Copyright © Roger Lajoie 


Company info


If you concentrate on the process, the results will look after themselves

             You hear it all the time...stay focused on the process and stay detached from the results.

            It makes sense when you think about it, right? Once you’ve done the hard work and put in the time on planning and preparing, the best thing to do next is not get caught up in the results. If you are doing things the right way the wins will come eventually…is how the mantra goes.

            Or as the great John Wooden, legendary coach of UCLA’s men’s basketball team put it: “The score will take care of itself when you take care of the effort that proceeds the score.”


            Simple right? Seems that way. But is it easy to actually do that? Simple things are sometimes not that easy.

            When you focus on the results over the process, you can get into trouble. Many sports fans think that when a team loses a game horribly, the coach will get mad and yell at his players. But ask many veteran coaches and they’ll tell you that you don’t have to yell at players after a bad loss – they know they stunk!

        Good coaches get angry with their teams when they play poorly but some how fluke out a win on a lucky break, and laugh about it afterwards. Sometimes teams prepare poorly and play poorly, yet still manage to get a positive result. It happens.

            And sometimes you can do all the right things, prepare well and play well, and a bad bounce or an injury or a bad officiating call can leave you with a negative result. That happens too.

            In the long run however, the team that “takes care of the effort” will win far more often than the team that is just fixated on the results. It really is all about the process. Nobody can get lucky and stay lucky enough to be a long-term winner without doing all of the work that needs to be done before the results are even known.

            There is another important reason to detach yourself from the results of your efforts. Once the work has been done, being fixated on the result is just another form of worry – the most useless emotion of all.

            Say you get an interview for a job you badly want. You spend hours and hours researching the company, put together a presentation for them, and then dress sharp and go in an give a great interview. Well done!

            But then comes the waiting. That can be hard. But there is no point in becoming fixated on the result of this ONE job interview. You have “taken care of the effort” so the best thing to do is to move onto something else until the verdict is in. If you get the job great if not, you’ll get one eventually thanks to your work ethic.

            The incomparable Zig Ziglar, one of the best motivational speakers of all time, compared it to what a bowler does. The bowler grabs the ball, stares down the alley at the pins, positions the ball so he’s comfortable, and rolls it down the lane. If the bowler has practiced hard, and worked on the form over and over, chances are he will have good results on that shot and for the entire game. Those that haven’t practiced will likely have poor results, although even the worst bowler from time to time manages a strike or two. The law of averages catches up to everybody.

            But have you seen the way some bowlers try to “encourage” the ball?! They yell at it, they wave their arms in the air to try and guide the ball, and jump up and down pleading for a strike. What good does that do? They may as well just turn around and get another ball because the result is out of their hands as soon as the ball leaves their hands!

            Sometimes in life, the result of what we want is indeed out of our hands. We’ve done the work, we’ve tossed the ball and the result will be whatever it is. Worrying about where the ball is going to go after you’ve released it is pointless.

If you have done the planning and preparation and your effort was there, whether that one shot hits the pocket perfectly or not shouldn’t discourage you. And if you haven’t practiced or planned or done the work, a lucky strike, or a team win, or even getting a job (perhaps because there were no other candidates), should not be a cause for celebration. If you try and “cheat” on the effort, it will catch up to you at somepoint. It always does.

            It takes a combination of hard work, talent and a little luck to succeed in sports or in business. But here’s the thing that Coach Wooden knew – the hard working, talented people seem to get the luck too!

            Do the work. Focus on the process. The results will take care of themselves. And if you take care of the effort and the process, you’ll win far more times than you lose.

     Thanks for reading! Please listen to our TEAMMATES podcasts with Chris DePiero, Jim Rooney and Roger Lajoie at, follow our daily Twitter tweets and Facebook posts @TeammatesTrio, and if you’d like more information about our personal coaching, email We are happy to help you discover ways to make YOUR life better with personal coaching and consulting.

            Have a great week!


@teammatesTrio on Facebook & Twitter