Focus on Results
Results are something that all leaders talk about and hopefully focus on when it comes to running a growing and effective organization. However, sometimes results can get a little subjective when it comes to how we quantify what a result truly is and what it means to us and our companies.
The online dictionary states that a result is a consequence, effect, or outcome of something. I’m not big on text book definitions; I’m much bigger on applicable definitions that actually mean something to us. In all the coaching and training that I perform, it seems that many leaders see results as activity. Let’s be crystal clear about something.
Results have absolutely NOTHING to do with activity. Sure, there may be some activity involved in order to create a result, but they are not equal and they never will be. The amount of activity we produce very rarely has anything to do with what type of result we get. Some people spend an hour at the gym in the morning for their “workout”. However, between gawking at themselves in the mirror, hanging out with friends, and having water cooler conversations, they actually log about 20 minutes of an actual results producing workout during their full hour at the gym.
Most of us were brought up in a society that pays and measures performance based on the amount of time put in and hours worked. This was one thing that drove me crazy about the military. I’m a proud combat veteran of the United States Army, but I believe their promotion structure is broken. For the most part a promotion happens when a soldier has been at a certain rank for a specific length of time, not how much they accomplish. This was my first realization that I needed to be rewarded for my own performance as I created a career after the military.
The lovely Christy and I don’t watch very much television, but the shows we do watch we have an intention behind them. We like seeing nice homes and real estate and one show we’ll enjoy from time to time is called Million Dollar Listing. In a recent episode, the broker had a very high end apartment listed in New York City and had been showing the property for four months. During a meeting with the owner of the property, she asked him what his results were to this point.
He told her how hard he had been working on showing the property, how many showings he had and things were moving along very well when it came to results. She simply looked at him calmly and said, “Do you even understand what a result is? A result is a contract, a result is a sale, a result is a closing, a result is not a showing.” Then she fired him as the listing agent.
I think as business leaders we can reflect on this and how it shows up in our own companies. Results don’t come from how many hours you’re at the office. Results come from the specific tasks you consciously choose to work on in any given day. Results don’t come from fire fighting. Results come from having a focused plan with a detailed task list of the most important things that drive the business forward.
Take a look at your own company and make sure you’re using your time accomplishing quantifiable results, and not just running around telling everyone how busy you are!