Balancing Efforts & Results

In the end, it all boils down to effort!

We have long argued that as individuals we will always be limited by our biggest weaknesses, but in teams, we can perform to our greatest strength.

In environments where there are high levels of trust and vulnerability, each person can feel safe enough to pursue their strengths knowing that others on their team will help make their weaknesses irrelevant.

It’s what we call the miracle of teams!

An important corollary of this strengths-based theory is performance.

As the entire premise relies on each individual acknowledging, pursuing, improving and, most importantly, performing to their unique strengths.

In other words, if we were to subscribe to the thinking that everyone is blessed with talents, there is an expectation that one would put those talents to work…and not bury them.

For only when every person on the team executes and delivers to their specific capabilities can everyone else perform to theirs in the comfort and assurance that their weaknesses will be complimented.

This requires disciplined commitment and follow-through on hard work. Accountability!

Individuals, then, for the most part, are responsible for efforts; whilst the team (its leader, coach or manager) is responsible for results.

In our work to date, we have found this Efforts-Results model to be simple yet effective whether it is on the field, in the factory or in any other team environment.

It’s a lot easier, for example, to ask a player to aspire to get 10 rebounds a game, say in basketball, thereby exploiting his/her strengths than a sweeping mandate to win the game.

We call these Effort Goals. They can be qualitative or quantitative (or as we recommend, both).

Effort goals are controllable, or at least should be. Realistic. Achievable. They can be shared with the rest of the team. This way everyone knows what is expected.

It allows for commitment and accountability. By simply looking at the Scoresheet one knows how one is tracking against one’s Effort Goals and can make adjustments accordingly.

When every person on the team plays to their strengths and achieves their Effort goals, the team moves closer to accomplishing its Results.

Whether this is winning a game or achieving a performance objective, a team’s progress and results are visible on the Scoreboard.

It’s also clear then how each person’s Effort Goals contribute to the organisation’s Result Goals. Or how the individual Effort Scoresheets add up to the Team’s Results Scoreboard.

Achieving a divisional financial budget can be quite daunting to members of the team. However, if they are broken down into individual effort goals the pursuit becomes much easier.

For the salesperson, it could be an effort goal of X number of sales calls or sales meetings per week. Something that is easily understood and actioned. For the marketing executive, it could be a certain number of campaigns per quarter.

Of course, there could be more complex Scoresheet goals depending on the work involved. But the idea of breaking them down to the individual and having the Effort lens is where the power in the model lies.

We have been using Effort and Result Goals as part of our wider organisational transformation framework. If you’d like to know incorporate it into your team, please reach out to us on