Focus On Your Outcomes!

Have you ever noticed that you really really really want to reach a certain outcome in your life and it seems like the results you want just elude you.  Nothing seems to work and you feel as though you are stalled?

Whether you are looking for a new job or transforming your current job into something that gets your juices flowing, focusing on your desired outcome is the only way to keep moving in the direction you want to move in.

I was inspired to look at these things after reading a book by Mark Samuel entitled Creating the Accountable Organization.  Actually I read the book after seeing him present at an international conference where I was really blown away by how in a very simple way he tied together a number of concepts that have been loosely connected in my head for several years.

In this post I am going to focus on just one of the concepts – Focus on the Outcomes.

The outcomes we are talking about here are the manifestation of your vision in this particular arena of job or business.  As you define your outcomes, it becomes your picture of success.  For example, in the vision we used in part 2, “People nearing retirement confidently making decisions and being inspired stewards of their resources” I could turn that into an outcome in the job/business realm that might be “providing financial education programs to corporate employees in the southeast and being at home most evenings to help my children with homework”.  As Mark points out in his book, the outcomes always have to have paradoxes or polarities because that is what real life is like.  You always have to balance opposite desires as you zig and zag towards the convergence of the two.

As I look for a job or look at other options within the same organization, I may find some opportunities that start me moving in that direction but it may not be in a straight line, or be the perfect match for all of the things that I have envisioned as important.  This is where the zig zagging comes in!

But what matters most is that I keep moving in the direction of the outcome.   When I take a temporary assignment or job, I may get off track a little bit but I can always ask myself if I am still going in the right direction.  If I want to reorient myself to the where I ultimately want to go, I keep looking towards the outcomes, not turning around and looking back at where I am coming from.  It is tempting to look back and think about how much easier it might be to stay where you were or how much better it was then.  But your job is to stay focused on your desired outcomes, not on where you have departed from.

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