Leadership Blog

The Power of Clarity

The PAEA staff is moving into high gear planning the 2023 Education Forum and Fall Workshops. Although the event won’t take place until October, our team is already discussing important themes and topics to feature at this year’s conference. In doing so, we review feedback provided by the previous year’s attendees and survey the PA education landscape to ensure we feature content that will resonate most with our members.

Simon Bailey
Image: PAEA/Daniel Lennox

While planning for the future, I often think back to previous presentations that have stuck with me over the years. One such presentation was Dr. Simon Bailey’s keynote at the 2018 Education Forum. He said something in his talk that has stuck with me ever since – “If it’s cloudy in here, it’s foggy out there.” He was referring to the idea that when we lack clarity in our own minds, others will as well. I’ve heard and seen the same caution expressed by others using different words. For example, I recall reading a headline from an article published a few years ago that read, “You can’t fake clarity.”

As a leader, I’ve come to appreciate the power of clarity. Whether you are a leader in the classroom or the boardroom, it’s essential to operate with well-defined priorities, processes, and objectives. When our teams, or students, know exactly what they are trying to accomplish and why, they can move forward with confidence and efficiency.

I will admit that there are times that I find it difficult to take all the thoughts that are swirling in my head and turn them into a clear and cohesive message. In these situations, the thing that’s helped me the most is to talk through my thoughts and ideas with someone I can trust to ask the difficult questions to ensure my words accurately convey my thoughts and ideas. I’ve found that as tedious as that exercise can be, taking the time to get crystal clear before taking action, such as making a major change or decision, is worth it. 

The Education Forum offers a platform to share your knowledge and expertise with the PA education community. I encourage you to participate in this year’s event by submitting a proposal or volunteering as a conference reviewer.