Long-term results depend on people.
And how you engage with them is going to determine YOUR long-term results.
You can skip this article if you are the type of leader or manager who is primarily concerned with achieving short-term results to advance your career, position, or ego. You already know the proper steps to take.
However, if you are working on a long-term project, committed to your vision, and ready to produce consistent results over time, you might find value in reading on.
Because, as you most likely already know, achieving high levels of results in a sustainable manner requires the continuous cooperation of others. These individuals may include your team, customers, suppliers, peers, managers, and other stakeholders.
And if we want to achieve high performance on a sustained basis, we must talk about the long term, which crucially includes the long-term relationships we develop with all of these individuals.
Our improved results will be more consistent the more solidly that long-term relationship is established.
Long-term strategies versus short-term tactics
The challenge for many managers, however, is how to balance the need for immediate results with the imperative of establishing those long-term relationships with stakeholders, associates, and employees.
Faced with this dilemma, and under pressure from the environment, many managers and leaders concentrate on using short-term tactics that:
- Will produce quick results
- Do not require significant "investments," such as time or money, in cultural changes
- Work perfectly during times of crisis
- Involve 'pushing' or 'threatening' that could result in someone losing an extra bonus, status, or even the job.
These tactics work. That is why a lot of businesses continue to use them.
However, they have drawbacks such as high employee turnover, poor talent attraction, and low levels of employee inspiration, motivation, and commitment to giving their best.
Consequence: Not sustainable high level of results.
What's the other option?
One of our long-term strategies is to move our relationship with our employees and associates from one of a short-term, transactional relationship, to one of long-term, transformational relationship if we want to maintain a high level of results over time.
Here are some examples that help differentiate the two:
"I pay you to do this job, I offer you these working conditions, and I want to see your results today"
"I invest in you today (I train, mentor, coach you) so we can continuously achieve better results together"
“I’m only concerned about the professional part of you. I’m not interested in what happens personally to you outside the workplace”
“I care about you as a person. Your overall well-being and personal satisfaction are a priority for me; I want to support you in your personal development”
"Even if the company's values and mission are in conflict with your own, you must accept because I am paying you."
"I want to look at any opportunity, together with you, on how the Company can support you on the pursuit of your life's purpose and vision."
Which of these two columns better describes your environment?
The transformational relationship will seem like a utopia to many people. An unreachable ideal.
The point is that even if this seems unattainable in your current environment, simply holding it up as an ideal will drastically alter the actions you take with those around you, and the results will gradually start to materialize.
Action step for you:
On a scale from 1 to 10, where
1 denotes a relationship that is purely transactional, and
2 represents a perfect, transformational relationship,
determine how you would rate your relationship with employees, associates, and other stakeholders, and then decide on ONE action you can start taking right away to move closer to that ideal transformational relationship.