What is more important?
- Making 20 sales calls or closing $500,000 in new sales?
- Conducting weekly cycle inventories or .5% inventory shrink?
- Publishing regular newsletters or 97% customer retention?
- Creating weekly collections reports or receivables less than 30 days?
- Attending safety classes or zero days lost to workplace injury
All too often leaders and direct reports are so focused on the activities they lose sight of the ultimate objective. Leaders should make sure their direct reports understand their objective, have the resources available to achieve that objective, and then get out of the way.
Does it really matter that the sales associate made only 7 sales calls but still achieved the $500,000 sales objective? Leaders have a tendency to micro-manage the day-to-day activities because they are the easiest to affect. Instead, clearly define the expectation – objective, time frame, resources, and restraints – and hold their direct reports accountable for the results without getting immersed in the details.
Leaders who focus on goals and empower their direct reports with the resources to achieve them experience more success.