If you’re a leader then you surely know that results matter. You’re in your position to get things done and as a leader you coach, motivate, and teach other people to help you get them done.
As a leader you must also know that results aren’t all that matters. Success is important but how you succeed is vital. Leaders who are willing to succeed “at all costs” almost always eventually learn that some costs are just too high, regardless of the level of success. (For the purpose of discussion here I should point out that the particular results I’m writing about are the “bottom line, profit driven” type of results)
If you’re a sales leader you must produce the numbers. If you’re a leader in finance you must make certain the numbers are accurate. If you’re an IT leader you must keep your network secure. Wherever you lead there is a desired result to be achieved.
Authentic Servant Leaders are results driven, there should be no question about that. But they balance that drive with additional, equally important drives. It’s these additional “drivers” that help ensure their success as leaders goes beyond mere bottom line results.
First and foremost Authentic Servant leaders work to build trust in everything they do.
They create a transparent organization where secrets are kept to an absolute minimum. They know that information isn’t powerful when it’s locked away in a safe. Information only becomes useful when it is shared with the people who can use it to accomplish something.
Authentic Servant Leaders confront reality, always, and that helps them right the wrongs they comes across almost as fast as they come across them. It should be noted here that this is one of the biggest failings of leaders who are solely results driven. They allow “wrongs” to live and grow in the name of results. To them the ends absolutely justify the means. They don’t just bend the rules, they obliterate them. It’s that attitude that destroys trust and without trust they cannot truly lead.
Authentic Servant Leaders build trust through accountability and they know that accountability begins with them. They do not expect more of their people then they expect of themselves and those expectations are laid out for everyone in a clear and concise manner. They are measurable and durable, the expectations and how they are measured do not change for the sole purpose of achieving the desired bottom line result.
Authentic Servant Leaders never forget that ethics and morales must always outweigh the drive for results. They are more than willing to suffer a short-term setback for long-term success achieved with honor. They know that it’s not just what they achieve that matters, they know that how they achieved it matters even more.
If that all seems too pollyanna to you then perhaps you’re a bit too bottom line results driven to be a truly Authentic Servant Leader. You may want to consider balancing your need for results with the need to actually lead as well.
3 thoughts on “Results Aren’t all That Matters”
If only Mr Stump and his team understood these principles and operated with this degree of integrity. I’m still haunted by the millions of people wronged, and left hurting, because they did business with his corporation . I know a number of them personally . Thank you for another thoughtful essay , Steve . We watched both Congressional hearings on C-SPAN, and everything you wrote about last month was absolutely on target .
Good post, Steve