3 Simple Keys to Remarkable Results
Talking about poor performance doesn’t improve performance.
Talking about what went wrong doesn’t produce results. You can’t deliver positive results by “not doing” things.
Conversations that deliver results face forward. Performance is about what needs to be done in the future, not what was done in the past.
Achieve results by talking about where you’re going, how to get there, and why it matters.
Results are the result of forward-facing conversations.
10 questions that fuel remarkable results:
Ask for what you want or resign yourself to disappointment.
- What are we trying to accomplish?
- What are you going to do?
- When are you going to take steps toward completion? What time of day, for example?
- Where will you be when you get it done? Think about location.
- How will you get it done?
- What resources are necessary?
- Who needs to be involved?
- Who will you work with?
- How will you know it’s done?
- What’s the deadline?
Bonus: Why does it matter?
3 keys to remarkable results:
High performance leaders ask for commitments and establish accountability.
Talk is meaningless chatter when no one is held accountable.
3 keys to remarkable results:
- Align priorities. On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is this project? When their number is lower than yours, frustration awaits. “10” your job depends on it. “5” it has to get done. If the number is lower than “5,” why are you talking about it?
- Share commitments. What will you do? What will they do?
- Set the follow-up meeting. (accountability)
If you want results, meet with the person who said they would deliver, on the day it’s due.
How might leaders create environments where remarkable results are normal?
Beliefs about shared commitments are key-meaning, if I give up something of mine for the team now, others will do the same later.
Thanks Steve. Kouzes and Posner put it this way, “Model the way.”
Love the direction that this post provides with the questions and the keys. The bonus, “Why does it matter?” might be the first thing to consider…. or if we don’t change “will it matter?”
Thanks Vicki. “Will it matter?” kapow!
How do these results matter? To whom do these results matter? If these results don’t matter, go find some that do.
I’m with Vicki on the ‘why’ question first – otherwise you can end up here “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” Peter Drucker
Hi Dan,I always like to focus on future results and learning and mindset. Have a good view on what expectations are and heading towards excellence by maintaining a good mindset. Together with the team. So discuss and talk about expectations and make sure we are all ready to achieve the same results.
Thanks Dennis. It helps to get everyone on the same page. 🙂 … Assumption is the enemy of clarity.
Exactly the confirmation I want to hear, work wise.
In working with student teams, I always recommend serious upfront discussions about the “rules” for the team; I called it the team performance agreement or TPA. I like your thought: “Ask for what you want or resign yourself to disappointment.” I believe it happens with all teams, not just student teams; the understanding of what a completed task will look like is never considered – and thus the frustration among the team is inevitable. Your list of the 10 questions is so important to subsequent success.
Thanks jcbjr. “TPA” … LOVE IT!
You know the past failures should be the guidelines for the future successes, providing we implement what we learn by our mistakes,the same guidelines can be applied to life as well.
Good morning Dan;
Soon as I read this, ( 2 hours ago), the very first line’s made me smile as the thought of Norman Vincent Peale. And so began my (2 hour search), for one of the first and most powerful books I’ve ever read “The Power of Positive Thinking.” That’s all it took to ‘git duh-train uh rollin’ for me.
I believe (Successful) Leadership is, and will be, eternally linked to Positivity. Dale Carnegie speaks of it, as does John Maxwell, Mark Miller, this guy called Dan Rockwell and some folks that call themselves ‘The Lead-Change Group’, and yours truly.
My employer share’s a, “Quote of the day”, or positive comments, on our web page. Your blog today remind’s of one of my submissions which was recently posted. This may not be my exact words, but it should be close;
When people think & act negatively,
they generally get ‘Negative’ results.
When we think & act positively,
we most always get ‘Positive’ results.
Like I’ve said before, “if we are what we eat, then we surely will become that which our minds dwell upon.” ( G O O D S T U F F I N , G O O D S T U F O U T )
Putting people first, building positive relationships with others, integrity, humility, servant-ship. These are NOT passing fad’s. Their concept and application is what has separated good leaders from GREAT Leaders for centuries and will for centuries to come. Do the right thing,’always’, not just when it’s convenient. Fad’s will come and go, but these truisms will ‘Stand the test of time’.
Keep dish’n it out Dan & we’ll keep eat’n it up…
Thanks SGT. Funny how the way we think and act determines the type of results we get. 😉
Thanks Tim. Tell me what you’re learning from mistakes. 🙂 Now that’s wisdom
P.S. Still anxiously waiting to hear if my TEDx-Audition earned me a spot.
“Prayin with my fingers crossed!” LOL
Best wishes with TEDx
Many, many years ago, I read a book–He Can Who Thinks He Can–by a very interesting author, Orison Marden. He was a very successful entrepreneur and a highly esteemed physician. He also created and launched Success Magazine. His thesis to the “problems of man” was “man as the problem.” And thus all leadership, management and staff performance issues were due to the individual’s lack of self-belief…or what social scientists today call self-efficacy.
For example, in one of his chapters from his book, he says before water generates steam, it must register 212 degrees of heat. 200 degrees will not do it; 210 will not do it. The water must “boil” before it will generate enough steam to move an engine, to run a train. Lukewarm water will not run anything.
Marden goes on to say a great many people are trying to move “their life trains” with lukewarm water—or water that is “almost” boiling—and they are wonder why they are stalled, why they cannot perform, why they cannot get ahead. They are trying to run a boiler with 200 or 210 degrees of heat, and they cannot understand why they do not get anywhere either personally or professionally.
Lukewarmness in one’s work–Marden claims–stands in the same relation to man’s achievement as lukewarm water does to the locomotive boiler. No man can hope to accomplish anything–either great or otherwise–in his world until he throws his whole soul, flings his force to his whole life, into it. To get this person to perform at work without being at 212 degrees is like trying to get an 8-cylinder car to work on inferior regular gasoline.
So, first–above all else, before edicts, mandates and expectations, Marden suggests that leaders and managers take one’s temperature. And like the bible says, “Lift one’s spirits” until
they are boiling over with belief and confidence.
Very well said . Truth be known, there really is power in positive thinking. Kudo’s for referencing the Bible.
I can definitely apply this advice to my work!! Thank you. Very insightful!
Rightly said and precisely the key to positive performance.
Another good read that enforces this piece is called “Just Ask Leadership” By Gary B. Cohen… Ground Rules, Goals, Setting Expectations is all important – but asking Good Questions will lead you to the answer.
Good thoughts – crisp, clean, concise, and constructive! I have to agree with Vicki regarding the “why does it matter” being the first consideration. Unless you can definitively answer that question, there is a strong probability that you will end up charging down the wrong path.
guilty me!! i sometimes find myself complaining about what went wrong in the past rather than forge ahead in positivity and hope. thanks for the insight.