The exchange started with this:
Don’t confuse effort with results.
When I read that — looks like it started with Jason Fields, the interface expert for Huffington Post — I liked it. It reminded me of my first real boss, who taught that a reason why not isn’t good enough. It wasn’t my absolute favorite lesson in life, but it stuck. And so I passed it on.
My quote of Jason’s quote generated a challenging follow-up question, from Sajid Husain, who describes himself as a techno-geek entrepreneur in India:
As a leader, do you look only for results, or appreciate the effort even in failure?
I said case by case; no general rules apply. Sajid agreed, adding:
Just appreciating the effort in failures can bring complacency and decrease the hunger to be successful.
This is a great example of real management, live people, and real problems. You can’t always follow certain rules. Sajid’s obviously right about danger of complacency. But when you’ve put real effort into something that didn’t work out, how would you feel about a dose of “don’t confuse effort with results?”
Real management isn’t always following the rules. You need to be able to get off the path and deal with things case by case. In my opinion.