Book Excerpt! Brit Poulson’s ‘The Clarity Compass’

For a sneak peek of Brit Poulson’s The Clarity Compass (February 14, 2017) check out the excerpt below!

Would You Rather Be Right or Effective?

“I hate the Clarity Compass.”

He went by the name of Deck: He was ex-military, business casual, with pictures of his kids and Chihuahuas meticulously placed on his desk. This was my third leadership coaching session with him. He stretched out in his chair, his designer loafers crossed on the hardwood floor between us and his gaze landing on the conference room ceiling.

“Why’s that?” I asked.

He shifted to look me in the eye. “I love being right. And the Clarity Compass shows me that I’m not.”

We all like to be right.

One of the hallmarks of strong leadership is having confidence in your decisions. Strong leadership entails displaying enough certainty to motivate a friend, inspire a team, or lead a company. How do you maintain that confidence if you let doubt poison your conviction, or even worse, if you have to admit you were wrong?

The utilization of a compass implies having a clear direction towards an outcome. And, ironically, in my work I’ve found that it’s only in learning to “soften” your own perspective on what is right that you can discover, define, and practice the best directions, outcomes, and actions. So while being right may be gratifying, we both know that blindly charging ahead and relying only on your sense of certainty will leave you lost and alone. Unfounded certainty starts with your Ego, whose job is to reduce pain and increase control, comfort, and safety.  Yet by being over controlling, it frequently gets in your way, and sometimes trips you up completely. That’s where the Clarity Compass comes in.

The Clarity Compass is a tool designed to support you in being more effective and skillful in terms of helping you get out of your own way and to where you want to be—with greater speed, grace, and ease.

Sure, Deck—like a lot of people—hated the Clarity Compass at first. It made him uncomfortable. However, he continues to use it because it helps him to set aside his love of being right for the sake of being productive. It invites him to shed everything unfounded about the way he has viewed his work. It provides him with a clearer perspective, and the means to act on it. Three years later, Deck’s biotech company has almost doubled in size. Among his clients and employees, his reputation is at an all-time high. His professional relationships have never been better.

Given the significant transformation I’ve seen with hundreds of people like Deck, I want to ask you a question: While in many situations you could be both right and effective, if it came down to a choice… which would you rather be?