Measurement. Does it help or hurt? It depends on how you want to lead.

Measurement. It seems we measure everything. In fact, there is a belief that if you can’t or don’t measure something, there’s no point in it.

There may be a little truth in that, but I believe that too much focus on measurements can be detrimental. Many times, total focus on the result can diminish the effort. When I was a schoolteacher, I saw many a youngster try with all their heart at something only to ultimately fail in the end. Does that mean those efforts were in vain? Of course not. To neglect their striving would crush their spirit and potentially start a downward spiral. Any parent knows this. Grades (measurements) rarely tell the whole story.

However, what about our workplaces? When a team member works hard at something but produces a less than optimum result, what happens? Typically, it is not so positive.

But why the difference? Does not hitting a number or failing to get an expected result mean they are no good and deserving of some sort of discipline simply because they are an adult? Do their efforts, unlike those of a child at school, mean nothing? Rationally, sitting here reading this, you are probably thinking “of course not.” Yet, every day, leaders in workplaces the world over discourage their charges by focusing on a number and neglecting their effort, heart, and intentions because it’s the rough and tumble adult world. Worse yet, it’s the adult world of business.

Measurement. It is necessary in many respects, but all that measurement should never eclipse the work and care demonstrated whether it is a child, adult, or aged retiree.  

If you want to be a leader people want to follow, and you want to lead well, you must see more than numbers and results on spreadsheets. You must see humans who try, fail, and hopefully, keep trying.

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2 thoughts on “Measurement. Does it help or hurt? It depends on how you want to lead.

  1. I bet we could spend hours talking through this one. I believe in balance. There are certainly measurable‘s and goals that need to be set. I think there’s accountability certainly in the business world to those expectations. But at the same time, there’s coaching, there’s encouragement, there’s growth, setbacks and growth again. If you’re in it together you can succeed! Keep them coming Neal Woodson!

  2. So true , Josh. We need goals but we need to put them into context. Not hitting a goal on an arbitrary date when your trajectory says it will be hit, just a little later, should be praised rather than punished. Too many do the latter instead of demonstrating greater wisdom. Thanks for your input.

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