Sometimes when people say they are results-oriented, they may mean one of many things. Perhaps they are such that their work or leadership can lead to the completion of projects, achievement of milestones, realization of set goals or reaching a destination. However, in some instances, it may mean getting outcomes at whatever cost. Some people are so focused on the milestones and results from their work, such that it doesn’t really matter what process leads to the end. If results are achieved, then everything is fine. For some, it may mean circumventing principles and policies to achieve results, while for others, it may mean driving people like machines to reach their goals. Yet for others, it may mean paying whatever cost, including neglecting their loved ones and paying little attention to their own health, in the process of achieving results.
I like to use a zoom lens on the aspect of using people to achieve results, which is common where people are seen just as numbers. At least, the organization paid for their time, so why not use them vigorously to get where we are going? The truth is that people are more important than the work. If the purpose of leading is to drive people like farmers would use oxen to drive a plough, then we have missed the whole point. Instead, we build people who, in-turn, build the society. It has always been my principle to get people to feel comfortable around me when we work together. I want them to know that the work they do is very important, but that they themselves are more important than the work. Leading is not about bossing people around but about influencing people for positive impacts.
When we build a collegial environment, the work becomes easy. If we focus on building and empowering people, while providing the necessary direction, getting excellent results becomes a by-product. One of the reasons for leading is to show the way; the way that others would go. In that case, we do not drag people along the way. Instead, we give them the map, prepare them for the journey and let them go all the way. How do you lead?
Actions for the week
A quote to remember
"A leader ... is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind."
Until another time,
Dele Ola, Award-Winning Author of Be A Change Agent
Click HERE to learn about and get copies of Dele’s Books