It would seem the best way to achieving anything in life is to stay primarily focused on the end result or outcome. This comes from us being hard wired to look towards the future, as process in the present moment can be harder to measure than an end goal and therefore we feel we need to do this, by default, and believe this is the right way. I always believed this to be true, the more I stayed focused on the end result the closer I could be to it or so it seemed and the more real it would become.
Most goals I set out to achieve I conquer in the time frame I set out but on reflection I don’t always learn as much as I could from the journey or have as much fun in the process as I could. I have recently written my first book “Limitless leadership”- A guide to leading from the inside out, and through the process of writing a book I have realised more than ever, that what I suspected was true. Staying focused on the end goal isn’t all it is cracked up to be. I am naturally off the charts in goal orientation and wanting to achieve so this is a big thing for me to admit.
As this is the first book I have ever written and have had published, the process was unknown, totally new and forced me to be more in the moment than I normally would be. It made me have to be present and focused on new techniques and ways and be open to advice which I feel made me learn faster and be more successful in what I set out to do. Make no mistake you need a strong “why” and outcome in mind but don’t get caught up in the end result and what others may think, as many of us tend to measure success by results and not by the process and learnings we take and make along the way.I now know that by being focused on the process of writing a book instead of the end game, this worked for me, and I really enjoyed the process, the learnings and therefore the result. I didn't just get to that sunny place on the beach, I saw the sights and enjoyed the trip to get there and learnt so much that I can use next time around.
I believe there are a few reasons why a focus on process can trump focus on progress. From my own experience and also working with executives and leaders I get to see the different ways individuals and teams set out to achieve team and organisational goals. Focusing on the process can give you confidence in knowing that you are working towards something and getting better at that task. For instance, becoming a professional internal coach or mentor can be daunting but having short ongoing coach centric conversations with your team will build this muscle and reinforce you are on the right track. When achieving a team or organisational project, all individuals have a role to play and this gives each person control of their area or tasks and therefore ownership. This can then build a cadence of accountability along the way resulting in completion of the desired outcome. By focusing on the process and not being entirely focused on what the end result should look like, we can be open to more alternative thinking and look at possibilities to explore along the way. Being in the present can be more enjoyable and can anchor feelings of being empowered so people are happy the next time you embark on something similar as you know it can be an enjoyable process again.
To remain process focused isn’t always easy, with all the noise, technology, structure and “people” challenges we have to cut through. A good way to focus on the process of what you are doing is to look at ways you measure yourself against the effort you put in not where you are placed on the journey. Also reframe any failures or mistakes along the way as learnings and block out the noise of what others think by being in the moment of your journey to mastery!
Renée has just completed her first book “Limitless Leadership”- A guide to leading from the inside out.
Pre-order your copy today! www.reneegiarrusso.com
Renée Giarrusso is an accomplished facilitator, speaker, trainer and coach who works with high performing leaders and their teams across a myriad of industries and organisations. She passionately helps leaders fulfill their full potential resulting in increased motivation and performance. Her expertise in growing and developing capability and behavioral change around leadership, communication, transition, presenting and sales effectiveness leave her clients inspired, re-energised and with improved results.
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