Objectives and Agendas

Whose Objectives are You Pursuing, by Walter McIntyre

Every person and every organization has objectives and a purpose.  I am not speaking of the ones individuals profess or those an organization posts on their lobby wall.  It is the ones you observe in action that count.  These objectives, which are always related to an agenda, are not that hard to see and hear if you are paying attention.

I am fortunate to have been involved in leading a business turn around twice in my career.  In both cases individual agendas and objectives were subverting the business’s success.   In both cases, changing the focus of specific individuals, or removing the individuals from the business, became the turning point for business success.

You have to pay attention to what people say, and what they do, to see past the facade. To hear someone say they want to see certain business metrics improve, but their actions are about promoting themselves,  is a dead giveaway.  These folks will sub-optimize the business to accomplish their personal agendas.

It is a characteristic of highly successful individuals that they work hard to be the best at whatever they are doing.  They move up the ladder by way of out-working and out-learning everyone else.  They build a group of faithful followers who trust that the individual will give credit where credit is due and share in the benefits that success provides.  They also take ownership of failures instead of blame shifting or excuses.

If want to build a successful organization, staff it with folks that share your vision and are willing to fulfill their own objectives by way of making the vision a reality.  Avoid folks who are looking to promote themselves at the expense of others and the vision.

As for advice, I tend to avoid folks who are seeking a title or pay level.  They tend to see the business as a means to an end.  They check out as soon as they believe their agenda looks unattainable.  Even though I have held the titles of COO and CEO in my career, I never sought them.  They came as a result of working my tail off to make vision a reality and business successful.