Focus on Results

Black and white. Substance over form. Just win, baby.

As a leader of a commercial cleaning company and a father of 5 children, I struggle with the WINNING is the only thing mentality. While I understand there has to be a reason we are coming together, what about the journey. Isn’t that another things to consider? What if you told a soccer team to go out to the field and score, but the field had no goal posts? What would they do? How would you direct them? When would we stop running and kicking the ball? That is where the results come in, you can play the game but you need to know what you are playing for. You need to know how to score the points, so eventually you can get the win.

I think the most times people fail to focus on results is when the mission is not clear, or at least clearly defined. If I tell my family that we are going on vacation, some might pack for the mountains, while others pack for the beach. Two different destinations and two very different climates, but both are reasonable assumptions for a vacation. But how mad is my wife going to be when I have two kids wearing bathing suits and scuba gear and the rest are wearing ski jackets and goggles and we pull up to the Grand Canyon to go hiking. No one brought hiking boots. Telling my family where we were going to end up would have been helpful in the packing and planning process. I mean, if everyone knew we were going hiking we would all be prepared to celebrate reaching the top of some big rock formation. That is where focusing on results is important. We need to know where we are going so we can plan on how we will get there.

Focusing a team, or family, on results means that the leaders in the organization, or family, must be clear on what the final result will look like. That is the black and white. That is the substance over form. That is the just win, baby. And while the final results are shiny and wonderful and exciting, we still need to get there. But at least we have a clear picture of what it will look like when we do.

The journey however is not black and white, substance over form, and you can’t just win if the game isn’t over. I know that some people have questioned me about my approach to things because they saw me as a black and white type guy. I think the part that they are missing is that I am that black and white type guy about the destination, but not so much over the journey. That is where I can relax and enjoy the process. In fact, I love to be a student of the journey process. It is where all the magic happens. Where everyone problem solves and figures out what it will take to make it work, and how to get there. Where things are tried and failed and tried again. I love to watch everyone figure it out. And somehow we make it. And, while it seems like a mystery as to how we made it, it is clear in the end. The journey was focused on the end result and we made it what it needed to be.

Doesn’t that clear that up?