Not everything in life can be measured.
Actually, many of the most wonderful things in life defy measurement entirely.
Take the simple feeling of a warm summer’s breeze on your face on your walk to get your morning coffee fix – you can’t describe it, you can’t compare it, and you certainly can’t measure it. It uplifts you, it puts an extra spring in your step, and no matter what you are thinking about, you look up to the blue sky and stop thinking about it for a second.
That pleasant breeze might be the reason that you are that little bit more positive on your next client phone call. You might react that little bit more positively to bad news in the office. It may be than your smiling demeanour (seemingly without any “rational” reason) could infect the guys you sit with.
That breeze on that particular day made the incremental difference in your life to take you from neutral to positive. You can’t explain it, you can’t ensure that it happens again on a regular basis, but it makes all the difference.
Now, taking this into a business context….
Return on investment (ROI) is the Holy Grail in business – you strive for it, you strategize for it – it is the reason that key reason why people are employed in the first place. Their company pays their salary, and they add their unique value….
It is in assessing this return where certain people stand out from the management crowd.
For the slightly more insecure manager, it is easier to cling to tangible numbers, KPIs and measurements to understand their business. I am not saying that the stats are unimportant – of course, they give us a basic understanding, but they don’t tell the whole story. People who run their business and their teams by numbers alone will not set the world alight.
The true leader understands the effect of that “warm breeze” in his business. He understands the hidden dynamics within his team, he knows who the true influencers are and whose work is making the crucial difference, no matter how “visible” it is. They don’t manage by spreadsheets, they manage by smiles. They know that what is left “unsaid” is far more important than what is said. They are masters at filling in the gaps and connecting the seemingly disparate threads of their business.
With the feeling leader, their team feel it too. When you know that your boss “gets” you, without pages of Powerpoint presentations and lines of detail, your relationship moves to the next level. You are no longer trying to prove yourself because you know that your boss understands that you are doing a good job – figures or no figures…. When you have a boss that “feels”, you can concentrate on doing the best job that you possibly can, without worrying about whether they know it or not.
If your boss insists on you producing the figures to justify every little investment and prove every individual success, maybe it is time to look for a leader who appreciates that warm breeze a little more.
Written by Alex Turner, Edited by Paul Drury
Tip @LinkedInPulse “Why I Prefer “No” to “Maybe””