Something Better than Results

winning bottle cap

Stop focusing on results.

I just listened to one of the most highly regarded football coaches in the United States say, “Don’t worry about winning.” Freaky!

Here’s the message I took:

Forget about long-term goals.
Concentrate on meaningful, energetic work, now.

Nick Saban, coach of Alabama’s Crimson Tide, says,

“Don’t worry about winning, just focus on doing your job at the highest level, every single play, and the wins will follow.” Nick Saban, football coach.

Now or then:

Set goals but don’t focus on goals. Focus on what matters now. Let goals take care of themselves.

Goals point to what matters now. Without a target, any activity is acceptable. But, once you’ve set goals, set them on the shelf.

The future is now.
What you do now creates your future.

Process or result:

Saban said he’s a process guy. He doesn’t focus on results.

Saban’s idea scares goal-driven leaders. How will you measure success? At the same time, it frees you to consistently bring your best, regardless of outcome.

Forget goals.
Bring your best now.

Maybe it’s too easy for the coach of a #1 football team to say, “Don’t focus on winning.” But remember, he became a winner by focusing on process, not results.


  1. Agree on standards.
  2. Identify behaviors that matter most.
  3. Focus your energy and strengths on what matters most all the time.

Successful leaders focus people’s energy
on what matters now.


  1. Can your team tell you what matters now?
  2. Does your team know how to do what matters now?
  3. How are you rewarding behaviors that align with what matters now?

The secret to what matters now is it matters tomorrow too. If it doesn’t matter tomorrow, it doesn’t matter now.

Big goals crush us unless we can do what matters now.

What are the dangers of process before results?

What changes if process takes precedence over goal?

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