The Seduction of the Short-Term
There is abundant truth in the statement “what comes easy may not be right.” It is that very thing that creates a seduction so significant that it derails many aspiring leaders as well as their organizations. Short-term results are a whole lot easier to achieve than long-term!
The significance of that claim is in the description “aspiring leaders.” We encounter young (and not so young) managers every day that aspires to be good “leaders” unfortunately for them aspiration does not always mean it will happen. I think most would agree that it’s not all their fault. These managers live and work in a world where they measure success (or are measured) by monthly or quarterly earnings or monthly sales or production quotas. What’s interesting is that most of the organizations these managers lead, have long-term goals (strategic if you will) that are well written and well-defined. Unfortunately, they are rarely achieved because the managers focus their energy only on what’s in front of them rather than taking a longer-term view of their decisions and actions.
This is not to say that measuring monthly or quarterly earnings or tracking sales quotas is a bad thing because it’s are not. It does, however, become bad when those goals are not tied to a longer-term plan and a reward system that prevents rewarding managers for stealing from “Peter to pay Paul” which is what that short-term seduction leads to.
A leader recognizes the value of doing what is right and recognizes that while it might not be easy, falling victim to short-term seduction that negatively impacts the longer-term objectives isn’t demonstrating leadership.
So where is your focus?
It really is pretty simple, just not easy!