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Start with finding clarity | Leadership – Coaching – Life

Dominic Corriveau in corner office with whiteboard. Start with finding clarity. Leadership, coaching, and life.

This is part of my Get Better Friday series, all about being a better leader. Each piece is me describing what I’ve been practicing to help me become a better leader and coach for my team, my career and my personal life.

This week:

  • Taking time to find clarity.
  • How to use clarity to say no.

This also appeared in The holistic strategy of clarity | CorrTek Marketing Mixer #55, which includes:

  • A thorough checklist for keeping your website in tip-top shape.
  • How to bring your newsletter fully in-house.
  • Another reason to dive into Twitter for personal brand growth.
  • Seeking clarity and saying no more often so you can accomplish your goals.


This transcript was created using AI speech-to-text with light editing for clarity. Some general text, spelling, and punctuation issues may still exist.

Hi, pals, I’m Dominic and coming up in this video why clarity is so important for you to do your best work and also find happiness. 

One of the things that I struggle with all the time is that I’m thinking about, “Am I working on the right thing? Am I spending my time in the right place?” Because there’s 1000s and 1000s of things that could be done during the day. Where I struggle is finding clarity on what it is that I should be working on. Because once I have that clarity, that nagging feeling behind me, pulling on me making me question, the thing that I’m working on in that moment, if that’s the right thing that I should be doing. 

And getting clarity is hard. It’s really hard work. And that could be both personally and professionally. So something I’m always looking for is clarity. Because if I know what it is that I’m supposed to be doing, if it’s internally something I need to figure out on my own, or if it’s a teammate that I’m working with, or my wife, if I have clarity from those people on what it is that they want, or where we’re going or why we’re spending time on this, then when I’m sitting down thinking about what should I be working on right now… The answer is obvious, because I have total clarity around what it is that I’m supposed to be doing. 

I’ll be totally honest with you. For the first quarter of 2021 I was missing a lot of clarity, I was missing on what it is that I should be working on. I was feeling a little bit lost… like adrift. A word that I would write all the time was I’m unmoored. I’m just wherever the current is taking me and I hated that feeling, I really hated that feeling of not knowing, well, where am I going? Why am I working on this thing? Because then it felt like everything that I was doing, wasn’t the right thing. I was wasting my time doing that.

So in March, I kept a list and a notebook, handwritten list. I’m big fan of those nowadays. But a handwritten list of things that I want. Now, I wasn’t able to do it every day. There’s lots of challenges out there, where the suggestion is to write down something every day, a new idea or something that you want every day. And I wasn’t able to do it every day, but I did it about half the month. 

One of the first things that I wrote down on that list is that, “I want my hobbies to be fun again.” 

That’s when that clarity started to come in. 

Because I realized that what was nagging at me was that I was spending a lot of time on hobbies, but I wasn’t having any fun doing them. It’s always constant questioning, am I doing the right thing, because I think that I’m working on my hobby, which means I should be having fun, but I’m not having any fun. So when I finally wrote it down and acknowledged, like, that’s what I want, I want my hobbies to be fun again, that way I know I can have fun and I can relax a little bit occasionally. It gave me better clarity on what it is that I need to be working on. 

Or in this case, the things I need to eliminate that I needed to stop looking at my hobbies as being something that could also be a source of income, or can be a source of growth or education or a way to meet new people. Not everything needs to be that, sometimes it just needs to be for me. And that’s what I was missing was doing things that were just for me, things that I enjoyed just because I liked them. And that’s what I wanted to do. 

So when you have that clarity, it doesn’t just give you the insight on what it is that you should be working on. But it also gives you insights on what you shouldn’t be doing. What you should be saying no to. And saying no is really powerful. Saying no to things gives you control over what it is that you’re working on. It’s really hard. But without that clarity, you can’t say no to things because you feel like well, this person is coming to me with this or I feel like I should work on this. This is a thing that I should be doing. I’m not 100% sure why. But I’m I’m gonna work on it because it feels like it’s in the right direction. 

Because you’re kind of lost.  That unmoored feeling, which is, “Where am I going? Which direction am I supposed to be going? Where is that end goal?” And I talk a lot about the difference between objectives, goals and tactics. And this is one of those steps. What is that vision, that long term vision? What does that clarity that I’m going to then I can start to set the steps that I need in order to be able to get there. And that goes with things I should be doing where I should be spending my time or where my team should be spending their time. And then there’s also what shouldn’t I be doing. 

And we want to cancel a lot of things. Want to get rid of meetings right? Want to get rid of phone calls, want to get rid of emails, want to get rid of all these things, but you need to connect it to the why you can say no to those things. Unless you know what the why I am canceling this, because I want to get here, I want to get to this space, I want to get to this skill, whatever it is, you will link that to a clarity on what your vision is. 

That doesn’t always mean delete Facebook and cancel Netflix. And that’s just the go to things on a lot of these blogs. Sometimes your clarity is I work too much I need to take a break occasionally, which might actually increase the amount of time that you spend talking to friends and family or watching TV. It might say that I want to connect with more people in my industry that means you need to spend more time on Twitter. Just by canceling social media or canceling watching TV isn’t always the answer. Those are the easy things right? They feel like they’re time wasters. But if you have clarity on what it is that you want, then maybe you can use that time more effectively for what it is that you would like to accomplish. 

That’s what I got this time. I love to hear your feedback on this topic. You can go to my website you can find all the ways to be able to contact me. You can leave a reply wherever you’re watching this video. I’d love to hear what you think about how you get clarity on the things that you should be working on the steps that you go through to be able to get that clarity, extra points for how you pass that clarity on to another person. Could be your team, could be your spouse, it could be someone else in your family, whoever it is, how do you then let them know this is what I’m working on. That’s all I got for this time. See you next time.

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