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Third of our five part series on Keys to Leadership Success – Operate with strong results orientation


Camelback Mountain. 1,264 feet straight up. Know your climb ahead.

One could say that the point of leading is to take someone or a group somewhere. If you have nowhere to go, there really is no leading involved.

The second key trait in our series is “operate with strong results orientation”. I translate this to mean know what destination you are leading to and focus on winning the war. In the world of manufacturing, finance, marketing, business at large – disruption, chaos, and minor set-backs happen in the micro. As leaders, we must keep the flag of the macro goal held high in the air for the team to see through the cloud of the moment. We must always be personally operating with the mind set of delivering results – sustainable results. Leading your team with clarity of the goal means understanding the trade-offs necessary to win the war, not just the battle.

Also, personally, you not only have to be clear in your mind what results you want and you must be clear on what is acceptable behaviors in obtaining those results. Do you value the how as much as the deliverable? As a leader, you are accountable for the cultural foundation that results are based on.


Not quite at 1,264 feet yet, but I say celebrate the small victories along the way. (And yes, that is the trail…)

If you drive winning the battle at all costs, you will lose the war. It is possible to achieve the business goal AND achieve it with the values the company espouses. It might be harder, but as a leader it is your actions that results are really based on — both for business goals and for foundational values (there are no short cuts allowed with the “how”, integrity is black & white).

Be intentional

*Article|McKinsey Quarterly
Decoding leadership: What really matters
January 2015 | byClaudio Feser, Fernanda Mayol, and Ramesh Srinivasan