Most leaders would say “yes” immediately – it sure seems like the correct response. But really focusing on results can be more difficult than it seems. it requires three things:
1. A strong Data Component. Are you running the business on a handful of important numbers that give you an absolute pulse on your business? Or are you making decisions based on feelings, emotions, and vague sensations about how things are going?
2. Accountability top to bottom in the organization. Does everyone – including you – keep the promises they make to the organization (Rocks, To Do’s, Scorecard Measurables)? When promises aren’t kept, do you own it and learn from it? Does you team feel comfortable holding one another accountable?
3. A bias for Results. Many entrepreneurial companies succeed because the owners and early-stage employees work ridiculously hard and make huge sacrifices to get the company going. If that is still a requirement of everyone in your organization, make sure to recognize and reward effort and sacrifice only when it leads to the desired result. Otherwise, you risk sending the message that the regular failure is okay as long as you’re working hard and in some pain. Often, that teaches employees to work harder at demonstrating work-ethic and sacrifice than they do at getting results.
Results are necessary and often, effort and sacrifice lead to better results. But effort and sacrifice alone won’t help your business grow and improve, so if you have to choose one…choose wisely.