How do you get to an answer that equals 5?

You might say 1+4 = 5

But that’s not how I would do it. What if I approached it as:

3+2 = 5

Am I wrong? What if someone else chooses to approach it as:

2+3=5 or 4+1 =5 or 6-1=5 or even 25/5=5 or 5×1=5

Who is right? Technically speaking, we all are.

Just because it’s not the way you would have arrived there doesn’t mean others are wrong.

In a recent conversation with Holly Ransom on my podcast she framed it as “just because your perspective is right, doesn’t mean it’s the only one“.

Things don’t always need to happen ‘your way’. If you want to feel in control without becoming controlling then you can’t get pulled down into preferences. Your job as a leader is to manage performance.

Could they have arrived at the answer sooner? Could they have done the job easier? Possibly. But the process of getting to the answer is just as valuable as arriving at the answer.

The process of getting to the answer is where the magic happens. It’s where you learn, grow, fail and problem solve so you can get there easier and faster in the future. Your team need the freedom to explore that.

Performance asks “did they deliver on the outcome?”
Preference asks “did they do it my way?”

Make the answer fixed but let the expression be flexible. Control the outcome, don’t become controlling on the process.

A question to reflect on:
Is this conversation I’m about to have about a performance issue or a preference issue?