Dogfaces are just normal, everyday people -- they are the "everyman" that makes the world operate. Click on the image for more info.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Efforts Don't Necessarily Yield Results

Wow! That's harsh, isn't it?

That's what I thought the first time I heard it, too. I was a young officer standing before my commander who was asking me why something hadn't taken place. He was hitting me pretty hard about it. I was feeling very defensive and said, "Sir, I tried really hard to make this happen." And you, of course, know what his response was, right? "Well, Captain Hall, efforts don't necessarily yield results". Man, I was mad. I already wasn't too crazy about this boss and was working very hard to please him. Then I get a response like this?

As you might imagine, this interaction stuck with me for a long time. Six or seven years later, a VP in my company made a similar statement when expressing his expectations in a meeting. I felt compelled to speak up, being "proactively defensive", and did a poor job explaining my concerns with his statement. Later, I went to him to describe what I meant and touched a little bit on my perspective. This guy was pretty thoughtful and he said, "how about this? I acknowledge efforts, but I reward results."

Now that was a statement that I could not argue against.

We're hired to get results. It doesn't matter the long as it's not illegal or immoral, we need to complete what we're given to do. If we don't get results, our bosses can rightly hold us responsible.

After my "run in" with the colonel way back when, I should have asked myself these questions (I can't remember if I did):
Did I start the task on time?

Did I understand the objective?

Did I seek help from others?

Did I take the task seriously enough?

If there were issues that I needed guidance on or that I couldn't handle, did I take them to my boss for assistance?

Will I make these same mistakes again?
So, how can you work to make sure you don't end up in the same boat I did? Run through the questions at the beginning of the task or assignment, not at the end, like I probably did then.
When do I need to start the task to ensure it's completed on time?

Do I understand the objective?

Is there anything that I'm unclear about?

Do I need to involve others to provide assistance?

Do I understand the priority and weight of this task?
All those around us count on us to get results...our organization, our bosses, our peers, our team members. We need to ensure we plan and organize our duties to get the job done. If we don't, there's only one person to blame.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.