By Davis Merrey
November 7, 2023

Focus on behaviors, not results

Are you focusing on results rather than the behaviors that give you those results?

Behavior is the driving force behind results. Yet, in the business world, we tend to focus on results in the form of metrics while not paying adequate attention to the activities or behaviors that lead to the results. 

Albert Einstein is credited with saying the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. But I don’t think he meant not to develop good work or healthy eating and exercise habits, did he?

In fact, there is no proof that Einstein ever said this, and the saying has been attributed to Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin as well! Whoever said it was probably referring to repeating the same mistakes over and over again.  

Actually, doing something once and never repeating it and expecting new results is probably a better description of “insanity.” How many times have you said something like, “I’d give anything to learn to play the piano”? No, you would not if you had not learned to play the piano.

Learning how to play the piano or any new skill is achieved by attaining the knowledge required and putting that knowledge into action (practice) until it becomes a skill and eventually a habit. The same principle applies in business, particularly in sales. 

When I opened my IT business 16 years ago, I was excited about getting started. I soon realized I had no plan for getting customers and, in fact, wasn’t sure how to make such a plan.

I sought advice from people I trusted and learned about the practice of networking. At their suggestion, I joined a BNI chapter ( and two local chambers of commerce. I’m comfortable meeting new people and jumped into networking easily. However, I soon learned that effective networking is entirely different from socializing.

My behavior while networking needed to be intentional, practiced, and consistent; I needed to learn how to network effectively by practicing it (doing it repetitively) until it became a skill and then a habit. I had a colleague who told me he didn’t use networking to help build his business because he went to a chamber of commerce meeting once and got no business from it. My colleague is not insane, but he might reasonably be called unwise – at least in this case.  

Eventually, I learned how to network effectively by observing the behavior of effective networkers. I learned that before they went to a networking event, they had an outcome in mind. That helped them focus on how they behaved before and during the event.

For example, if the goal was to form a connection with someone who could refer them to a prospect, they would find out who was going to attend the event in advance and focus their relationship building on someone who might be that “connector.” That is vastly different than just showing up and chatting.

But this does not come naturally to most people; it’s said to be “outside of their comfort zone.” So, it takes practice and repetition until it becomes comfortable; the comfort zone has been expanded to include the behavior of effective networking. 

Everything we do affects our lives and the lives of those around us. How I do my work, run my company, and treat my employees, my customers, my suppliers, and my network of partners and friends should result in making things better.

I have found that the more often I do the right things correctly, the better the results and the better I serve others. The better I serve others, the more joyful life I have, and after all, that’s my AIM. 

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About Davis Merrey

Davis, is Owner/CEO of TeamLogic IT of Oklahoma City, part of an international network of franchisees providing IT support for businesses. He brings many years of experience in a variety of technology related industries, leading teams in providing technical solutions that respond to critical customer needs. The company culture is defined by its Mission Statement: “To help our fellow employees and clients be successful”.

Davis earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute and an MBA in Management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He serves on several business related and non-profit boards of directors.