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Texas Town & City is proud to introduce a continuing series written by a longtime and greatly admired friend of the Texas Municipal League. A frequent speaker at TML education events, Randy combines more than twenty years of front-line leadership and consulting experience with extensive research and writing to deliver practical ideas that can be applied at many levels. His expertise has made him an internationally respected guest commentator, with appearances on CNN, PBS, Fox News, the ABC Radio Network, and the BBC. He is also a prolific writer, and his ideas have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Executive Excellence, Training & Development, numerous newspapers, and many professional/trade association journals.

A Love Affair With Results

Leaders are judged by their results. A compelling vision, the ability to inspire, and a pleasing personality are important. But it is a love affair with delivering results that provides the edge that exponentially increases your opportunity for success.

That edge is a deep passion for competing, contributing, and yes, winning. It’s being dissatisfied with the status quo, always reinventing, and never resting on your laurels. It is caring so much that you work your tail off to deliver better results tomorrow than you did today.

Starting Your Affair

A love affair with results is an attitude, not a skill. You can’t teach a love affair with results, but you can influence it. Here are three ideas you can use immediately:
  1. Generate creative tension. Like the two-year old child who will do anything and everything to reach a jar of Double Stuffed Oreo cookies on top of a refrigerator, passion for results happens naturally when two factors are in place:
    • A compelling vision that is so vivid and important that you can’t bear not to have it.
    • Candor, honesty, and a dose of dissatisfaction about the current reality.
    No one has to be told to “Think outside the box” or be creative when a positive tension exists between a desired outcome and current reality.
  2. Don’t forget your integrity. There are two types of people: those who deliver consistent results without sacrificing their integrity and those who don’t.
    Ultimately, integrity is an issue of long-term viability and sustainability. Leaders who truly care about long-term results are unwilling to violate their integrity and suffer the potential impact of their decision.
  3. Show the courage of accountability. The professional and Olympic athletes with whom I’ve spoken over the years all say the same thing—you can look in the faces of teammates and competitors when success and failure are on the line and tell who wants to accept responsibility and who doesn’t.
    A lack of personal accountability can usually be traced to either fear or disinterest. We either want to avoid the pressure, or we don’t really care. Either way, the result is a lack of execution. A line from the often-quoted “Unknown” applies here, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

What’s preventing your love affair with results? Isn’t it time that you took advantage of the edge that sets you apart as a leader?

Randy Pennington helps leaders create cultures focused on results, relationships, and accountability. He is author of Results Rule! Build a Culture that Blows the Competition Away and On My Honor, I Will: Leading with Integrity In Changing Times. For additional information, contact him at 972-980-9857,,, or

© 2008 by Pennington Performance Group; Addision, Texas. All rights reserved.

© Pennington Performance Group 2010. All rights reserved.