Are you and your team delivering activities instead of results? Are the results the right ones?
Paraphrasing Henry Ford, “Nobody ever built a reputation on what they said they were going to do.” If you’re a leader, you already have a reputation for driving results. The question is, what kind of reputation? One common mistake is for leaders to confuse activity with results. Equating “busy” with “productive” has been debunked in all but the most antiquated of cultures.
Delivering results requires leaders to reject the belief that activity equals results; to affirm that, they deliver the right results by aligning their work to the mission and goals of the organization. Such leaders lead their teams with care and consideration so they achieve results in the right way while being mindful of the health and welfare of their teams.


  • Have you assessed whether the results you’re achieving are the same results your leader expects? It’s great to overdeliver with additional projects, but they cannot come at the expense of your core responsibilities or business goals.
  • Take the initiative and proactively check in with your leader to ensure you’re properly aligned and focused on the right priorities. Goals shift, and you may not always be aware of that in real time.
  • Don’t hesitate to seek a reality check about your performance. Don’t assume your results speak for themselves; you may need to highlight them or course-correct, based on the feedback you receive.
  • Thoughtfully calibrate the pressure you place on your teams to ensure you are achieving results now in ways that will allow you to achieve them again in the future.
  • Remember to coach to results, not activity.