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Focus on the result, not the input

Do you have one of the characteristics of poor leaders?

  • You recruit a competent professional; after a series of interviews and competence assessment
  • You give them a job description – over 5 pages of lists of what their activities will be
  • And then you tell them how to do it

If you do that, you are probably killing their creativity and innovation.

Leadership is about setting clear targets – clarifying on outputs or performance indicators based on say balanced score card areas – FLIC – financial, learning & growth, internal business processes (innovation) and customer focus.


  • Financial – Turnover US $100,000 annual revenue; gross profit margin 50% and net profit margin 20%.
  • Learning & growth – 100% awareness of the internal policies and procedures by all staff; 10% staff turnover; etc.
  • Customer focus – 90% retention, 80% referral rate
  • Etc

That way, as a leader, you focus on the bigger picture. You have clear key result areas (KRAs) communicated to your staff; and it is up to them to give you interventions/ strategies on how they plan to deliver. As long as their interventions are legit – within laws and company policies, they have flexibility to be creative and think to deliver the expectations. The next thing is to give them a specific report format of how you want them to give you updates on the progress of attaining the targets, lessons and next steps — in case of failure to attain the targets. It could indicate need to review and revise the targets.

And that happens to be the secret of great leaderships.


  • Set clear result areas – what are your expectations of your team. what do you want your team to deliver
  • Communicate it to them
  • Give then flexibility to use their brains
  • Conduct on going monitoring

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa. All rights reserved. 2015

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