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The Champion Forum Podcast

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Should Leaders Prioritize People or Results?


Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! Every leader must both get results and take care of their team members. But what do you do when those two tasks seem to be at odds? When a deadline is approaching, do you have time to talk to employees about how they are doing personally? How do you avoid turnover when you’re results-driven? Today, we’ll talk about the balance between these two important responsibilities and why you need a flexible approach.


Effective Leaders

  1. Prioritize open and transparent communication. They don’t allow their busy schedules to get in the way of regular check-ins, constructive feedback, and active listening.

  2. Invest in their team's growth and development. Effective leaders prioritize offering opportunities for skill enhancement, mentorship, and career advancement.

  3. Set realistic expectations. Set goals that challenge your team without discouraging them. Ensure your goals align with your organization’s long-term vision.

  4. Give their team autonomy and trust them to make decisions within their roles. You will boost morale and foster a sense of ownership and responsibility.

  5. Celebrate achievements. Recognize and reward not only the results but also the effort, dedication, and collaboration of your team members.

Q: Which of these tools do you think help teams achieve results? Which one helps the most with building relationships? Are any of these challenging for you? Why or why not?

What is more important? People or Results?

Both are equally important. The secret for leaders is to determine the correct balance of leadership for every person. Start by recognizing your own bias. Do you naturally bend toward results-driven leadership or relational leadership? If you are naturally results-driven, you are missing a connection with at least some of your team members. If you are relational, you may struggle to have the respect of your team members who are results-driven. Highly successful leaders account for the organization’s mission and goals and balance them with values and relationships.


Q: Do you naturally tend to focus on people or results? Why? How does your tendency influence the way you lead?


Instead of asking, “Should I focus on people or results?” Ask yourself: “Can I motivate this person to perform better with a focus on results or the relationship?”


The biggest mistake you can make is projecting your preferences onto someone else. Some employees need a more relational approach before they open up about work. Others are ready to jump in and get results. Neither person is right or wrong, and you may need to put aside your personal preferences to lead them well. When you do, you will achieve results through people and ensure that people thrive in the process.


Q: Do you prefer to start your meetings with casual conversations, or are you ready to jump right into work? What makes you feel connected with your boss/company? What makes you feel more motivated to achieve? How do you think your preferences compare to your boss/people on your team?


Application Activities:

  1. Results-driven leaders can accidentally avoid making a relational connection because they are busy driving measurable performance metrics. To become more relational, ensure that you build enough time into your weekly check-ins for casual conversation. If you find your employee opens up more when you open with casual conversation, make a note to start your meetings that Genuine concern and an investment into their personal goals outside of their current role will speak volumes to these employees.

  2. Sometimes relational leaders can fear giving feedback because they are worried it will hurt their relationships. This approach can harm your productivity and keep you from achieving your business goals. If you need to add more accountability to your leadership, check out our series on feedback here.

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