More than Chasing the Numbers!

Quite a few of the leaders I’ve known over the years also held positions where they were responsible for supervising a group of people, managing a process, or running an entire business. Let me be very candid before I move on though, filling those positions had almost as much to do with them being real leaders as sitting in a garage does with me being a car… Since condemning the misuse of the word leadership isn’t my intent (today), I’ll stick with the regularly scheduled program…

As a supervisor, a manager, or even a business owner, there’s often pressure from various directions to ensure we’re making the numbers. While I’ve been providing this blog and A Daily Dose Of Leadership for going on five years as a complimentary service to hundreds of people across the country, I like sleeping inside and eating food as much as the next person so at times I’ll reference some of the fee-based services Cindy and I provide as well; any effective supervisor, manager, owner, or leader needs to keep their eye on the financial targets they’re responsible for. If they don’t, they’re not doing their job - and they’re certainly not leading since part of leadership is making decisions that serve the people around us…

All that said, there are times where that constant focus on making the numbers can be all consuming and suck every bit of fulfillment or joy out of the things we’re tasked with achieving. In the LinkedIn article I published recently and the last post I shared here, I started us down a path emphasizing the importance of enjoying the journey rather than hoping things will just magically become amazing when we achieve a certain goal or when we fill a position we’ve been working to fill or, well, you get the point…

In so many cases, we work so hard to achieve a certain level of productivity or profitability in the business we’re responsible for that we can lose sight on some of the most critical things going on around us. We can tend to justify that by saying it’s just for a short time and we’ll get back into balance as soon as we’ve accomplished the task at hand. But once we’ve hit that target, a new target is typically set and we’re off to the races again - and the cycle continues!

Let’s be honest with ourselves though, those pressures to chase a number (then another) in our professional life quite frequently spill over into our personal lives as well! It may be in the form of carrying the stress home with us and taking it out on the people we’re working so hard to provide for, or we may be juggling even more stress with making the finances work at home. I know all too well what both of those scenarios feel like!

Don’t mistake anything I’ve shared to this point to suggest that having an ongoing focus on continuous improvement, personally and professionally, isn’t critical to long term success in any area of our lives; it absolutely is! What I am suggesting is that we need to maintain an intense focus on finding joy in every step of the process along the way instead of staying so locked in on the hope that reaching the destination will solve all our woes from being miserable through every step we take in reaching it. We have to learn to enjoy the journey! We’ll dig into that more next time...

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