Understanding the Power of Leading and Lagging Key Results

Discover the untapped potential of leading and lagging key results – the secret to unlocking boundless success!

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Goal-setting is a crucial aspect of achieving success in any endeavour. Whether personal goals or business objectives, setting clear and measurable targets helps drive progress and focus efforts. Key Results play a vital role in this process, serving as the benchmarks that indicate whether goals have been accomplished. To effectively gauge progress and steer towards success, it is important to understand the difference between lagging and leading Key Results.

Lagging Key Results

Lagging Key Results are outcome-focused measurements that indicate the end result or outcome achieved. They are called “lagging” because they reflect the impact of past actions, showing what has already happened. These results are typically measured over a certain timeframe and are influenced by various factors and actions that have taken place leading up to that point.

For instance, lagging Key Results can be sales revenue, customer satisfaction ratings, or business profit margins. These metrics indicate the overall success or failure of the organization, providing valuable insights into past performance. Businesses often use lagging Key Results to evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies and make informed decisions for future growth.

Leading Key Results

Unlike lagging Key Results, leading Key Results focus on the actions and behaviours that lead to the desired outcome. They are the “leading” indicators that provide proactive insights into whether the organization is on track towards its goals. Leading Key Results are more actionable as they allow course correction and progress monitoring before the final outcome is achieved.

Examples of leading Key Results for businesses can include metrics such as lead generation, employee training hours, or customer retention rates. These indicators provide real-time information about the activities being carried out and facilitate an understanding of whether efforts are moving in the right direction. Leading Key Results enables organizations to adjust their strategies and take corrective measures to align with their goals.

Key Differences Between Lagging and Leading Key Results

While both lagging and leading Key Results are essential components of goal-setting, they differ in several key aspects:

Focus: Lagging Key Results focus on the outcome or end result, while leading Key Results concentrate on the actions and behaviours leading to that outcome.

Time Frame and Measurements: Lagging Key Results are typically measured over a specific period, reflecting past performance. Leading Key Results, on the other hand, are measured in real-time, allowing for immediate feedback on progress.

Complementary Nature: Lagging and leading Key Results are interdependent and complementary. Leading Key Results inform and influence future lagging Key Results, as today’s actions impact tomorrow’s outcomes.

For businesses, it is crucial to strike a balance between lagging and leading Key Results. While lagging Key Results provide a holistic view of past performance, leading Key Results offer insights into ongoing actions and behaviours that can be adjusted to achieve desired outcomes. By utilizing both types of Key Results, organizations can drive success by monitoring the outcomes and actively managing the processes that lead to those outcomes.


As goal-setting plays a vital role in achieving success, understanding the power of lagging and leading Key Results is essential. Lagging Key Results provide an overview of past performance, indicating the end result achieved while leading Key Results offer insights into the activities that contribute to those outcomes. By incorporating both types of Key Results in goal-setting processes, organizations can monitor progress, make timely adjustments, and unlock the path to success.

Remember, success is not merely measured by end results but also by the actions and behaviours that lead to those results. So, embrace the power of leading and lagging Key Results and drive your success today!