Leading With Clarity

Being an entrepreneur can be tough. There are so MANY things that need to be accomplished. Things like:

  • Creating an appealing but yet, informative website
  • Finding clients
  • Building your list
  • Creating products and services
  • Setting up and monitoring your social media presence

These are just a few of the many tasks we find in front of us on a daily basis. But if there is one thing I’ve learned through this journey is that one of the most important things you can do is create a clear message that others can relate to. Your message matters and it’s the one thing that will set you apart from what everyone else is doing in your niche.

Earlier this year, I attended Leadercast, which is hosted yearly by Chick-fil-A. The session that stood out to me the most was that by Andy Stanley. During his session he said:

“Clarity trumps integrity. Clarity results in influence.”

He went on to ask and say:

What is the most important thing we look for in a leader? “Integrity and honesty,” answered Stanley. “But that’s not who we actually follow. We follow people who are the most clear about their mission and message. Clarity trumps integrity.”

Above all else, leaders need to get clear about their company’s mission, said Stanley. “State it simply. Make it memorable because memorable is portable. Get clarity around the idea and then infuse that idea with emotion. Don’t how the vision to death. It’s the what. A vision is not about how.” 

Now, please understand that I’m not saying integrity isn’t important; it’s very important. But what people today are looking for is clarity.

For one minute, let’s look at Chick-fil-A. They have a very clear, concise message that is everywhere: “Eat More Chicken.” Chick-fil-A consistently uses this message in everything they produce. Not only do they consistently use these three short words, but also continually use the visual of three cows to drive those words home. And what I find interesting and amazing is that they created a message that is not only appealing when read, but also appealing when looked upon. Three cows who realized that as more people eat more chicken, in turn, they would not be eaten. Genius!

And this is what I believe has made a big difference for Chick-fil-A, amongst many other things like their stellar customer service.

One of my core beliefs has always been that as business and ministry leaders, we must have a clear message. Why? Because as Stanley states, clarity results in influence and people follow (and do business) those with a clear message.

This was something I pursued early on in my entrepreneurial career. As a social media specialist, I knew that my mission was to help people #BeWorthFollowing online. This was what I based everything on when it came to my courses, consultations, client’s profiles, etc. I wanted to help them be a business and ministry that others would want to follow on a daily basis. Needless to say, that became my core message and today, you find me sharing this message all the time; it’s what I’ve become known for.

So, as business and ministry leaders, how do we create a message that not only clearly states who we are and what we are for, but one that also connects with those that we are trying to reach?

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Make it personal: What drives you? What are you so passionate about that if you could only share it in a few words, what would you say? If you want a message to “clique” with those that you are trying to reach, you have to make sure that you are passionate about it; it has to be personal. Truett Cathy was passionate about chicken.
  • Make it about the “what:” Your message will come from your mission. Stanley states that we have to be careful that we don’t get caught-up in the “how” but rather, focus on the “what.” Chick-fil-A has focused on the what, “Eat More Chicken,” they didn’t focus on the how. And as business and ministry leaders, we must do the same. What do you want to achieve?
  • Make it emotional: The emotional is what draws people in. For Chick-fil-A their depiction of three cows is what has made their message emotional. This message has resonated with people on both a personal and emotional level. Your message has to do the same thing. What drives your audience? What gets to the heart of who they are and what they want?
  • Make it simple: Your message has to be simple. And if you want it to be memorable, then simplicity is the answer. Stanley states, “Memorable is portable.” You need your message to be something that others can “recite” easily. It needs to be short and to the point. Paragraphs and long sentences don’t work here; that will cause confusion and people will forget it quickly. Again, make it simple.
  • Make it repeatable: When you have a message that is personal, emotional and simply stated, it then becomes repeatable. And the more you consistently repeat that message, the more others will too. It’s been said that people need to hear something at minimum, 7 times before it sticks. So as a business owner, you must keep repeating your main message.

One of the things that Stanley states is that “vision is fueled by conviction. It is a mental picture of a preferred future.” And when you have a specific vision in mind, you can translate that into a message that will stick with those you are trying to reach.

Remember, people follow those who are clear. So today, ask yourself, are you clear on what your vision, mission and message is? If not, no one else will be. Instead, they’ll pass you up for someone who is.

In closing, here are some questions to consider as you work through this:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • Why does your business, your ministry exist?
  • Where are you going with your business/ministry?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • How can you simply state your main message so that it’s memorable and repeatable? Think Hashtag too!
  • How can you share this simple message in all that you do and say?

I would love to hear from you! Do you have a clear message? If so, share below. If not, what questions do you have? I would love to help.

Jen Bennett

Dr. Jen Bennett is the Inspirational Communication Specialist and Project Manager at iBloom. Jen’s passion is helping businesses, ministries and individuals, #BeWorthFollowing. Jen enjoys speaking, training, and writing on all things that inspire and help leaders build a digital footprint and personal brand that is different and that helps them stand out and influence people in a crowded and noisy social media world.

Comments

  1. I like to help people and I like to help make everyday special. I have used the message ” Because every day should be special’. Not sure if this is too long.

    I am currently a benefits consultant with Aflac and I make hand made paper crafts.

    • I LOVE that message Sheri! And like you, I too believe that everyday should be special. Keep living out and making that message known; people need and want to hear it 🙂

  2. Katherine Brush says:

    Love the post. My message is about “Present Tense Living”. I want to help women live the life they were called to live and have balance in their business and personal life. As I am walking out this assignment I am finding that all the skills that I acquired before are the tools I need for this season. I love to help women find their purpose and achieve their goals. I know this sounds like Coaching, my only concern is the overwhelming amount of coaches out there. While I have no “Certification” I have lots of real world experience. Love this team and now I have joined the Inner Circle for not guidance but the loving support you all offer. Hugs:)

  3. Wellness Weavers…Weaving Healthy Relationships for Well & Good FUNctional Communities

    (I play with words and sayings to connect the right and the left hemispheres….brains, political parties, and continents!)

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