Failure = learning opportunity
There are two different approaches when it comes to the way leaders are working with their teams to achieve results.
This is all down to the footprint that the leaders leave behind when they one day will leave the chair that they are in.
Some leaders are leading what I call relatively short-term focused footprints.
These are the footprints on the beach that will vanish next time you have a wave coming, and those leaders are very focused on delivering on the objectives for this month, this quarter, this project or whatever period they are now working in.
And once you then jump to the next project, month, quarter, or project, it sort of all starts over again: They start replicating what they did last month or last quarter to do exactly the same.
That’s the short-term footprint that you can be leaving.
Thinking long term always pays off
The other type of footprint which is the longer-term footprint, these are the leaders who say: When I’m leaving this chair in 2-3 years from now – I get promoted, I get a new job or whatever – I want to leave the organization is a better position to achieve results than it was when I took the chair.
That means working gradually to improve the way things are done. This can be in efficiency, intelligence or other ways, and doing that as you move along and deliver on the current objectives that you have in front of you.
By doing that you are leaving a longer term footprint. You are leaving the organization in a better position than it was when you took chair.
And it actually has a 3-side benefit:
It not only leaves the organization in a better position to make results going forward.
It also leaves the leader stronger. A leader who has – let say – ‘only’ been delivering short term results is in one position, whereas the leader who has been delivering on short term results in a way that has improved the organization’s ability to perform in the future – is in a better position.
And finally the third aspect, which I think is also pretty important, is that it leaves the team that the leader has been working with in a better position. Because this implies that people are more skilled, they are solving the tasks, they are doing the job in a better way than they were when the leader took chair.
So the long term leadership footprint has this 3-side benefit, which I think is what every leader should actually pursue.