Results Orientation is a competency that is defined as focusing on the desired end result of one’s own or one’s unit’s work; setting challenging goals, focusing effort on the goals, and meeting or exceeding them. A person demonstrating this competency:
- Develops challenging but achievable goals
- Develops clear goals for meetings and projects
- Maintains commitment to goals, in the face of obstacles and frustrations
- Finds or creates ways to measure performance against goals
- Exerts unusual effort over time, to achieve a goal
- Has a strong sense of urgency about solving problems and getting work done
Importance of this Competency
Results Orientation enables an individual to set and achieve challenging goals. People with this competency keep their goals and performance measures firmly in mind, so that they accomplish more in a shorter period of time. This competency is also an advantage after downsizing, because staff of a leaner organization must accomplish more work and become more productive.
General Considerations in Developing this Competency
One of the best ways to develop this competency is to work closely with a manager or team leader who demonstrates it. These people set challenging but achievable goals and milestones, regularly checking their progress against goals. They also demonstrate a sense of urgency about achieving goals. You may also find it helpful to read one of our guides that address goal setting. In addition to the ideas below, examine the time management readings and listed under Analytical Thinking in Workitect’s Competency Development Guide.
Practicing this Competency
- Prepare a set of personal work-related goals for the next two weeks. List what you will do in specific terms.
- The next time you are in charge of a meeting, prepare an agenda that includes specific objectives. Keep the group on track to ensure that you meet all objectives for the meeting.
- Find ways to measure your own work or a team’s work. First identify the most important outcomes you are working toward with each key task. Develop a way to measure each key outcome. For example, if you are in a Sales group, you might measure number of cold calls, number of customer meetings, number of proposals, and number of sales closed per week. Once you have identified the measures, graph each measure to track trends over time. For example, one graph might plot number of customer meetings held per week.
- If you are on a team, push the team to identify specific goals with deadlines and specific team members accountable for their completion.
Prepare a set of goals for your own work or for a team of which you are a part. Show the goals to someone whose judgment you respect. Ask if the goals represent the right balance between being challenging and being achievable. A good set of goals should be challenging enough to provide positive motivation and realistic enough to be achievable with some extra effort.
Learning from Experts
Interview someone who has achieved impressive results. Ask this person what he/she does to achieve results. Ask the person to describe in detail what he/she did to achieve one or two impressive results. Ask about planning, setting goals, and dealing with obstacles.
Coaching Suggestions for Managers
If you are coaching someone who is trying to develop this competency, you can:
- Model this competency by publicly setting challenging but achievable goals for your unit.
- Ask the person to prepare a set of personal work-related goals for the next 3-6 months. Review the goals with this person and provide feedback and suggestions. Set up a procedure for the person to regularly meet with you or keep you informed about progress toward the goals.
- Provide assignments which involve having the person work closely with someone who is strong in Results Orientation
Sample Development Goals
– By January 16, I will prepare a set of personal work-related goals for the first quarter and review these goals with my manager.
– By February 1, I will develop 3-6 key measures of my work progress. I will plot each of these measures on a graph displayed in my cubicle.
– By March 4, I will ensure that the Distribution Reassessment Team has developed a set of goals for the second quarter and an action plan with specific tasks, milestones, and accountabilities.
– By June 30, the team will meet all of its goals.
Getting Results: Five Absolutes for High Performance, by Clinton Longenecker & Jack L. Simonetti. New York, NY: Jossey-Bass, 2001.
Goals and Goal Setting, Third Edition: Achieving Measured Objectives, by Larrie Rouillard. Menlo Park, CA: Crisp Publications, Inc., 2002.
Performance Management: Changing Behavior that Drives Organizational Effectiveness, by Aubrey Daniels & James Daniels. Tucker, GA: Performance Management Publications, 2004.
Process Reengineering in Action: A Practical Guide to Achieving Breakthrough Results, by Richard Y. Chang. New York, NY: Jossey-Bass, 2000.
Root Cause Analysis: Improving Performance for Bottom-Line Results, Third Edition, by Robert J. Latino & Kenneth Latino. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2006.
The Answer to How Is Yes: Acting On What Matters, by Peter Block. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2002.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Ltd., 2005.
Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long, by David Rock. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishing, 2009.
Building Better Work Relationships: New Techniques for Results-oriented Communication. Three days. American Management Association. Tel. 877 566-9441.http://www.amanet.org/training/seminars/Building-Better-Work-Relationships-New-Techniques-for-Results-oriented-Communication.aspx
Getting Results Without Authority. Three days. American Management Association. Tel. 877 566-9441.
The Fundamentals of Structural Thinking. Four days. Robert Fritz, Inc. Tel. 800 848-9700.
This same level of information is available for 34 additional competencies that are a part of Workitect’s Competency Dictionary. Workitect helps individuals and organizations to develop competencies and competency models. We customize guides and provide licenses for the use of development guides throughout an organization. Contact us to learn more about the range of tools we provide.