Supercharging Your Arts Career!

imageAbout this Lesson

Achieving your arts career aspirations requires some clarity and planning. Supercharging Your Arts Career uses the superpower tools of inquiry, brainstorming, and visceral language to help individuals get to clarity on seemingly evasive or obtuse professional goals. The Clarity Process, developed by Sandy Seufert, is an amalgam of select processes and techniques including the Question Formulation Technique and the Technology of Participation. Through her own work as a facilitator, strategic planner and professional development professional, Sandy discovered a new adaptation and application of these techniques that prove powerful in both individual and group reflection.

In this self-paced lesson, learn how to get to value-centered, emotionally connected, and mission aligned professional goals that are organized in an organic yet logical way.

Module #1: Getting Clear on your WHAT and your WHY (8 minutes)

This module helps individuals take a clear and honest look at their past and current career situations, reflecting on what has worked and what challenges remain. Through a series of Journal Activities, participants get clear on the WHAT (the issues at hand) as well as the values and circumstances that make up their WHY. The belief that personal development and professional development are closely linked is the theme of this unit.

Module #2: The Power of Inquiry (10 minutes)

This module builds on the reflection from Module #1 and begins a strategic process of inquiry using a technique called Question Formulation Technique. QFT, stemming from the Right Question Institute, has been adapted to help facilitate individual reflection that leads to a high-leverage Focus Question that is the basis for the upcoming module.

Module #3: The Clarity Process, Part 1 (7 minutes)

This module takes the participant on a journey to brainstorm and organize key thoughts and actions that stem from the powerful and personal Focus Question created in Module #2. This step-by-step guided process draws heavily on a method called Technology of Participation from the Institute of Cultural Affairs. Adapted in a few but significant ways, the Clarity Process allows participants to begin to group ideas that reveal trends and insights.

Module #4: The Clarity Process, Part 2 and Getting from Clarity to Action (9 minutes)

This module completes the Clarity Process by guiding participants to create clear, concise and powerful names for the grouping of ideas. Those names are then prioritized into a hierarchical graphic organizer that serves as a guidepost for further action planning.

Handouts & Materials:

Handout associated with a particular module:
1. Clarity Worksheet (to be downloaded for use with Module 3 and continued use in Module 4))

Additional handouts available for those wanting to conduct this work with a group are:
1. Sample Individual QFoci
2. Clarity Process Step-By-Step (This includes two additional activities if doing the Clarity Process with a group)
3. Additional Resources from Sandy Seufert

Here are a list of materials needed for the whole process:
1. Journal or blank pieces of paper
2. 2 printed copies of the Clarity Worksheet (downloaded from the site)
3. Pens in at least two colors and perhaps a pencil
4. Mini sticky notes (1" x 1 1/2", approximately)


For helpful resources check out the tab above or visit the ArtsU leadership section.



Sandy Seufert, Arts Consultant

After eleven years of working in Los Angeles Unified School District in special education, Sandy left the world of education to pursue her artistic career as a cellist, playing in several orchestras as well as teaching cello in her private studio and working as a teaching artist in schools. At that time, Sandy also took up a new instrument, the violin, and is now an accomplished folk fiddler in the Scandinavian tradition and regularly performs and composes as a homage to her ancestry. As that musical path continued, Sandy simultaneously started working in arts administration and over the past 15 years has worked for many large and small arts organizations including the Da Camera Society, Los Angeles Opera, The Music Center: Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, The Armory Center for the Arts, Turnaround Arts: California, Dramatic Results, PS Arts and the California Alliance for Arts Education. Her areas of specialty include arts integration, teaching artist training/development, curriculum development, and strategies for working special needs students.

Sandy currently works as a consultant in arts education in the Los Angeles area and works as a coach with Arts for All as part of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission where she assists school districts to create strategic plans for the arts. She is also on the roster of coaches with the California Alliance for Arts Education to do this same work on a statewide level. She also coordinates the Arts and STEM Collaborative, a tri-county effort from Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties to help create guidelines for school districts wishing to create or retrofit schools as STEAM schools.

The Clarity Process Story

Sandy Seufert has had a somewhat unplanned yet perfect career path that has traversed education, the performing arts, and arts administration. Through her own experience in struggling with a lack of clarity and direction in much of her career, Sandy has made it a mission the past few years to pursue a multitude of studies and practices to get to the bottom of finding clarity for her own life and now feels a deep mission to help other find clarity that leads to positive and aligned action. Her own interest in personal development alongside with her background as a professional development trainer, a strategic planner and a facilitator has created a “perfect storm" of interest, mission, and talent for working with people and ideas. Sandy has shared her Clarity Process in workshops with emerging and mid-career arts administrators with grantees of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission as well as members of Emerging Arts Leaders – LA, helping people find not only clarity on their professional development goals but a new sense of agency and enthusiasm. The opportunity to create the Supercharging Your PD lesson with Americans for the Arts is a dream that is beautifully realized from her own Focus Question – “How can I add more value to the field?"

When taking a course in strategic planning methods in 2015 from the Institute of Cultural Affairs, Sandy challenged herself to do an exercise in the appendix of the course manual that used the methods of Technology of Participation to apply to the creation of her individual vision. In a coffee shop armed with a stack of mini sticky notes, Sandy had the first light bulb go off in her head. This was fun and empowering! Nearly a year passed where Sandy did not reference this document, but when she returned to the work she did at that coffee shop, the second light bulb moment happened. Many of the goals she outlined on that paper had been actualized, almost seeming to be part of some subliminal programming. This sent her interest and action into overdrive and she began to develop The Clarity Process through taking individuals as well as groups through the process. With feedback and iteration, the Clarity Process is now a streamlined and user-friendly way to get to value-centered, emotionally connected, and mission aligned goals that are organized in an organic yet logical way.

Additional Resources from Sandy Seufert for Supercharging Your PD

To learn more about the techniques referenced in these modules, visit:The Right Question Institute and The Institute of Cultural Affairs

Podcasts that offer support developing Action Plans, working smarter, and thinking out of the box

Achieve Your Goals Podcast with Hal Elrod

Entrepreneur on Fire with John Lee Dumas

Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn

Web resources that support the creation of an Action Plan

Resources for Self-Assessment

Sandy's Top Five Game-Changing Books

The Miracle Morning: The Not So Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life Before 8:00am by Hal Elrod

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truths Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller with Jan Papasan

SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck by Julie Morgenstern

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

DRiVE: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink


Module #1
Getting Clear on your WHAT and your WHY You must register to access.
Module #2
The Power of Inquiry You must register to access.
Module #3
The Clarity Process, Part 1 You must register to access.
Module #4
The Clarity Process, Part 2 and Getting from Clarity to Action You must register to access.
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