Focus on the result, not the input

Do you have one of the characteristics of poor leaders?

  • You recruit a competent professional; after a series of interviews and competence assessment
  • You give them a job description – over 5 pages of lists of what their activities will be
  • And then you tell them how to do it

If you do that, you are probably killing their creativity and innovation.

Leadership is about setting clear targets – clarifying on outputs or performance indicators based on say balanced score card areas – FLIC – financial, learning & growth, internal business processes (innovation) and customer focus.


  • Financial – Turnover US $100,000 annual revenue; gross profit margin 50% and net profit margin 20%.
  • Learning & growth – 100% awareness of the internal policies and procedures by all staff; 10% staff turnover; etc.
  • Customer focus – 90% retention, 80% referral rate
  • Etc

That way, as a leader, you focus on the bigger picture. You have clear key result areas (KRAs) communicated to your staff; and it is up to them to give you interventions/ strategies on how they plan to deliver. As long as their interventions are legit – within laws and company policies, they have flexibility to be creative and think to deliver the expectations. The next thing is to give them a specific report format of how you want them to give you updates on the progress of attaining the targets, lessons and next steps — in case of failure to attain the targets. It could indicate need to review and revise the targets.

And that happens to be the secret of great leaderships.


  • Set clear result areas – what are your expectations of your team. what do you want your team to deliver
  • Communicate it to them
  • Give then flexibility to use their brains
  • Conduct on going monitoring

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa. All rights reserved. 2015

About M. B. Mugisa

Mustapha Barnabas Mugisa is one of those rare people who provides business consulting and advisory to professionals and corporate entities who demand the very best. He is a prolific speaker and governance (strategy and risk) expert. His speaking involves making key notes at major conferences and business events on both technical subjects and leadership skills. A change agent and motivational speaker. Mustapha provides tools and proven methodologies to remarkable results through making people appreciate change. Visit Mustapha's LinkedIn profile to know more. Mustapha is the architect of #WinningMindset Leadership and #WinningTheGame strategy approach that combines Harvard Business strategy Playing To Win, with the Blue Ocean Strategy and Balanced Score Card to deliver a strategy that is easy to execute and monitor. Visit for special insights to improve your condition. Are you too good to be great?

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