It’s common for leaders to be disappointed with investments in workshops, leadership development and other initiatives that didn’t solve the problem they were intended to solve. I believe this is because the leader got caught up in process before being able to adequately describe the desired result. In other words we get the cart before the horse.
There’s a time to talk about process and a time to focus on results. The end result drives process. In other words, the “what” always comes before the “how.” If you’re talking about process before defining the outcome, you’ll waste time arguing about details before you’re clear on the vision.
Here are some ways to know if you’re talking about process too early.
- Inability to describe the situation
- Talking about solutions before describing the end result
- Arguments that never resolve
- Asking about price before talking about value
- Actions lead to circular movement
- The same problem occurs even after a significant investment in development
What to do instead
Define the situation. What’s not happening that should be happening? Next, define your end result. What does success look like, smell like, sound like or taste like?
Ask yourself whether your actions are premature. If you find yourself designing a workshop, developing a new role, or starting a new initiative out of desperation, it means you need to slow down, define the situation and define the desired end result.