True Leaders Focus on Results and Impact, Not Personalities

True leaders focus on the results achieved by team members, and their team—and the overall impact of those results on the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization.

Being results and impact-focused makes it easier for true leaders to work with, and appreciate, the “wild ducks” in their organization—those often colorful folks who refuse to fly in formation because they see the world a bit differently and are not blinded by traditions and outdated policies. True leaders are not intimidated by independent thinkers who speak their minds, may be a bit non-conformist, and are by nature wildly imaginative.

Although these “wild ducks” may be viewed by others as “unmanageable,” a true leader recognizes the value of those who are willing to stand on their own in a never-ending quest for their next creative break-through; those who may be a bit “quirky” and hate the mundane and routine, yet who come up with some incredible ideas.

True leaders recognize greatness when they see it, even if it comes in an odd-shaped package—and when they see it they know better than to use a heavy-handed approach to threaten these free spirits and force them to toe the line. Instead, they respectfully and subtly guide their energies in the right direction. They foster a climate of open-mindedness and the acceptance of wild ideas, aware that these passionate souls take their ideas very seriously and take unnecessary criticism very personally.

When leading one of these brightly glowing and passionate creators, a true leader is willing to give them a bit more creative freedom, to be patient and tactful with them, to give them personal credit and recognition for their efforts and ideas, to provide them with the resources they need to be successful, to work with them on the development of challenging but realistic goals and deadlines, and to run interference for them if they come under siege by others who misunderstand and malign their eccentricity and lack of political savvy.

Of course if a wild duck becomes unreasonable, uncooperative, or grossly insensitive a true leader will put their foot down and draw a line in the sand—as there will be times when this is necessary to get them back in line. Even then, they do so with sensitivity and with respect for these brilliant contributors who at times may be a bit rough around the edges, and they do so because they’re focused on the end result as opposed to being concerned about defending their own ego when presented with challenging personalities.

As Thomas Watson, Jr., president of IBM from 1952 to 1971, said, “You can make wild ducks tame, but you can never make tame ducks wild again. One might also add that the duck who is tamed will never go anywhere any more. We are convinced that any business needs its wild ducks. And in IBM we try not to tame them.

Thomas Watson, Jr. was truly, a wise man.

Allen Stalvey
Director of Operations / Program Director
Dallas / Fort Worth Area
http://allenstalvey.com

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2 Responses to True Leaders Focus on Results and Impact, Not Personalities

  1. JADE says:

    Great minds don’t think alike, they think for themselves. According to Entrepreneru “Harmony and consensus are beautiful things. But when you’re trying to grow a business, too much consensus can be deadly.” It might be a great boost to your ego to surround yourself with people who think like you do, if that’s what your goal is. But if your goal is to build a business that will grow, you want to surround yourself with people who will foster new ideas. Make your workplace a place where EVERYONE has a voice, and they are not afraid their suggestion is going to be shot down. Who knows better the ins and outs of your business than the ones who are out there in the “field”, howbeit, in “left field”. General George Patten once said “If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn’t thinking”. By the way, even wild ducks fly in formation. Being a good leader is sort of like riding a bicycle-you have to maintain balance if you want to keep moving.
    I have seen the following poem in three differnt office buildings now, so I feel like I am supposed to pass this on to whoever might read this. The author is unknown.
    Anyway
    People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
    Love them anyway!

    If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
    Do good anyway!

    If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
    Succeed anyway!

    The good you do today, will be forgotten tomorrow.
    Do good anyway!

    Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
    Be honest and frank anyway!

    The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest people with the smallest minds;
    Think big anyway!

    People favor underdogs, but follow only top dogs.
    Fight for underdogs anyway!

    What you spend years building up may be destroyed overnight.
    Build anyway!

    People really need help, but will attack you if you help them.
    Help them anyway!

    Give the world the best you have and it may kick you in the teeth.
    Give the world the best you’ve got anyway!
    Make an impact where you are Anyway!
    Anyway
    Poet: Unknown

  2. […] L. Hughes / August 3, 2011 / No Comment Leaders and achievers focus on results.  The more you talk to successful people in any field (including technical fields), the more […]

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