Why leaders focus on OUTCOMES, not just OUTPUTS

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Every leader seeks to identify, and measure, the results of their initiatives.

But truly effective leaders also understand that there is a time and place for measuring OUTPUTS, and another time and place for focusing on OUTCOMES.

Outputs are the tangible metrics you can see, feel and touch. Outcomes, on the other hand, are the impacts you are trusting your initiatives will produce.

A recent discussion I had with a remarkable leader in Goa, India, paints a powerful picture of this.

At the Willow Creek Association (WCA), we are witnessing a tremendous growth surge in the number of Global Leadership Summit (GLS) sites being requested by leaders in the remarkable country of India.

As an OUTPUT, we are tracking the number of new GLS sites being requested, and the number of leaders these sites are training.

But as an OUTCOME we focus on what impact these GLS sites are producing.

For an example of an outcome, meet Ronald Raj.

Ronald is a business leader in Bangalore, located in the Indian state of Karnataka. Ronald heads a business consulting firm, but his world was shaken a year ago when he attended his first GLS.

“It was during the GLS that God deposited a dream into my spirit, to raise up thousands of Christian business leaders.”

I asked Ronald why this dream was so important, and his answer floored me.

“What we see in India is that the economy is the backbone of any nation,” he explained. “And until we have Christian business people who are influencing the economy we cannot have an impact on this nation.”

In other words, as a result of his participation at the GLS in India, Ronald is now throwing himself with full vigor into a plan to develop thousands of Christian business leaders in India, who in turn can have a powerful Christian impact on the Indian subcontinent.

Ronald concluded his comments to me by saying, “I have always wanted to serve the Lord. But I didn’t know how to use my talents and skills to serve him. Then at the GLS I began to see how I could bring together the business principles I know and the Christian principles I believe coming together to serve the Kingdom, to advance the Kingdom.”

From the perspective of the GLS, THAT’S an outcome we can celebrate.

In your leadership what are your desired outcomes (versus outputs)?

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow & Olive and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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