Incoherent Ramblings

The Power of Shared Definitions

shared definitions
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On Tuesday I wrote about the importance of shared definitions. (Click here if you missed it.

So, what’s the benefit of a shared definition?

I played basketball in high school. One year our coach drew up a play we called “Oklahoma”, and the play would end in a lob pass to the basket. The play itself was a pretty big leap for our collective ability, but that didn’t diminish the excitement.

Then, in a game, he called the play. I quickly ran through the mental motions and realized I would be on the receiving end of the lob pass at the basket–my chance for a Sportscenter top 10 highlight play.

One problem–not everyone knew the play. Not to throw someone under the bus, but the other post botched the execution which in turn eliminated any possibility of my going on to play basketball professionally. There was no lob. There was no highlight. There was no cohesion.

When we share definitions, we get on the same page as those around us, and they get on the same page as us. When we agree that we all start from point x, and we all move to point y, then we move as a unit.

Shared definitions lead to unity.

Shared definitions lead to increased impact.

Shared definitions lead to greater influence.

As a leader, our job is to navigate the waters of multiple priorities, trying to provide a clear direction for those we lead.

What situations are you facing that would benefit from a shared definition, a common goal? What arena of poor communication is preventing your influence from growing more and more? Are you willing to make the necessary changes? What’s the first one? What are you waiting for?

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