Focusing on Change Over Results

Click on the image above for an introduction from Senior Executive Leadership Coach Tracey Nelson

Though both my husband and son are avid rugby fans and (thankfully, former!) players, I’ll admit I don’t generally look to professional rugby players for wisdom. However, this quote from Jack Dixon, a Welsh professional rugger, is quite profound:

“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.”

Jack may have intended this with respect to athletic effort, but it absolutely applies to our personal growth and to business leadership as well.

Focusing on and being accountable for change yourself is the foundation for change, and therefore results, in your organization.

So… how to start? 

First, know that as a leader, you are setting an example every day. Your willingness to seek out and try new ideas and new ways of doing things will open the door to the same attitude and openness to change in your team, creating a fertile ground for results and success.

“A great deal more failure is the result of an excess of caution than of bold experimentation with new ideas.” (- J. Oswald Sanders)

Next, focus on your impact on others and how that impact might positively or negatively affect their productivity.

For example, the way in which you manifest stress may create more stress, uncertainty or even fear in your team. You may get some results, but truly breakthrough performance rarely thrives in such a culture. Check in with your team’s perceptions of you and your management style. Do they synch with how you want to be perceived?

You have the power to change their perception of you by changing your behavior. 

Clearly, setting goals for change will give you a direct path to results, ensuring that those goals are specific and measurable and that you regularly check progress and adapt the goals accordingly.

Finally, share with your team the ways in which each of them contributes to the company’s goals. Understanding how their work can make a difference for the whole company is a powerful motivator.

More rugby wisdom: a score is termed a “try”, so again learning from the sport: we won’t achieve results without trying to change!


Fundamental 14: DELIVER RESULTS  While effort is appreciated, what gets recognized and rewarded are results. Set high goals, don’t overpromise, track and measure your progress, then hold yourself accountable for delivering on the results. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *