And the Most Important Competency is…

I only ever worked in an open plan office once in my life. It almost killed me and I almost killed my colleagues.

We just wanted different things.

It was never going to work.

We had different orientations. I was focused on my glittering career and they were focused on getting through the day. Each of us a pain in the neck to the other but I know which the shareholders thought was better.

I eventually talked my way into an airless one-person cubby hole where I got on with my own personal re-enactment of Michael Douglas in Wall Street, including the smoking, leaving my colleagues behind in the communal office to get on with discussing last night’s TV.  

And breathe…

People can be oriented to many things at work. The social aspect. The teamwork. A lot of people are not oriented to anything in work; their interests lie outside and work is simply something to get through.

This is all fine by me. I make no judgements on what anyone else wants. It’s their life. And it thins the field 😉

But here’s the critical bit…

If you expect your job or your business to make a significant positive contribution to your life in terms of the rewards you get and the experiences you have and the intellectual level you operate at, rather than it just consuming most of your time for a mediocre reward, you need to be oriented towards results.

Nothing else.

This is one of the great, big, hairy competencies that separates us.

Competencies are what organisations use to sieve their superstars from their…substars. This one is called (no surprises)…

Results Orientation

As the football managers never tire of saying… “We are in the results business.” And if you’re reading this blog you probably are too.

This is more than just goal setting.

First comes, focus and direction. Then sprinkle in the goals. Then communicate clearly, concisely and repeatedly (even if it’s just you in your business…keep telling yourself what the hell it is you’re doing). Gather your resources to achieve the goal. Delegate and outsource (you must do this, especially if it’s just you). Keep yourself and others focused on the key objectives. Declare victory when you’ve been victorious. Manage risks. Head off distractions before they, err…distract you. (I need to tell you that I have been officially licensed by the Government’s Department for Business to actually shoot the next small business owner who says “But I have to answer the phone it might be a customer.”)

Achieving the result comes first. This does not have to turn you into Gordon Gekko. And greed is not good. But wanting the significant positive contribution I talked about earlier and not being results orientated is simply dreaming.

OK, so here are a few things to promise yourself right now:

  • I will ask myself if what I am doing right now is the most important thing I can do right now. Or is it just something I fancy doing while I ease myself into the business week?
  • I will do the Plan-Do-Review thing. So, like it says – I will plan what to do, do it and then see if I got the result I wanted. I will then make changes to the “do” bit accordingly.  
  • I will commit publicly to measurable goals (if it’s just you, tell your partner. If you don’t have a partner, find a chum, meet him or her regularly, call it a mastermind group, put the coffees on expenses and enjoy it. Working all day every day in your business is a mug’s game and results in head-up-the-bumitis. Trust me on this one. It’s a dark place.)
  • I will always have a list of my high-payoff activities and I won’t do anything else (apart from the one hour a day when I deal with all the garbage that my “productivity devices” kindly spew my way.)

If you really are results oriented, this stuff will de-stress you, get rid of your frustrations and clear your head. Try it.

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