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Which of the following team members would you prefer to coach?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: Which of the following team members would you prefer to coach?

  • One who generates tons of results but upsets people in the process: 68.91%
  • One who is liked but gets few results because of lack of focus on the right things: 31.09%

Results Count. The preference is clear – people are more concerned with the results they get than they are with how those results are achieved.  It’s a tough tradeoff.  The more critical aspect of this choice is how you reduce the friction caused by those “steamrollers.”  The better you can assess the tradeoff between results your people deliver and they way they achieve them, the better you’ll be able to lead them to deliver results with less friction or be liked and deliver the results you need.  That assessment process is the first step toward changing your approach to leading them which then in turn can change their behaviors as well.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of the upcoming book “Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results” and  “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”