A Coaching Power Tool created by Radhika M Menon
(Executive Coach, India)
The meteorological department says if less than 1/8 of sky is covered by cloud then it is a “clear sky”.
We all seek clear skies to see our stars. For a sailor it is important to have a fairly clear sky to see his guiding stars and set course that would lead to destination and shore. In the defense forces, generals often bark orders and make sure that orders are received “crystal clear” and hence understood. No ambiguity or doubt as to what it entails. Lives of people and safety of country might depend on clarity here.
What does Clear mean?
Here are some meanings and examples from the Oxford dictionary (online)
Definition of clear
easy to perceive, understand, or interpret:
- clear and precise directions
leaving no doubt; obvious or unambiguous:
- it was clear that they were in a trap
having or feeling no doubt or confusion:
- a clear case of poisoning
free of any obstructions or unwanted objects:
- with a clear road ahead he shifted into high gear
- I had a clear view in both directions
The application of this very significant word is shown in above examples with varying meanings yet, alluding to ease, comfort and even beauty. There is the element of simplicity attached to uncluttered and clear. And there is nothing greater in simplicity.
Jack Welch, the highly successful chairman of General Electric, put it well when he said in an interview with the Harvard Business Review:
Insecure managers create complexity. Frightened, nervous managers use think, convoluted planning books and busy slides filled with everything they have known since childhood. Real leaders don’t need clutter. People must have the self confidence to be clear, precise, ……. But it is not easy,. You can’t believe how hard it is for people to be simple, how much they fear being simple. They worry that if they’re simple, people will think they are simple minded. In reality, of course, it’s just the reverse. Clear, tough minded people are the most simple.
Oxford dictionary explains clutter as:
A collection of things lying about in an untidy state
- The attic is full of clutter
A feng shui master once walked into a client’s office and looked around. There were piles of files and stuff all around. The master spoke:
“There are two types of people, those who neatly file away things and those who work and scatter things around”
The eager client asked, “So which one is better master?”
The master quietly said: “those who throw away things!”
Think of the “clutter drawers” in any house. Initially they start with, say, a tools and stuff drawer. Slowly the stuff component goes beyond the initial meaning and someday when it is pulled open to get a tool, to may be to fix a leaking pipe, you might find a whole bunch of things which actually have no value as tools. And somewhere buried deep inside would be the pipe wrench. Sure you got the tool that was needed to fix the leaking pipe, but how many “stuff” had to be pulled out first, to dig this one out?