Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘communicate a feeling

“Your assumption can be perfectly clear and perfectly wrong.”

Testing assumptions makes you look stupid or misinformed.

You can’t handle the truth. Thus, I’m skipping clarity?

if you don’t begin your elaboration with clarity, by starting with a clear answer of Yes, No, I don’t know, it’s Not likely you’ll achieve clarity in your exposition

“You can be perfectly clear and perfectly wrong.”
Karen Martin, “The Outstanding Organization.”

Note: This piece can be applicable to all kind of activities in a daily life, and Not just customers, selling services and organizational management.

Assumptions are unquestioned “truths.” Everyone knows the answer to the obvious. Why don’t you?

Assumptions create false confidence by preventing obvious questions.

Unquestioned assumptions
ultimately distill into malaise.

Finding clarity is simple. (If it was that simple, why people live under false reality?)

Ask obvious questions that probe assumptions. In other words, ask questions that make you look dumb. (Not dumb to people with experimental mind)

Asking the obvious:

Successful leaders persistently challenge assumptions with simple questions. 

Four questions enable organizational clarity. Don’t assume the answers are obvious.

  1. Who is your external customer?
  2. What value do you deliver to that customer?
  3. Who, in your company, delivers that value?
  4. How do they deliver that value?

Bonus: How do you communicate your value to current customers?

Clarity concerning customers:

Karen suggests asking:

  1. Who do you serve?
  2. How do they make money?
  3. What problem are you solving for them?
  4. Why do they choose your company…?
  5. How do they use the goods or services you provide?

Clarity concerning value:

“Hallmark may produce greeting cards, but its value lies in helping people communicate a feeling….” Karen Martin.

Conversations that distinguish value from product do enlighten organizations to their purpose.

Karen says shifting from product to value reflects a shift in perspective.

  • Product question: “What do we make?”
  • Value question: “What do they get?”

Others explain your value. You can’t.

Clarity through conversation:

Karen suggests conversations produce clarity. When was the last time you sat with a customer to get to know them?

Clarity through failure:

A client of mine lost a client, recently. Rather than writing them off, they met with them to explore what went wrong. The value they didn’t deliver explains the value they must deliver. (Assuming that client is one they want to serve.)

Read chapter one of Karen’s book: “The Outstanding Organization.” Absolutely no obligation or email required.

How have you seen or experienced the danger of assumptions?

“More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity.” Francois Gautier


All outstanding organizations pursue clarity, passionately. Lack of clarity comforts the mediocre.

Karen explains strategies for developing clarity in her new book, “The Outstanding Organization.”

  1. Embrace truth telling and truth seeking. In my experience, there is damn little of this in organizations. Nearly every organizational leader I know shades the truth; we lie. Why do “noble” leaders lie? Because we believe people can’t handle the truth. Think about it.
  2. Eliminate “soft” language. Martin says, “Telling someone the honest truth … about his performance, or about a challenge the company faces is fundamentally an act of respect.” Turn this around. Shading the truth is profound, degrading disrespect.
  3. Expose fuzzy words. I’m sick to death of terms like; better, near, almost, fast, slow, high, and low. This language is confusing at best and deceiving at worst. Be specific or shut up because you’re wasting everyone’s time and likely tooting your own horn.
  4. Eradicate, “Maybe,” and “I’m not sure.” Karen says, “Do your best to preface every answer with, ‘Yes,’ ‘No,’ or ‘I don’t know.’” You may need to elaborate, but if you don’t begin with clarity, it’s Not likely you’ll achieve it. Karen says “Yes and no” is cheating! 

Apart from seeking clarity, what strategies do you employ in your pursuit of excellence?

What do all outstanding organizations do?

How can leaders uncover assumptions and create clarity?




October 2021

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