New Results Using Old Methods is a Frustrating Myth

The only way to achieve greater success using old methods is to work harder. But doing more with less has a limited lifespan.

Working harder only works when you aren’t working hard already.

3 strategies for new results:

In order to achieve new results – if you are already working hard – you must work in new ways. Try new things. Test new approaches.

  1. Improve efficiency.
  2. Delegate authority, not simply tasks. Instead of telling people to mop the floor, equip and authorize them to keep the floor clean.
  3. Stop doing things that don’t add value. Busy work prevents you from achieving remarkable results.

New approaches:

Don’t tell people how to do their work.

You know the best way for YOU to work, not the best way for others to work. Unexpected achievements are accomplished by people who do things THEIR way, not someone else’s.

Experienced leaders wrongly believe they know how others should do things.*

In a changing world, maintaining established patterns makes you irrelevant.

Encourage people to find THEIR way forward, not yours. Everyone must agree on the vision and goals, but how to get it done is up to individuals and small teams who are closest to the work.

Let the people who are actually doing the work come up with ways to do the work.

  1. Clarify the vision.
  2. Set high standards that are easily measured.
  3. Provide frequent feedback.
  4. Catch people doing good. Give at least three affirmations for every correction.

Engagement results from owning the process, even if you haven’t chosen the goal.

What principles and behaviors might help leaders take results to new levels?

*In repetitive tasks – that don’t require creativity – doing things the same way works.

**Highly regulated industries have less opportunity to try new things.