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September 3, 2014

Se7en Deadly Sins Blog Post Series: Materialism

sin 5

As a leader, are you output focused instead of outcome focused? Are you too focused on the trees to see the forest? Then you’re likely a victim of what I like to call “shiny object syndrome.” In terms of our Deadly Sins, this translates as Materialism, or finding more value in counting short-term deliverables than in achieving long-term goals.

Instead of thinking about end results and achieving goals, leaders often put too much emphasis on the importance of managing individual tasks and projects.  Although you may believe this is the most efficient way to do things as a leader, it’s actually unproductive and potentially harmful to your company. Focusing on these material, tangible details rather than the big picture leads to the kind of micromanagement that devalues members of your team and distracts from long-term goals and success. 

Want to avoid materialism and inspire your team? Consider using phrases like, “The outcome we seek on this project is…” or “What’s the problem we’re trying to solve?”  When leaders focus on the destination, rather than the minutiae of the road to getting there, they inspire their team while keeping them focused on the common goal.

Keeping your employees constantly involved in the plan for your company’s future will motivate them more to be a productive member of the team.  Leaders and team members won’t get lost in the weeds as long as their final destination is always in sight.

Are you more focused on outcomes or output?  Develop a statement to explain your big picture goal.

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