We are a results oriented culture, but are results really the only thing that matter?
For several years I was a Pepsi route salesman back in the day when the driver did everything. Sales, delivery, merchandising, the whole thing.
My first route was a full service route which meant I serviced machines with no real time to grow my route. I was on a dead run from 5:00am to 5:00pm every day filling pop machines all over the city of Lincoln NE.
I didn’t have much opportunity to win sales contests and get the trips or the swag the other drivers got. So when Barqs root beer had a contest I saw an opportunity. Over the next two months I filled every pop machine on my route with Barqs root beer. Both the slot where it went and every nook and cranny in the machine. When you opened the doors of my machines all you could see was Barqs root beer stacked to the top.
When the contest was over I had won a trip to Kansas City where my wife and I stayed at the Adams Mark hotel, went to a baseball game, and a dinner theatre over a weekend and had a great time.
I didn’t sell a another case of Barqs root beer for a year.
Are the results really the only thing that matter?
What was the goal of the contest? To sell root beer right? which we did. My question from a leaders perspective is; was the spurt in sales over two months enough to offset the lack of sales over the next year. I know I wasn’t the only one who engaged in this activity. Maybe Barqs saw some value, I’m pretty sure our local bottler didn’t.
If we as leaders only help people who are producing are we really leading and building people or are we just helping ourselves? I would submit to you that if your only recognizing results your not building anything, or worse yet anyone. If results are our only metric what things are going on to get the recognition, or the bonus, or the office, etc.etc.etc.
We should be looking for capacity and consistency, not results alone, and coming alongside those people to help build the right skillset to get the right results.
If we work with people of character and capacity the results will come. The reason we have problems in our organizations is we focus on the wrong things. Only recognizing high capacity doers is a big problem in lots of churches and organizations. We get the end result but often at a price that is unacceptable if we will stop and consider it.
Results certainly do matter as a metric for evaluating how things are done but be careful how you interpret those results.
You will get more of what you reward.
Do you want results no matter the cost or do you want consistency that will lead to greater, longer lasting, and more ethical results.