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“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” John Maxwell

One of the values that we most often see reflected in performance evaluations is the Results Focus, and it is established as the ability of an associate to consecutively exceed the agreed goals. Now, in the complex world in which we live, our range of influence is limited. No matter what we do, there will always be factors we can control ones we can only influence, and some that we have no impact on.

What can’t we control? A pandemic, the climate, an economic crisis, new substitutes for our products, a terrorist attack or natural phenomena.

What can we (to a greater or lesser degree) influence? Customers, suppliers and competitors, professional associations and eventually, investors, legislators, and public in general.

What can we really control each day?

Compliance with our internal processes. To the extent that the processes of human resources, manufacturing, marketing, sales, billing, collections, technology, customer service and finance (among many others), are appropriate for each organization in its current state of development, and they are executed with excellence and with a deep sense of the organization’s mission, we can anticipate improved results. This is where we must focus. The most direct way to influence the results is through optimizing the execution of the processes.

If a person wants to lose weight, weighing themselves daily is beneficial because they will be able to detect if progress is stopped (which will allow them to take immediate corrective actions), as well as helping with self-motivation when they see progress.

However, the simple act of weighing themselves will not affect their results. What does increase their chances of reaching their proposed goals is to fulfill the processes with excellence, which in this case could be for the person to maintain an appropriate exercise routine, to stay on their feet for longer during the day, to reduce calorie intake through a personalized diet and to enjoy a complete night’s rest. In short, frequent monitoring of results serves to detect deviations, but what will keep us on target is compliance with good processes executed with excellence and consistency. That is where our focus should be.

Similarly, if we want to exceed our sales targets, we must monitor them with an appropriate frequency, perhaps daily or weekly, using available tools that allow us to understand what is happening in the market. However, what will make the difference is the way in which we consistently react and act on that information. Efficient digital marketing, a trained sales team, an excellent relationship with each client, the use of appropriate technology, financial transparency, a creative and challenging work environment, among others, are the processes that, well executed, will affect those results, and bring us closer to the goals.

But let’s move a little further to the root of this issue: What makes a person comply with the processes and persevere whether the established results are being achieved or not? Character. Going back to the example of losing weight, character is what makes us put that dessert aside, get on that treadmill or going to the gym either early in the morning, in the afternoon or at night (which we can fulfill the processes). It is character that eliminates excuses one by one, as they appear.

Although we need to monitor the evolution of the results in a timely manner, what we need from our leaders and teams is the passionate and effective adherence to good and validated processes, which is achieved through developing the character of each one of them, as reflected on this chart:

Character is the virtue of being able to fulfill the processes with excellence, integrity, and constancy regardless of whether the results are being achieved or not, or whether you are receiving recognition or not. A strong character is self-motivated. It operates without being distracted by flattery or discouraged by the lack of it.

In my personal experience working with leaders from different cultures and geographies, I have noticed that when the pressure on results increases, those leaders who do not have the character and maturity necessary to raise their hands and dare to deliver bad news start to worry more about what their superiors are going to think of them than about the mission and results. This can tempt them to “embellish” the figures and to manipulate key performance indicators. All this is the natural product of the exaltation of the results over the character, what we want to achieve and not how we achieve it.

My advice to entrepreneurs and leaders is to keep monitoring the results to detect any deviation from what was planned early and take proactive action, but make sure that the central focus of the teams remains on promoting, training, and helping their members developing the right character so that they comply with the processes with professionalism and excellence, which will increase the probability that the results will be achieved and exceeded. Simply put, let’s continually focus on what we can influence because it is going to positively affect the results.

How do we develop those values ​​and character in our teams?

  • Character is not taught or trained, it is modeled

The genuine correlation between what leaders say, do and decide in a daily basis and the values ​​of the organization, is a far more powerful instrument of transformation than any training, incentive-based system, or threats for those who disrespect those principles.

Character is not formed by taking notes, repeating phrases, or watching videos in workshops. Character is transmitted by inspiration. It invites to be imitated until it becomes a habit. If you act fully aligned with your values ​​even when doing so could harm you, you build credibility. Credibility over time turns to genuine respect, and later admiration (even from your critics). Only from there can you legitimately influence the organization to fulfill its mission.

  • Sculpt the culture of the organization

What identity do you want to give your company? Ask yourself, what are the values ​​that we want as an organization to manifest and live? What do we want to see and what we don’t want to see in our people? What behaviors are we going to promote to fulfill the entity’s mission and thus benefit its clients? Select 3 or 4 adjectives, different virtues that you want to be noticed by everyone who sees your team in action. Define it as collaborative, challenging, rigorous, organized, structured, innovative, efficient, transformative, fun. Select only a few that are meaningful and fit deep into your soul.

Manifest them, live them, and spread them so they are contagious. Consider these qualifiers to define the values ​​of your company. Relate them to the vision and mission. Make sure these aspects of the organizational culture are considered within the selection process.

Additionally, bring together those few associates who have been the most successful in their positions. Those who stand out from the rest by their attitude towards challenges, their perseverance and professionalism. Gather them together and make a list of the top attitudes they think have made a difference in their careers.

Then select from those behaviors a “We Always…” list, such as We always: 1. Walk an extra mile for our clients. 2. Operate with integrity and report any suspicious situation, 3. Resolve conflicts by first talking to the person. 4. Handle open calendars. 5. Return calls. 6.Deliver on time. 7. Handle data confidentially, etcetera.

In the same way, evaluate about 5-6 associates who have a significant gap between their behaviors and those expected of them. Make a list of the main deviations, group them together and generate a list of “We Never…” For example: We never: 1. Murmur about the performance or behavior of any other associate. 2. Leave products out of the inventory area. 3. Manipulate, harass, or offend any person of any rank for any purpose. 4. Lose our composure with the customer. 5. Promise to deliver something that we know we cannot deliver, and so on.

  • Raise your expectations of your team

I once read about an interesting experiment that aimed to measure the impact that teachers’ expectations had on their students´ performance. To do this, two students were randomly selected from each elementary and middle school classroom in many public schools, and teachers were told (falsely) that these two chosen individuals had much higher IQs. What happened? Well, teachers demanded more of them because they believed them to be smarter than average, and surprisingly most of those students scored better than those who were excluded from the study, regardless of their real IQ.

Raise your expectations about the behaviors that your team can model. Believe they can be more loyal, capable, objective, or hard-working than they appear to be. Every person has greater potential than what is manifesting. Become a career amplifier, and this applies to both the most talented and successful members of your team and those who are underperforming. Demand and challenge them according to their potential, not according to their stories or what you see. You’ll be surprised.

  • Publicly reward associates who “live” those values

Giving quarterly awards to individuals, departments or interdisciplinary teams that have shown those values your organization promotes, is a positive way to increase the behaviors we want to see more and influence the organizational culture.

I will be glad to help you (for free) to define, create and implement these awards within your organization. Just write to me at or send me a DM via Messenger, and I will gladly share it with you.


  1. Character is not taught or trained, it is modeled
  2. Sculpt the culture of the organization
  3. Raise the expectations of your team
  4. Publicly reward associates who “live” those values

For questions or suggestions on topics you can write to me at or visit my page

About me

Broadened the careers of organizational leaders into positions of greater influence and purpose.

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