Renee Descartes knew that clear and distinct ideas are all we need to develop a foundation of knowledge.

Clear and Distinct ideas, guidelines and expectations are what is needed for change within yourself, your team, your organization. The problem of change is that many people do not know what is expected of them. Leadership makes the change too abstract and unclear, like a mission statement. People become confused, stop caring and lose track of what the change is.

Are you being clear and distinct with your team members? My guess is if you asked them, they would say NO.

Here is an example conversation I had with a former boss; we had a mutual antipathy;

  • me – boss I am unclear why you have been so angry with me lately?
  • boss – Mike you should know what is expected of you and I expect you to do it.
  • me – The evaluations from groups and feedback has been amazing lately. Can you explain what is expected of me? I am unclear?
  • boss – Mike we hired you because you know what to do.
  • me – what is it that you want me to do?
  • boss – Your job.
  • me – I thought I was doing my job, can we sit and maybe specify what it is that I am not doing and what I should be doing?
  • boss – Go to your desk and make me a list of what you think you should do.
  • me – alright


10 minutes later I come back with a list.

  • me – here you are I feel this list is fair and covers the responsibilities I should have
  • boss – NO this is all wrong.
  • me – Can you explain what is wrong about it?
  • boss – I will have to change all of this and get back to you


He never got back to me.

For people not to think you suck as a leader For people to accomplish goals and be accountable for their actions. It is the leaders responsibility to first be clear and distinct in what they expect. Following that the team members can begin to co-create a clear and distinct vision of what is expected.


You must be clear and distinct with yourself before you can be clear and distinct with anyone else.


  • How clear and distinct are your accountabilities?
  • What are the time frames and goals placed within them?
  • Describe a micro-decision you can make that will clarify the expectations you have?


michael cardus is create-learning