My personal word for the year is clarity.
Maybe it’s because it has been burned into my brain that a lack of clarity causes the brain and nervous system to go into a state of threat.
But maybe it’s also because I possess self-awareness and I realize that clarity is one of my weaknesses. And it starts with the self and then that will allow you to provide clarity for those that you lead.
Make no mistake about it, you are a leader. It may be to your family; it may be to friends or it may also be to an organization. Leadership requires one to be clear.
I have found as my leadership role grows in my life that the clearer I am on my direction and immutable laws of the life, the better those that I am leading are able to perform.
So why is clarity so important? Well, Mind Map has taught me that the brain is a pattern recognition machine. This means that we need prediction then response and repeat.
If there is a lack of a pattern or clarity, we retreat into a reactive state. And my fellow man, there is a HUGE difference between response and reaction.
I recently finished a great book about General George Patton called Patton on Leadership. Lucky for you, I have been writing notes like a mad man about my takeaways from the book which I will now share with you.
Some of these directly talk about clarity but most of them don’t. That don’t matter now that you know that clarity is leadership, which by itself is super powerful and will give you a huge advantage over damn near anyone else in life.
‘Winning is a habit, so is losing’: Ah, one of my favorite words, habit. All transformation is about habit destruction or formation. We get used to certain patterns in life and then just tend to go on auto pilot. The reason that winning in life seems so daunting to most men is because they have been stuck in a pattern of losing for so long. And from some of my other writings you may remember that one of the most powerful forces in human development is momentum.
‘A leader has to be ahead of his men’: Think about your family for a minute. Are you setting the example for them that you wish for them to BE? Are you preaching health and fitness yet failing to take care of your own self because your schedule is too busy? Are you preaching to them to go after their dreams with gusto, yet you are sitting in a cubicle like a caged rat? Get out in front of those that you lead. Lead by example.
‘A leader is a man who can adapt principles to circumstances’: Not sure if you caught it above when I mentioned ‘immutable laws’. These are you guiding principles in your life. So the first step in being able to adapt your principles is to know your principles. I’ll give you an example of one of my mine; I am in responsible for everything that happens to me in my life. Sound crazy? Maybe, but it also gives me ultimate power over my life. And when something goes wrong or a mistake happens, I apply the principle which allows me to learn and course correct.
‘Truly important decisions, those involving core principles, don’t require much time for thought’: Again, you can see the importance of having clarity about your core principles in life. Most people don’t have core principles, or if they do, it’s what they believe they should have as core principles according to society. Think for yourself! When you know your immutable laws, you can make lightening quick decisions regarding things like parenting, financials, fun and moral decisions.
‘Most leaders become leaders because they are uncommon and they know it’: Dizzy Dean said ‘If you done it, it ain’t bragging’. I done it. By that, I mean that I am a leader. I actually know this more from a little reverse engineering because I know that I am uncommon and a different breed. But that’s not because I was given some genetic gift. I simply chose to access my gift and instill discipline in my life to do the things that need to be done on a daily basis. I have taught people my time mastery principles, my morning routine, my learning routines and I know that very few of them actually implement those things. We have the same knowledge and information, yet it’s the consistent action that separates us. Be uncommon and you will become a leader by default.
‘Every man who hears you speak must know what you want. You can be wrong, but never be doubt when you speak! Any doubt or fear in your voice and the troops can feel it. Another thing, never give a command in a seated position (even on the phone)’: Man, this is powerful. When dealing with your wife, be a MAN. Make a decision and go with it, even if it turns out to be wrong. Doubt crushes forward momentum. Men are supposed to be decision makers for the household and for the rest of the people they lead. Followers are allowed to have doubt, but not leaders. You know how you can make those that follow you have less fear? By you acting with extreme confidence and having no doubt in your voice.
‘As Patton saw it, part of command is an ability to narrow focus, excluding from your field of vision those aspects of reality that would very sensibly create ‘fear’ in an average person. If this is stupidity, embrace it wholeheartedly’: This quote is directly related to clarity even though it doesn’t mention the word. When I was building Newell Strength, I made some crazy decisions when you looked at it from an outsider’s perspective. I wasn’t doing this out of carelessness. Nope. I was acting out of absolute clarity on my vision and what I knew Newell Strength could become. When I resigned from my cushy teaching job, I was told that I was nuts, stupid and short-sighted. It didn’t matter, but it would have if I didn’t develop the ability to have such a tightly narrowed focus on my dream.
‘Advancement comes from habitually doing more than you are asked to do’: Be clear on what is expected of you and then do more than that consistently. There will always be another rung on the ladder to go up for someone that does this. I can tell you that from my role at Newell Strength. Those coaches and personnel that have done this have had a steady climb and created the roles of their career dreams. Those that haven’t, well, they floundered and got fired.
‘A genuine career requires a focused commitment of life energy’: Are you just going through the motions? Do you have a job that means nothing to you? And if so, are you willing to chase the career that you want? If so, you can only do that by focusing your energy like a laser on something that mentally engages you, day in and day out. And you can only do this by focusing not necessarily on WHAT you are doing, but WHOM you are being.
‘A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds-Emerson’: Remember how I said one of my immutable laws in life was to realize that I am responsible for everything that happens in my life? Well shame on you if you don’tJ. That law has allowed me to be able to look in the mirror of life, over and over, and say, ‘Kyle, what you are doing isn’t working, learn from it and try a different way or find a teacher that can teach you a different way’. Those men that become so married to their ideas of the ways things should be done are the ones that suffer from little minds and probably little you know what’s too.
‘Leadership is about balancing timing with available resources. Opportunities are easily lost by waiting for perfect conditions’. Perfect conditions rarely if ever exist, but you wouldn’t know that unless you were clear about timing. You need to know when to strike. Some of this is intuition and gut feelings but it always comes down to knowing what available resources you have on hand, be it finances or people.
This book was awesome and I suggest you read it. If not, just know that to be a leader and to BE a true man, you must bring clarity to each day. Clarity to lead yourself first which will then allow you to lead those that are following you to the best of your abilities.
Now go get it tattooed on your left pec so you don’t forget it.