Over Focus On Immediate Results Can Degrade Leadership Effectiveness – Process vs Task

Leaders in formal positions of power, authority and accountable can sometimes become overly concerned with short term results and outcomes. Obviously there is tremendous pressure to attend to results, and they are important.

However, leadership isn’t just about obtaining results. Leadership effectiveness over the long haul is going to depend not just on achievement of results, but will be affected by HOW the leader obtains those results

For example, let’s consider a manager who is successful at building loyalty and commitment through being open, honest, communicative and in touch with his or her employees. Imagine that times become more challenging, causing the manager to focus on achieving short term results by shifting to a more power-based, coercive environment. This is not uncommon because some forms of leadership based on process do take longer.

The result is that while the leader manages to get the results needed, the cost may be his ability to continue to engender loyalty, commitment and engagement amongst the employees. While it’s important to pay attention to results, doing so in ways that sacrifice fundamental necessities for effective leadership will eventually cause the leader to self-destruct. Balance of results (task focus) and process (how things get done) is critical here.

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