A commentary by Victoria Rivadeneira, President, North East US Division, EXIT Realty Corp. International.

It’s that time of year when everyone is looking for a fresh start, a resolution to incorporate discipline toward specific goals. In spending the last quarter of 2013 meeting and consulting with many, I often heard business leaders identify themselves as goal-oriented and results-driven. The question then becomes, “Is the destination or the journey more important?” In other words, is it better to pay attention to the process through which one achieves the result, or the result itself? Furthermore, can both be equally important?

The client of a high producing salesperson may admit to hiring this particular salesperson for the “results only.” This will ultimately fuel the salesperson to sharpen his skill to deliver the results, without regard to the journey. There is admiration for a salesperson who can hit their target with laser focus time and time again. However, is this the best approach? Those who are “results-driven only” typically burn out and, at times, fly solo because they’ve made unintended enemies. This happens not because they lack integrity, because many do indeed have strong morals and values which drive them, but rather because they do not take the time to nurture the relationships of those around them.

It is said people do not remember what you said, but rather how you made them feel. One of the lessons learned on my journey is that my journey is just as important as my destination. It’s the people met along the path of the journey that we pay attention to who will ultimately walk alongside us. As we continue on the journey, these same people may run up ahead or fall behind, and the encouragement we offer is the same encouragement they will provide when it’s needed on our part. It’s when we fall down on our journey that the lessons of experience are taught. It’s the bumps in the road that make for good stories and build character.

Truly successful people are surrounded by good people who encourage each other to move forward together. This doesn’t happen accidentally. These are the individuals met while on the journey. The challenge that separates the successful from the unsuccessful is to continue to remain focused on the destination, while paying attention to the actual journey.

In the end, slow and steady determination wins the race.