Woah! That sounds like a pretty harsh title, especially coming from me. After all, I’m the one who is always promoting people development as one of the keys to healthier organizations. To be clear, People do matter, but so do results!
No matter what walk of life you are involved in. Nobody becomes a true believer until they can see the results. Without results, there is no ability to provide true feedback. Without results, you don’t know if someone is “all talk” or if someone is legitimate. Without results, there is no clarity on decision-making. Without results, you will never know whether or not you are crossing the finish line. This is especially true in Corporate America. To be clear, companies do care about their people but they are depending on them to deliver results!
Talk is cheap. Actions speak volumes. Or, in other words . . . take action, deliver results and communicate those results.
Focus on Action
Now you might be thinking to yourself, results are the product of a good plan. Yes, but you can’t allow yourself to fall into “analysis paralysis” more focused on “what if scenarios” and too afraid to take action for fear it’s the wrong action. Today’s Corporate America can’t survive that way. And, more importantly, you can’t survive in today’s Corporate America that way.
You need to trust your gut, rely on your experience and keep “failure” in perspective to forge ahead. One of the most prolific inventors of our time, Thomas Edison, once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Understand the Importance of Action and Generate Results!
Action is the key to results. It’s that simple. But it’s also the litmus test to measure against. This is the only way you will know what’s working and what isn’t. It’s how you gather tangible feedback versus “talking in circles.”
Until you jump in, take action and start to create some meaningful data and results – good or bad – you’re simply treading water. Something that today’s hypercompetitive marketplace can’t afford.
Communicate Your Results, Good or Bad
This is sometimes the most difficult area for folks. You don’t want to sound like you’re “tooting your own horn” but yet you do want your boss and others to know that meaningful progress is being made and outcomes are being achieved.
Not all results are good, but they provide you the feedback you need to re-calibrate and keep things moving forward. To Edison’s point, failure is simply another opportunity to succeed. Compile a “lessons learned” and communicate it upwards. Your management will appreciate your forthrightness and, more importantly, your resiliency and passion to continue to refine and improve.
How to Determine if You Need to Step Up “Your Results Mindset”
- You’re Mired in “What If Scenarios” – As we discussed before, “analysis paralysis” can set in with any complex project. In cases like these, create a plan of “baby steps” to start taking action. Each step will yield valuable information to fold into bigger, more impactful action helping you course-correct as you go. Your management will appreciate the action, any action, and value your experience in calibrating each future step for greater gain.
- You Prefer to Communicate Results Only When the Project is Complete – Here you’ve actually taken the necessary action, created significant results but prefer to wait to communicate because “things can change.” Of course, things can change! We live in a fluid, dynamic workplace where the only thing you can count on is Do yourself and your company a favor and provide scheduled updates. Keep people in the loop and yourself on the radar.
- You Require Approval Before Taking Action – Barring action that consumes major resources or money, your company hired you for your expertise and WANTS and EXPECTS you to take action. Companies want you to make things happen but just make sure that the projects you’re executing on are the ones your management cares most about. Always calibrate with your boss to ensure you’re working on the top priorities and keep them apprised of your progress. If you’re taking too many liberties, they’ll let you know. But they’ll respect your independent work ethic and ability to move forward.
- You Believe Your Results Speak for Themselves – This again harkens back to the folks that are making things happen but believe they don’t need to communicate them or are hesitant to communicate them. In today’s hectic workplace, do you honestly think that your boss is aware of everything you do, much less, acknowledges it? I don’t think so. I speak to too many harried executives and managers who are simply trying to “keep their heads above water.” Make your boss aware of your accomplishments and progress in a manner that is conducive to them. Schedule a face-to-face, offer email updates or invite them to lunch. The operative word here is . . . communicate. They’ll appreciate and value your initiative.
Your Leadership Challenge: Focus on results
To help your company and yourself, emphasize and empower delivering results in EVERYTHING you and your employees do.