Thursday, September 18, 2008
Process-oriented vs. Results-oriented
As I've mentioned before, and for anyone that's noticed, I'm a process-focused guy.
Results-oriented people have a goal (or goals) in mind that take priority over all else. Simply stated, the ends justify the means. Obviously, that produces an ethical problem for some.
Process-oriented people -- while having a goal in mind -- generally focus on setting up a process for continual growth and improvement.
I've been thinking about it a lot the last few weeks. If you want to attain true excellence, I think you need to be results-focused. Every Olympic medalist has a singular focus; without it, they wouldn't win. I'm willing to be it's the same for every senior executive at a major company. For a big chunk of their careers, I'm sure there wasn't much life balance in there.
I'd be willing to bet that, over the course of human history, process-focused folks probably haven't achieved as many singular moments of defined excellence as results-focused people.
Does that mean process-focus is a cop out? An artificial way to maintain a general level of day-to-day happiness? Maybe. But since I'm not going to win an Olympic medal and I don't want to work hard enough to become a Fortune 500 CEO, I'll stick with what I've been doing.