A bakery in my neighborhood puts a sign on the busy street near their location containing this information:

I love their little sign. It illustrates the power of simplicity in communication and decision making.

Leaders should always be seeking to improve clarity and simplicity.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Definition of company culture and its connection to business results. Purpose, vision, mission, and associated behaviors should be clear, to the point, and linked to role performance.
  • Performance expectations. I am so proud of a leader recently who reported the positive impact of using the phrase “these are the expectations” in a coaching conversation with a recent hire.
  • What success looks like. Each role and department should have clear outcomes. HR boils down to percentage of seats filled with competent people. Marketing delivers qualified to leads to Sales.
  • ROI of activities. Every action the team takes should be taken with the intent to measurably improve the business. An expectation of positive impact should be clear or the team should not be doing it.

Always strive to make communication and decision making clear and direct.

Communicate clearly:

  • Good things are this way. Bad things are that way.
  • This is how we intend to win.
  • These are the kinds of behaviors we look for in team members and why.

Who knew a simple cupcake had that much to teach?

PS. If you liked these thoughts about clarity and simplicity, you might also want to check out this post about role definition.