Fundamental #7 – Be Performance-driven


Be Performance-driven.  We appreciate effort, but we reward and celebrate results.  Set challenging goals, and then go after them.  Don’t shy away from metrics or accountability. We embrace metrics as an essential tool to help us understand how well we’re meeting our customers’ needs and more importantly, how we can improve our performance in meeting those needs.  Holding yourself accountable for achieving results is a reflection of your commitment to our mission.

“Only one team in the National Football League goes home at the end of every season having achieved its ultimate objective.  The fact is, whether you are the Super Bowl champion or one of the other thirty-one teams in the league, we all have the same opportunity: to get better, to improve, to be our best.” – Tom Coughlin

I attended a seminar this past week, the speaker who is in HR told a story about an interview she had with a candidate a few years prior.  She said that during the interview she handed the candidate a job description, he reviewed it and replied “This is helpful, thank you.  But can you please describe the contributions of someone who you would consider to be highly effective in this role?”  That is a person who is performance-driven. They are not looking to do the bare-minimum, they want to know what they need to do to be the A player, the rockstar.  Our numbers are extremely important, but I do want to point out that the individual didn’t say what does my efficiency have to be, he asked what he had to do to be highly effective at the role, and in order to be highly effective at a role, you have to have a combination of things, not just have high efficiencies.   The person that has highest efficiencies,  is not always the person who I would say is highly effective;  Sometimes I think we get so caught up in efficiencies, that we lose track of quality, safety, and helping other people in the company to reach our ultimate goals.

I think it is important to focus on the performance of the company, not just the individual.  Being performance driven, includes making sure that your internal customer is getting set up to succeed.   You could work hard all day, but if you are making it harder for the next person in line to perform their job, then you are not being performance-driven. Clean up your area, stack your parts correctly, sample, sign-off on the traveler, do the things necessary to prevent any extra work for the next person in line, and allow them to perform at their maximum.  I am sure we can all come up with at least 1 thing we could do to help another person perform better.

The speaker at my seminar told us about a trip she recently took with her family.  While she was checking into the hotel, her husband came in and told her that the snacks she had packed for the trip were now spilled out all over the backseat of the car, she replied “you should do something about that.”  He replied “I am doing something about it, I am telling you.”

She made a great point when she said that we often don’t fix a problem that we are capable of fixing, we just send the problems to the supervisors or leads, or just leave them for the next person in line to deal with.  We should be taking it upon ourselves to do everything we possibly can to fix the problem.  That is part of being performance driven, in this situation the husband had made an effort to tell someone about the problem, but he failed to perform and get results by cleaning up the mess.

– Whitney Fuller