From Karan’s Research, Read About One of the Top Seven Leadership Execution Tactics
Mastered by the World’s Most Successful Leaders

This is the fifth of a seven-part series where we will dive into the findings of our research regarding the most critical tactics that drive “differentiating value”, impact, influence and followership for any leadership effort. We will discuss what characteristics these successful leaders have, how these skills look in the real world workplace, as well as what value these skills provide for organizations whose leaders exemplify these tactics.

Each of these leadership tactics is based on a commissioned research study of 10K high-potential leaders conducted by Karan and her team at SDL. Through sharing our learnings via the Leading at the Top of Your Game Development Experience, we have worked with countless organizations to develop an army of individuals at all levels into leaders who are passionate, highly skilled, competitively advantaged, and execution-savvy.

Beneath their outward game face, most high-achieving leaders are intentional about maintaining high levels of productivity, stamina, effectiveness, and determination. They also rarely give up when completing a task, even in the face of adversity or resistance.

Leading with a Drive For Results is the ability to be persistent and tenacious in ensuring that goals are being achieved.

Leaders that excel in this tactic are agile problem solvers with a deep sense of urgency for getting the work done in the most efficient manner.

Those with a high acumen in Drive For Results seldom give up before finishing a task, are focused on achieving higher results than expected, and are more than willing to go the extra mile to ensure  project done on time and under-budget.

Leaders with a strong Drive For Results feel personally accountable for the project and put in the hard work to achieve success, while also urging others to do the same.

What does “Leading with a Drive For Results” look like in individuals?  They . . .    

  • Take ownership and are focused on achieving higher results.
  • Seldom give up before finishing, even in the face of difficulties.
  • Willingly work on tasks to get the project done.
  • Press themeselves and others to work hard to achieve initiatives.
  • Feel personally accountable.
  • Have a sense of urgency for solving problems and getting work done in the most efficient manner.

What is the “differentiating value” provided when demonstrating a Drive For Results? 

  • Is able to quickly figure out how the job really works and how to resolve challenges quickly.
  • Able to negotiate compromises leading to necessary actions and resolution.
  • Able to avoid or navigate the politics in organizations and/or the market.
  • Finds ways to create win-win situations, rather than win-lose.
  • Possesses an insatiable desire to make progress and help others.
  • Sees every problem as an opportunity to innovate, rather than a chance to fail.

What does Leading with a Drive For Results look like in the workplace?

Let’s look at a real world example of leading with a Drive for Results, Safari Doctors.

Umra Omar and her group, Safari Doctors, travel to remote parts of the world to bring medical care to indigenous people of the Lamu Archipelago (near the Kenyan-Somali border). Born in Kenya, but educated as a doctor in the United States, Umra learned about a life-saving medical aid project in the region that had been abandoned because of security concerns. She traveled overseas to coordinate piecing together supplies, resources, and a support structure that eventually became the foundation for launching Safari Doctors.

Today, Safari Doctors provides free basic medical services (including immunizations, maternal health care, and treatment for malaria and other diseases in the region) to more than 1,000 people a year. They make bi-monthly trips and brave civil unrest to ensure equal access to quality medical care for those in dire need.

What value does a Drive For Results provide in the workplace?

Leaders that exemplify a Drive for Results in the workplace are quickly able to figure out how the job works and resolve challenges quickly. They are able to not only avoid or navigate politics inside and out of the organization, but they are able to negotiate compromises that lead to necessary action. These leaders see every problem as an opportunity to innovate and find ways to create win-win situations among their desire for progress.

Leading with a Drive For Results is only one of the seven leadership tactics that drive differentiating value.

The next article will discuss Leading with Executive Presence, which is the ability to make clear and convincing oral and written presentations in order to influence and lead others.



“Leverage your sweet spot”

The ability to use your areas of expertise to “peek around corners” in order to spot trends, connect the dots, and identify new areas of opportunity that others miss.


“The unwritten rules are the toughest to read”

The ability to have the fortitude to take calculated risks to stand up for what you believe and do the right thing, even when the consequences and/or future is unclear.


“Oh, the games people play”

The ability to assess interpersonal dynamics and operate effectively in a variety of social situations.


“A hero’s gamble to break boundaries”

Building the organization by identifying new opportunities to develop or improve operations, products, or services.


“Separating real leaders from the wanabees”

The ability to be persistent and tenacious in ensuring goals are achieved.


“The power of swagger”

The ability to make clear and convincing oral and/or written presentations in order to influence and lead others.


“Cracking the code of the unknown”

The ability to make good decisions or lead a good decision making process, based on top strategic goals and priorities.

Contact Us

If you’re interested in connecting with Karan regarding an upcoming need, you can email or schedule a call.


Shockingly Different Leadership is a human capital professional services consultancy that provides organizations access to the best consulting expertise in the areas of Talent Development, Organizational Development, and Human Resources – on an on-demand, project, or contract basis.


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