"Winning is fun.... Sure. But winning is not the point. Wanting to win is the point. Not giving up is the point. Never letting up is the point. Never being satisfied with what you've done is the point." -- Pat Summitt
By now, you more than likely have found no shortage of motivational quotes about winning in business and life.
When you have your eyes on success, you most likely have your eyes on winning and attaining frequent victories. After all, who wants to lose?
Suppose you land a new leadership position at a company. The idea of being immediately successful is a seductive one, and to win quickly seems like the most attractive and obvious goal.
But according to Dan Ciampa in a recent Harvard Business Review column, you may want to be careful and avoid rushing too quickly toward early wins.
Sure, you will be tempted to "prove you are the right leader by getting the organization to deliver better results, and soon." Decreasing costs, changing the sales force size, speeding up production...you were hired to drive revenue and efficiency, right?
However, when you focus too much on early wins, you rob yourself of the opportunity to build strong relationships and gain valuable insight on workplace culture, two things critically important for lasting and sustainable success. As a result, Ciampa says, "quick wins may soon be undone, or they may beget new leadership problems."
How do you, a leader who wants to do well, keep from crashing and burning?
Don't start too fast. The "best way to succeed," Ciampa asserts, "is to slow things down." Simply clarify "what the people around you want most, the effects of your behavior, sources of resistance, and the ramifications of your decisions" in order to have more control over your pace towards success.
Be sure to work on how you are being perceived so you may assess the consequences of your actions, and use this knowledge to discover how or where you can exercise better judgment.
In the end, a leader who utilizes "wise judgment in the face of complex, important challenges" will be a leader who employees will happily follow and count on. But if your decisions -- and your wins -- are rushed, this employer-employee trust may never have the necessary amount of time to grow in the first place.