The Single Greatest Factor of Success in Business

The Single Greatest Factor of Success in Business

By John Jantsch

There are so many important ideas and concepts in business. Things like strategy, purpose, and passion are integral to success, but none of it really matters without one ingredient – and that’s clarity.

Image Derek Keats via Flickr CC

Clarity is that strong and unwavering sense that our daily choices are grounded in an authentic sense of purpose. Clarity is how we create a sketch of something worth asking others to complete. Clarity forces us to form the right questions.

Without clarity everything we do is either an attempt to gain it or a stab at the hope that we are moving in the right direction.

Almost every business I’ve ever worked with, including my own, struggles with this idea. But, until we are really clear and inspired by why we do what we do, whom we do it for and how to do it with complete and utter honesty – little else matters.

Clarity does not emerge by simply switching on some beacon in hopes of throwing a clear and guiding light. No, it comes when we discover a rusted but sturdy lamp in the basement of an old house. Then, only through careful tinkering and polishing this lamp begins to cast a flicker of light.

And, as we continue to polish and tinker, something truly brilliant begins to evolve.

With clarity comes control. With clarity comes grace. With clarity comes joy.

Finding and keeping clarity takes work. It takes an unbending willingness to see things for what they really are. To filter decisions based on what might be best for others. To understand how to create the products and services our customers really need.

Clarity is both a feeling and a direction. It can be experienced and seen. It is at the same time perfect simplicity and obvious complexity. Clarity inspires us and those around us.

But what is it exactly?

  • Clarity is turning purpose to profit
  • Clarity is leading with stories
  • Clarity is using $50 instead of $49.99
  • Clarity is asking what to leave out
  • Clarity is meeting the whole person
  • Clarity is amplifying without hype
  • Clarity is doing more with less
  • Clarity is embracing the truth
  • Clarity is anticipating needs
  • Clarity is measuring one perfect thing
  • Clarity is forming decisions out of beliefs
  • Clarity is a potent brand promise

Clarity is the most important idea in any business.


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