This weekend, as part of a backyard improvement project, my husband Eric, his brother, and his dad, moved 36 cubic yards of dirt from our driveway in wheelbarrows. It took two trips for the delivery truck to get all the dirt to our home and most of two days for the three Robinson men to move the dirt mountain.

The enormous pile of dirt was large enough for our kids to climb up, slide down, and dig around in for hours. Moving it required the coordinated effort of one man shoveling and two others pushing the wheelbarrows around the side of our house to the back, one wheelbarrow full at a time.

As of Sunday night, there was a fine layer of dirt across our sloping driveway but the dirt mountain had disappeared.

My husband and his crew spent hours to get the job done.

The results of a weekend’s work: obvious, easy to measure. A mountain moved.

Was my husband leading when he enlisted the help of his family to move two loads of dirt? Or was he just working really hard?

Is leadership something special? Can every day acts be considered leadership? If not, what sets leadership results apart from every day results?

Leaders achieve results. But, is the converse true? Is someone who achieves results a leader?

Leadership or hard work?

Leading others to produce results is hard work.

In the workplace, if  you moved a mountain (figuratively), you would certainly be seen as a leader.

Sometimes, working toward goals can become monotonous.  We may feel like our efforts are having little effect. We may move load after load of dirt and still see a formidable hill. We may want to give up.

To accomplish results, leaders must coordinate the efforts of their team, stay focused on their goals, and persevere until their work is finished.

When the work is done – a project completed, a milestone reached – the results of leadership are evident.

Join the conversation!

Is anyone who achieves results a leader?

Is it possible to be a leader without achieving results?

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is reposted with permission. 

Filed As:  teamwork, results

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

  • Not sure. I think individual contributors can get results without necessarily exerting anything we’d normally call leadership. However, if they’re consistently good at getting results, we might think about training them up to be a leader.

  • I think the more appropriate question would be; can you be a good leader without a good team. Here is a good example. Try to throw a party for someone when the people who say they will help, don’t. And then the birthday girl ends up doing most of the work. This was not the first failed attempt either. Each gathering I have ever tried to put together always ended up in total failure bc the same team of people I was working with we’re not working with me. And this may seem like a somewhat childish anaology. But I believe in this case it would be fair to apply to the question at hand. Great teams produce great leaders.

  • I do not think that anyone who receives results is a leader. There are two many factors in play to say that. It is however, a byproduct of leadership most of the time. I like the way you contrasted the two of them. Making me think. I like that.

  • Being a true leader can be very challenging when the desired result takes and an estended amount of time to achieve. That said I believe true leaders exist at many levels, as an individual within a team can keep others(even the leader themselves) moving forward when they may otherwise feel like giving up. A great leader chooses great people for their team, recognizing that sometimes those great people need a helping hand and that other times those same people will be the leader and offer a helping hand. A great leader & team also make adjustments as needed to ensure their collective success.

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