“Winning isn’t getting ahead of others. It’s getting ahead of yourself.”
– Roger Staubach
Let’s face it. Performance counts. Whoever performs best, wins. Gets the prize. The trophy. The reward. The big bucks. That’s just the way the world works.
But in business, as in life, when we struggle and compete to be the best, we often lose focus of what really matters, both intrinsically and extrinsically. Our thinking shifts away from what really matters. Instead of long-term growth, we think about quick wins.
While striving to be better is a good thing, a compulsion to be the best can become an unhealthy obsession and is, by no means, an accurate indicator of success.
It goes without saying that in order to thrive, our value is measured by past and present performance; but performance is merely a yardstick measured in inches. If the inches don’t add up, either will the yardstick. It won’t be tangible.
The other thing to remember is that performance is merely the outcome of a specific goal. What works once may never work again.
Think about it in context. After all,
- We root for our favorite teams and heroes and share the thrill of their victories, but that doesn’t mean they’ll win every game.
- A ball player name MVP one year, may never hold the title again.
- Our favorite actor may win a best performance Oscar one year, and never win another.
- An author may make the NY Times Bestseller list, but his next book may be a total flop.
Businesses that succeed value process over performance. Yes, we all have deliverables and deadlines to meet. Trustworthy businesses meet their obligations and keep their promises.
But they’re also realistic. They know that being the quickest to get things done doesn’t always mean that the work produced is going to be good; nor that if given the same goal in a different context, the results will be the same. They understand that consistency counts and the key is the process, and not the end result.
Companies that focus solely on performance can rarely maintain momentum and in the long run burn themselves out. They set unrealistic goals and expectations. On the other hand, those who focus on process have the capacity to develop standards and methodologies that apply to multiple situations and contingencies, giving them the flexibity and resilience to succeed more often and with more regularity.
Long term success demands a process strategy that includes:
- Assessing what works and what doesn’t work.
- Dropping what doesn’t work.
- Expanding your knowledge base.
- Increasing strengths and efficiencies by practicing asset management.
Higher performance then, becomes a given.
In that way, we’ve built sustainable routines, systems and habits that enable us and our team to move forward, and grow.
The benefits of a process-based approach are many, for both you and your team:
- It builds repeatable patterns of excellence that build confidence,
- It provides positive reinforcement and insights
- It generates increased motivation
- It reinforces winning habits that will insure success.
Without a process, a win is meaningless. A transitory moment or just a lucky break, unless you build patterns of behavior that support continued growth and development.