RSL (Results as a Second Language)

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July 2013

RSL (Results as a Second Language)
For a few years, research has indicated that students who study English as a second language (ESL) or English as an additional language (EAL) tend to experience benefits. According to earlier NEA research, some of the benefits of second language study are: enhanced or enriched cognitive development, increased creativity, a sense of achievement and increased problem solving ability.

As I was considering the benefits of second language learning my thoughts began to drift toward the corporate environment. At times I partner with my clients to identify or clarify the results and outcomes that represent leader effectiveness and business success. In this process it has struck me that results-speak is a language that often is not the native tongue of many, but leaders and their organizations benefit greatly when results fluency is achieved.

But what if there were a leadership development and employee retention vehicle that was so effective, you could literally see the empirical evidence mounting before your eyes? What if you could expect to expect recognizable, tangible results? Actually, there is and you can.

To what degree does your team speak the language of results? It depends upon the metrics that measure their performance.

Once a business takes its own look at the types of results that are linked to leadership effectiveness, it is able to not only measure its leaders, but it is able to measure the effectiveness of its leadership development efforts. Finding your own results or success indicators is as much art as it is science, but once established, this additional language of results provides the leadership culture with high definition clarity that provides a vocabulary rich with opportunity.

How do you know your leaders are effective? You might know your leaders are effective when: Productivity increases… Safety incidents decrease… Errors or remakes decrease… Customer or client retention increases… On-time delivery increases…Audits produce more “green lights”… We will stop with these but the possibilities are as vast as the uniqueness of your business, the values that you hold and the strategy that guides your organization.

There can be some trial and error in discovering the right metrics. You may find for example that rather than a customer service index score, ideas submitted in the suggestion box is a better indicator of leadership effectiveness in your particular environment (if creativity and innovation are highly valued). There is no shame in dropping a success indicator for another that seems to better capture what you’re trying to capture – quantifiable, reliable measurement of leadership effectiveness and business success.

So the results mindset becomes a new form of “speak” that in time becomes not only a second language but influences behavior that becomes second nature. The benefits of RSL are quite similar to the benefits of ESL mentioned above. How do you and your organization measure leadership effectiveness?


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