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A Leader's Mindset

A leader’s focus and mindset is different. We all know that leaders need to be relational and follow procedures. It’s necessary for a successful leader. But there’s more. A true leader is focused on getting results. Followers, simple employees, can think, “Hey, I did what they told me to. I checked it off the list.”But there is a different mindset for the true leader. It deals with a sense of responsibility. A true leader accepts responsibility for getting the intended results; employees are charged more with simply getting tasks done.Leaders are responsible FOR (the overall assignment).Followers are responsible TO (specific tasks within the overall assignment).This means that leaders are responsible to make sure their followers/employees/team members execute and finish their tasks. He or she assumes the role of buck-stopper. The leader looks around and if the team is not getting the results needed, he/she does not say, “Oh, well—I did my part. Not my responsibility.” The leader will do whatever is necessary in the moment to get the desired results, and then afterward will address what needed to happen differently.Too many people want to sit in the leader’s seat and carry the leader’s title, but only be responsible for tasks. This will kill every project, department, and ultimately even the organization.“If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.” – Tony RobbinsWhy do some people accomplish more than others? Some people believe they are being super productive, creating massive results. When we look at the actual results, we get a different picture. These are the people whose answer is always “I’m busy.”How many of you know somebody who when you call them or text them their answer is always “I’m busy”? Maybe that person is you. A lot of people are “busy being busy” but they may not actually be productive, bringing results to the table. Leaders must know.To be a true leader, we have to reorient ourselves from being task-oriented to result-oriented.What does it mean to be task-oriented?

  • Task-oriented people work a lot and they seem to be everywhere. But though they are always doing, they may not be getting the results they should or could. They are just doing; just being busy.

  • They often seem to work all the time, yet are continually behind schedule. They are tired and burned out. Others on the team accomplish their tasks much quicker because task-oriented people tend to be unstructured and simply busy being busy.

  • They work really hard for minimal results.

What does it mean to be result-oriented?

  • The mindset behind these people is a focus on what really matters and what creates the actual results. They have clear goals of what they want to accomplish and are often driven and led by the big goals. The goal cannot be accomplished without actual results. They refuse to get easily distracted.

  • Result-oriented people are structured, and plan so they can be effective and productive. They follow a daily to-do list, which gives them an action plan and provides focus on the actual task that will bring the results.

  • The result-oriented person may not work as many hours as the task-oriented—the key is to work smart.Focus all you have on reaching the goal and achieving results.

There should be a balance in everything we do. Sometimes a great leader will change from result-oriented to task-oriented to get other things done after the highest priority has been accomplished. The task-oriented person typically thinks “inside of the box,” and the result- oriented thinks “outside of the box.” To make the shift mentally, the task-oriented person needs to focus on the big goals.Make a TO-DO LIST every day to make sure you are following the right path to your actual goal. To create the absolutely highest productivity, you need to shift between being result-oriented (90% of the time) to being task-oriented (10% of the time). Change the way you work, and you will see change in the results you get.Employee productivity and innovation drive businesses forward. Involved and motivated employees generate ideas and plans, but they will stop if employees feel hampered by non-productive practices and leaders.A high motivation for employees is knowing their creative ideas won't be shot down because they might not meet a checklist their company has in place. One way to improve employee productivity is to make sure your company is focused on the results of work and not on the procedures. Managers focusing on lists of tasks are a sure sign of micromanagement, and they kill employee engagement and morale.Task-based companies focus on the details to the end of a project. They are more interested in making sure employees "check the boxes" on all the tasks they need to complete instead of focusing on the goal of a project. People become more interested in making sure they cover themselves if a problem arises. This type of mentality kills innovation and employee productivity. Employees will not feel comfortable changing anything because they don't want to disappoint their boss. They will be slaves to tasks and checklists, focusing on covering in order to avoid negative consequences rather than focusing on the actual goal of the project.Result-oriented companies focus more on the “why” of a project. Why does the project exist and what are the results needed to make it successful? This is a big shift from focusing on how the project is done. When companies step away from unnecessary tasks, employees have more confidence to try innovative ideas. They look for more economical and efficient ways to solve problems because they aren’t tied to a checklist of steps.This doesn't mean a result-oriented business doesn't have policies and procedures. They respect them; however, they are fluid in their implementation of the rules. If they see a certain task doesn't need to be completed to get results, they won't do it. They don't burden employees with checklists, and they allow them to suggest ways to get to the results with minimal interference.Focus on the results, and see your team move forward.

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