Which Do You Aim For: REPORTS Or RESULTS?


There is a complicated relationship between reports and results. While the former is the details of “a” destination, the latter is “the” destination itself.

The first time I heard of Reports and Results as a concept in goal setting was a few years ago at a leadership training conference held in Awka, Nigeria.

Ever since then, my mind and actions have been meticulously tailored towards the strategic planning realities which the concept possesses.

In every project one undertakes, the two R’s must be accounted for. They are inevitable. As a matter of fact, what everyone consciously/unconsciously seeks for is “results” and to keep track of projects’ journeys in “reports”.

Before one boards a train, he must have conceived his aim which should be to alight at a particular station. Lack of destination makes a man to stop anywhere, and anywhere is nowhere.

Now, let’s make it soft and briefly illuminate these R’s.

The Story

I had a funny experience this yuletide. I contracted a fashion designer to make a Nigerian traditional outfit for me. He fixed the date of collection to be four days before Christmas. Hence the result I was expecting was to pick up my clothes on the said day.

As scheduled, I was at his office but I was greeted with a regrettable disappointment. The attire wasn’t ready as planned. He apologized and gave me a trailer load of beautiful excuses for his failure to beat deadline.

He fixed a new date for collection, which he didn’t beat again. In summary, I was disappointed thrice and my clothes was not ready even on Christmas. These are the little things that get people sued, you know.

This disappointing experience is just a brief report of my Nigerian traditional outfit. Reports are filled with stories, facts, figures, excuses, efforts, challenges and also a record of the final result of a project. For me, the result was negative. It was never what I had conceived before the project started.

So an anticipated result is the goal of every project irrespective of the means of actualization. Results varies for everyone, but it must be defined. Eventually, the result must be positive or negative.

It’s noteworthy that people are more concerned about the outcome of an event than the stories surrounding it.

Suppose you missed the Grammy Awards and you wanted to know what happened there. Your most pressing desire would be to know the stars that won the various awards, to know if your favourite stars clung to any awards and to know the stars that performed at the occasion.

Virtually everyone will be interested in this before asking about other details of the event. Well, we know some ladies will certainly want to know the dresses Rihanna and Beyounce rocked before they inquire about anything else. That notwithstanding, results are very integral in any endeavour.

The Build Up

There are many excuses to lead one to failure, but success is only for those who can avoid them.

The world is tired of men with long reports and no results. Great achievements never ends at Reports. You need to be foused towards achieving a tremendous result against all odds. That should be your goal.

In goal setting, make up your mind on what you want to achieve. Be mad about it against all odds. I’m tired of people giving well-packaged excuses for their failure. Funny enough, no one will be willing to know the details of your failure until you finally become successful.

Thomas Edison’s failures were never an inspiration until he eventually succeeded. Joyce Meyers painful stories as a child didn’t gain public interest until she lived above her limitations.

Hess Law

I learnt an important stuff from my chemical classes in high school: which has a valid application in every success-minded individual.

Hess’s Law states that the “change in enthalpy” [Resources Used] for any reaction [Projects] depends only on the “nature of the reactants” [Individuals] and products [Goals] and is independent of the “number of steps or the pathway” [Reports] taken between them.

The above law is the summary of how a result-oriented person should behave. Relax, I know you may not understand the jargons, so I’ll explain.

Suppose you were given a project to convey goods to go Manchester from Liverpool, there are certainly a number of options of routes to choose from, perhaps just three routes. And you were also given a fixed amount of resources to use. (Resources in this scenario includes time and money.)

Your goal is to get the goods delivered to Manchester using the limited resources provided. No one cares to know the route you will take or how long it will take you as long as you get the expected result which is to arrive your destination before deadline. Afterwards, you can compile a report of your journey. This is life for you.

No one cares to know how difficult it was for you. No one cares to know how challenging your family background is. No one given a damn about your health challenges. You don’t need to accommodate your excuses. All you need to do is to strive and persevere until you achieve success using any resource available to you. Until then, only a few will hear your story.

So, make up your mind. What are interested in: Reports or Results?

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