Why Leaders Need to Focus on Process, NOT Results

When you’re running a business or leading a team, it’s easy to get super-focused on results, results, results.

I’ve seen this happen with lots of clients, and the outcome is usually burnout or quitting when the going gets tough.

The reason is that when you are only focused on your end-goal, and let’s say that’s profitability for your organization, you can run yourself ragged trying to get there.  And, when you have rough months—which all organizations do—you’re already exhausted so it’s tempting to just throw in the towel.

BUT the organizations that are successful, the leaders who are successful, don’t experience this.

Why?

Because they realize that it’s not all about the end-goal and results.  Yes, of course, they want to make money and grow their organization, but they don’t spend their days just focusing on that.  Instead, they focus on their process.

And, here’s the really important part: they ENJOY the process.

It’s like one of my mentors used to tell me: your business is a process, not an event.

Or, in a more global way of thinking, it’s not about the destination, but the journey.

If you’re not enjoying the journey, or you’re not even noticing that it is a journey, because you’re so caught up with making the quarter-end sales, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that you’re probably not that happy in your work.

Plus, let’s not forget, as the leader, you set the tone for your team.  If you’re only focused on results and not appreciating the processes that will get you there, chances are your team is experiencing that, too.

So, what to do?

Well, first, let me be clear that I’m not suggesting that shouldn’t have an end-goal or want results.  Of course, you should.  In fact, check out this article if you want to know how to set, achieve, and even exceed goals of pure excellence.

So, yes, I am an advocate for setting destination end-goals.

I’m just saying that to get there and to enjoy the journey of getting there, we need to appreciate process.

How do we do that?

Spend more time in “flow.”

Flow is a state that happens when you are just so engrossed in a task or activity that you lose track of time, and nothing else around you seems to matter. You’re just totally absorbed in what you’re doing.

To achieve a flow-state, the challenge being presented to you has to match your knowledge and skillset.  That’s why you just get fully absorbed—because you are truly in-process and practicing your craft, your niche, your strengths. 

Effectively, being in flow is the definition of enjoying the journey.

So, think about how you can maximize time spent in flow and minimize time spent on tasks that steal your flow.  Not sure what puts you in flow?  Just start monitoring what you do each day and whether you lose track of time and get absorbed in it—you’ll figure it out pretty fast! 

You can also do this with your team—have each individual monitor what puts them in flow and talk with each person about how to maximize their flow time.  Believe me, the more people in your organization that are able to spend substantial amounts of time in flow, the more motivated and engaged they’re going to be.

The bottom line: the more time you spend in flow, the happier and more vitalized you’ll feel about your work.  And, what does that lead to?  Amazing RESULTS!

It’s a little counterintuitive, but when you stop obsessing about the end-goal and focus on the process of getting there, the results just happen.  No burnout, no exhaustion.  Just enjoying the journey and reaching the destination with ease.

Flow is just one practice or process that can help you appreciate the journey.  If you want more of these simple yet highly effective practices, that can work for you and your team, just download my free book: 25 Tips for Leaders: How to Leverage the Science of Happiness to Increase Performance, Productivity, and Profitability

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