… a core concept in Leadership Skills and Atlas 109

SupportConcept description

Clearing has been defined by Richard Neustadt (reference below) as seeking an expression of assent from others for something you propose.

According to Neustadt:

The others are colleagues, constituents, subordinates, “opposite numbers,” or still more distant players, as the case may be. The case depends upon your reason for the effort. Commonly there are five reasons, variously combined:

  1. Compliance with procedures, binding your position.
  2. “Cover” for you in case the proposal backfires.
  3. Record-building, the formal commitment of others.
  4. Trial ballooning, an effort to uncover both support and opposition
  5. Coalition-building, a search for viable consensus among allies.

Associated with each reason is a set of skills (with parochial variations from place to place). These are not all the same. Woe betide the “clearer” who does not know why he clears or what the skills associated with his reasons.


Richard Neustadt, 1971, Operational Skills, Note to Students in PP240, at, accessed 10 February 2016.

Atlas topic and subject

Working in Organizations (core topic) in Leadership Skills.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 16 February 2016.

Image: West Kootenay Brain Injury Association, at, accessed 16 February 2016.