Great Results Don’t Mean You Are the Best – The Value of the “Soft Stuff”

In his recent blog post, But Are You Doing Your Work?, Seth Godin reminds great leaders that their work is more than simply achieving a goal. He writes: “A doctor might think her job is to cure diseases.

But, in fact, that’s not what gets and keeps patients. The cure is a goal, and it’s important, but it’s not sufficient.” There is much more to the work than simply accomplishing the cure. That is their job. The caring and personal attention to their patients, the development and growth of their staff, and involvement in community are all part of a bigger picture of their “work.” From a performance evaluation metaphor, doing the job and simply meeting its specific, minimal deliverables can be equated to just “meeting objectives.” Doing their “work” is, in reality, to exceed objectives. It is that magical elixir of going above-and-beyond, incorporating all that “soft stuff”, in which the total work package is delivered, sustained and grown.

It is much more than focusing only on the quantitative  deliverable. Godin tells great leaders: “Doing your job is not always the same as doing the work. The “soft stuff” might matter more than you think. Doing the work is the ticket you buy for the privilege of doing the other part.”  It is this mindfulness, this mindset, that differentiates the good from the great leader.

Ernest Hemingway captures the essence of Godin’s message in his words: “It’s good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters in the end.” Great leaders know that many people can achieve great results, but the truly great ones differentiate themselves with the magic and caring of their “soft stuff.” May your “soft stuff” be your winning ticket. Its payout is inestimable!

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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1 Response to Great Results Don’t Mean You Are the Best – The Value of the “Soft Stuff”

  1. Jack Beach says:

    Great leader understand “that their work is more than simply achieving a goal.” This is a great insight. It suggests that achieving goals is a means as well as an ends. That is, goal accomplishment should always be accompanied by increasing organizational capability for what lies ahead. In addition to a satisfied customer/client, workers should emerge more capable and with deeper respect for, and trust in, each other. They should feel more confident and energized about taking on bigger challenges and increased responsibilities. In the end it is not just about the work; it is about the people who do the work.

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