Leadership Experts Worry About Process, Leaders Worry About Results by Rob Asghar at Forbes on 24 November 2014.
I admit it – I read the first two paragraphs of the article and immediately started thinking that the author got it all wrong. These paragraphs infer that the product of leadership is more important than the process. What I immediately jumped to in my mind was – “This guy doesn’t get it! Training people in leadership is about identifying processes / principles that LEAD to a more favourable product.”
I’ll phrase that a different way – using the author’s terms, improving the process increases the likelihood of improving the product. Think of manufacturing. Although it’s not the best fit for an analogy (since people are NOT machines and should not be treated as such), following specific quantifiable / qualitative steps increase the likelihood of producing similar desirable results. That’s the value of a process.
The tone in the rest of the article softens up somewhat, but I still don’t agree with the entering argument. I do agree that the process needs to be revised if it does not produce the desired results. I would strongly hesitate, however, at having a strictly outcome-based focus. That path leads to the Dark Side where the end justifies the means…
What do you think?
BTW, when I posted my comment on the website, the author replied with the following:
“VOCL, I very much agree with you that a strictly outcome-based focus can lead to the Dark Side. But I’m also trying to be a realists. That “let’s get this particular thing done, even if it kills us” attitude is what seems to characterize *most* great leaders of history, from Caesar to Steve Jobs, for better *and* for worse. I’m suggesting that many consultants are not being realistic when they claim that constantly taking the temperature of the room will result in kumbaya outcomes. But I agree, it may well keep us from the Dark Side….”