Bitesize Leadership Techniques – Driving for Results

Setting SMART goals for individual and team accomplishment and instilling high positive expectations for their achievement.

Driving for Results

Driving for Results is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry! This article is an Executive Summary of my eBook of the same name – Driving for Results – published on Amazon Kindle. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can borrow and read the eBook for free.

What & Why

Driving for Results is about a leader setting out to pursue the right results, and working systematically to deliver those results through others. You start with the right end point in sight. Then you organise the people you have reporting to you with clear goals and high positive expectation around those goals. You stay focussed on what you set out to achieve. No ifs, no buts no maybes. You anticipate potential barriers to success and put timely contingencies in place to mitigate them. No excuses.

Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb is quoted as saying: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time“.


Here are some practical principles you can follow for Driving for Results:

Making a SMART Start

You start by deciding which activities to pursue and how they add value to the business. Call this ‘operationalising’ your business objectives or KPIs. You make sure your goals and those of your direct reports pass the SMART test. SMART is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Then set and agree goals designed to engage individuals and stretch their talents. Finally use a coaching and questioning approach to ensure people understand and accept their personal goals. That’s the ‘A’ and ‘R’ part of their SMART goals. There are no hard metrics to define Attainable and Relevant.

Setting High Positive Expectations

People who succeed have motivation AND hold high positive expectation around the goals they intend to deliver and exceed. By using a coaching approach you will be inquisitive, non-directive, asking purposeful questions, listening and giving feedback. What does good look like (target)? At what point is the result unacceptable (threshold)? What is the best they can expect to achieve (aspiration)? You use coaching to help people take responsibility to move along this continuum: beyond threshold to target and then to aspirational.

Making it all Happen

You focus on achieving a few key priorities rather than on creating new and disparate systems, procedures and activities. By committing to one or two major outcomes at a time you can give them your full attention. You are methodical and persistent. You don’t abandon your goal at the first or second minor setback.  It will take real effort and commitment to see your work through to the end.  You don’t see obstacles as problems; you think of them as development opportunities or exercises in creativity.

Keeping up the Momentum

Your number one job is to improve performance and built the capacity in people to do more. Their level of engagement, commitment and work effort relates directly to how well you do your job. Don’t confuse the achievement of deadlines or milestones with the achievement of actual results and outcomes. Positive progress is important and to be applauded, but results are king and are to be celebrated. You achieve personal satisfaction from the process of goal achievement and continuous improvement. There are some key activities on which you take the lead with your team members. You will need to read my book for more information.

Further Reading

The LARA Leadership Learning series consists of 10 short modules published as Kindle eBooks and Paperbacks on Amazon. They are organised against the Leader of Others leadership competencies. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can read these eBook for free.

On this Blog I never lose. I either win or learn, Domingos Silva writes about how a small shift in his perspective prevented a situation from being a failure; and created a success story!

Author: Trevor Sherman

Trevor Sherman: Author, Blogger and Coach. What do I do? I develop leadership training material and personal learning modules. I am the owner and operator of this Blog. I coach senior executives for their development and role transition. I am based in Northamptonshire UK and operate globally - in person and through technology.

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