There are two important questions that determine the success of every leader’s day. Ineffective leaders don’t deliberately consider either question. Effective leaders keep both questions top of mind:
What results do I want to achieve?
How do I want to achieve those results?
The first question sets the agenda for both the leader and the organization. Leaders keep their teams focused on the results to achieve, not the activity they create. A busy team isn’t necessarily a productive team. Alignment comes from everyone knowing the desired results.
The second question reminds us that good leaders balance the tension between results and relationships. How people feel about the results they’ve achieved, how they should go about achieving them and their relationship with their leader and employer are critically important.
Focusing on either question exclusively can be disastrous. Focus on results at the expense of healthy relationships and you become an inconsiderate tyrant. Focus only on relationships and you are an ineffective leader with warm fuzzy relationships but no results to show.
Both questions are important. How you answer them is essential to good leadership.