Focus On The Outcome, Not The Output
February 26, 2021
“The client wants to see our solution, go ahead and prepare a standard proposal and share it with me,” your boss tells you. “Sure thing,” You say, and you get on to preparing the proposal.
You have done many proposals like this, and you have a few standard templates in the system. You do some necessary cut-paste activity and have the proposal ready.
Your boss asked you to do something, and you did precisely that.
But, there is a problem !!
You got busy trying to get the proposal ready for your boss without taking a pause and asking yourself these two fundamental questions,
“Why was I told to do this in the first place?”
“What will the outcome be by doing this?”
The challenge in workplaces is that many people stick to the comfort of doing what someone asks them to do. They focus on the output without paying attention to what the outcome is. They do what is needed to be done, nothing more.
The trouble with this approach that people become dispensable
Whenever you do only so much that has been asked of you, if there is ever a person who can improve on your work, that person will replace you.
There is a simple trick to deal with this issue.
Focus On The Outcome
Don’t focus only on the work you have been assigned. Focus on what will be achieved with the work you do. Figure out the end game and do your work from that perspective. Outputs are the “what,” the actions and activities you do, where outcomes are the “why,” the reason you do those activities.
Coming back to the problem of the proposal. If you had asked yourself, “why is my boss telling me to do this, and what is the outcome he is expecting” the answer would have become evident for you. Your boss trusts you to create a great proposal, and that is why he gave you the mandate. He wants to crack this deal and get into a long-term deal with the client. The deal is the outcome, while the proposal is the output.
When you understand the outcome expected, you will do much more in preparing the proposal. You will research the client, understand the problems, figure out who the decision-makers are, and tailor a proposal that will help your boss positively impact the client when he presents to them.
Remember this simple mantra- When doing anything, don’t focus on the output; focus on the outcome. When you approach any activity with this perspective, your stakeholders will love you. They will see you as indispensable.