If you want to achieve a bold outcome or drive a new reality and change in 2019, don’t expect your desired outcomes to just happen, cause them to happen!
This statement may sound over simplistic, obvious and common sense to you. However, I cannot tell you how many times when I work with organizations even at the senior levels, where I see people frustrated because they did everything, they believe is needed in order to get the result and it still didn’t happen. Alternatively, they put in place the process, metrics, milestone and/or alerts to achieve the result and they have been tracking them on a frequent basis or they instructed their team members to achieve the result, and then they relied on the same result happening as in the past.
I am sure you have heard people say things like “We should be further along”, “The initiatives are not achieving big enough results”, “We are moving too slow”, and “We don’t see a change in behavior yet”.
If you mapped out the trend of any significant achievement or initiative, more often than not it would look like a horizontal hockey stick. If you have been around, you know that things often do not go the way we planned them.
Sometimes what we wanted, but didn’t expect, happens. At other times, what we were sure would happen didn’t.
With any meaningful achievement first, you need to invest a lot of effort and energy at first without seeing a lot of return and progress. By the way, I said, “without seeing a lot of return and progress…” I didn’t say “without any return and progress actually happening…” A lot is happening, we just can’t see it until things begin to take off.
Expecting progress, change and results is the wrong approach. You have to drive and cause them!
Just like you wouldn’t dig out a flower seed every week after you planted it to see if it is making progress, you can’t second-guess yourself, your direction or your team.
In fact, if you want to succeed in any significant undertaking you have to manage your expectations and have the mindset that your job is not to “see if it will work” but rather to “ensure and prove that it will work”.
It seems that leaders who don’t stay the course when they want to achieve a bold result, always tend to justify their failure with excuses and blame. I often hear them explain their failure with excuses like: “There was too much going on“, “The change initiative interfered with our core business or results“, and “People stopped being on-board“. The quitters worry more about their own personal brand and image and how they will be perceived. They tend to want to cover their behind.
In contrast, leaders who stay the course tend to always look inward at the source of what is working and not working – especially what isn’t working. They don’t care about blame or fault. They only care about how to make sure the promise of the new future will stay alive and be realized.
When things go well, they become nervous and shake people up in order to avoid complacency or arrogance. When things don’t go well, they rally their teams and engage in questions such as – “What are we doing or not doing that is causing this?” and “What could we do differently?”
So, in order to achieve great things in 2019, give up blaming others and circumstances for what isn’t working, and instead take 100% ownership and responsibility to get it done, even if it is challenging.