all the people I have met who have helped me establish my business so quickly. Thank you especially to those of you who continue to provide me with referrals, the coinage of my realm.

    I'd like to share with you the many kind words reflecting our successes.

    Media Sightings:

    The SAC® Release makes 2010 Predictions

    'Eureka' Moments Are Necessary But Not Sufficient

    Breaking Up is Easy To Do

    Recipe for Success

    Cancel that Meeting! But Don't Be Stupid!

    Visit UncommonClarity.com

    Previous Newsletters

    Questions? Comments?

    Subscribe to Clear Thoughts

    Email Marketing by