As a young supervisor in the corporate world, I readily bought into the mindset that strong leadership was a characteristic associated primarily with high-profile individuals in business or government or someone with an impressive title. However, as I’ve learned more about effective leadership, I’ve come to recognize that we are surrounded by many outstanding leaders from all walks of life. The common thread among these people is their ability to achieve results. After all, no one ever picks a loser as their example of an effective leader. Rather, it’s the people who get results.
I’d like to share a story that reinforced this concept of results-based leadership for me. In one of my first supervisory positions, I was leading a high-profile research & development project. After about nine months on the job, I was told that the director would be reviewing all of the key projects and I would have 45 minutes to present. I wasn’t excited about this prospect because the project was behind schedule and not meeting many of the performance objectives. In addition to the director, a number of his staff were in the room and anxious to hear my progress report. Within the first few minutes, I made sure to reveal the problems we were encountering on this project. The audience was not pleased but the subsequent events are what truly surprised me and have stayed with me throughout my career. Upon hearing my executive summary and negative report, the director stood up and walked to the marker board. He wrote the following
NO RESULTS + GOOD EXCUSES = NO RESULTS
and then walked out of the room. I was quite embarrassed but also anxious for the director to return so I could finish my presentation and further explain why we were in this situation. To my dismay, one of his staff members announced that the meeting was over and the director wasn’t coming back. That was a traumatic experience and that’s the day that I committed to becoming a results-based leader.
While the “No Results + Good Excuses = No Results” formula is a great depiction of results based leadership, I don’t want to leave you with the wrong impression. Things don’t always go as planned and it can be a struggle to get the results you and others are looking for. However, make sure your focus remains on driving for results by tackling obstacles and problems, and not on coming up with good excuses for why you’re falling short of the results you want.
Regardless of your position or profession or role in life, I hope that you will take up the challenge and commit today to becoming a results-based leader.LEADERSHIP – IT’S ABOUT RESULTS