The Process Is the Product

How a things is done is as important as what is done.

Good plans can be unnecessarily impeded because of a failure to go about implementing them in a proper and transparent manner.

 The greatest cost to the leader and organization for doing good things the wrong way is that there is a loss of confidence.

That loss of confidence can be in the competence of the leader. It can also be a loss of confidence in the integrity of the leader. Some may conclude that leader lacks the requisite wisdom and "know-how." Others may assume that there was some ulterior motive at play in the decision to "skip steps."

When good things are attempted without respect to protocol the culture of an organization can be infused with suspicion. People begin asking questions like, "If everything were above board, why did they feel the need to detour proper protocols? Why did they circumvent proper channels?"

What some have often tagged as determined and courageous leadership, leadership that "gets things done" can also be viewed as leadership that lacks maturity. Deciding to bulldoze one's desire may work in the short term. But if one would position herself or himself to lead an organization for the long haul, the leader would do well to understand its constitution, culture and its stated (and sometimes unstated) expectations.

Admittedly, there are times that an organization has unreasonable expectations. Organizations are imperfect things. Unreasonable expectations need to be addressed. Unreasonable expectations will adversely affect the organization. Some of the ways organization health is compromised by those unreasonable expectations is that the organization will find it difficult to incorporate new members. People may join, but they won't stay. Another consequence will be that there will also be a unusually high turnover rate of its leaders. An organization can think so highly of itself that it puts unrealistic demands upon its leaders. Good leaders will come. And they will go. Unless these unrealistic expectations are changed, the organization will eventually die.

Having said that, my original point still remains true. If those expectations need to be changed, communication and a genuine regard for the people is critical. The leader must win the trust of the people if he would would lead them to needed change.


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