Friday, I attended the Chick-fil-A Leadercast. It was a great event! Although we’re the corporate sponsors, we don’t actually create the event. So, unlike other meetings we produce ourselves, I got to experience this one just as the other attendees – as a leader trying to learn. This year’s event didn’t disappoint.

Although I could unpack any of the presentations from the day, and probably will write more about some of them in the future, today I want to share what Andy Stanley talked about in the opening session.

For me, his big idea was this…

Complexity is the enemy of clarity.

And of course, we all know as leaders the critical role of clarity in the success of our organizations. So, with the need for clarity as the backdrop, Andy shared three questions he’s been using for many years – he keeps them on a 3 X 5 card for easy reference. Let’s take a quick look at his three questions.

1. What are we doing?

It’s amazing to me how many organizations can’t answer this question in a succinct fashion. Andy said, “The mist in your mind will become fog in your organization.” If there is anything that should be clear in an organization, this is probably it. If we miss this one, clarity on other issues will be irrelevant, if not impossible. For Andy’s church, the answer is: Creating churches unchurched people love to attend. What are you doing?

2. Why are we doing it?

This is where emotion resides. This answers the inspiration question… Why should I care? Why should I give extra time, energy and effort to this cause/organization? This is a timelss principle many leaders have lost. Simon Sinek wrote a great book on this entitled, Start with Why. Here’s a link to his 18-minute TEDx talk by the same title. Without the why, the work becomes a job.

3. Where do I fit in?

Answers to questions #1 and #2 should be the same for everyone in your organization. The answer to this question should be unique to each individual or at least to each role. Andy challenged us to create a one-sentence job description for everyone in our organization. One sentence. Here’s Andy’s:

Inspire our staff and congregation to fully engage in our mission and strategy.

Simple and clear. What’s your one-sentence job description?

As a leader, we need to always remember – Growth creates complexity, which requires simplicity. Simply Lead![GLS_Shield]

If you want to go deeper on this idea, check out this post: Simplify.

Author: Mark Miller

Mark is a business leader, author, communicator, photographer, husband, and father. He spends his time helping leaders grow.