It is either by chance, design but i reckon simply pure luck that my effectiveness theme come in a bundle. first it started with a conversation with a friend, then become a talk then a training program and as i developing that program, i was featured in alma-mater where i stressed the point about being an effective human being as key success factor. check out the article here.
One of my friends call up and objected, he said efficiencies is more important. simply because today’s people are far knowledgeable therefore there is no question on being effective (doing right things), it is more of doing things right (i.e. efficient). well, he got a point and i couldnt agree more. i put some thoughts into it, then i conclude and bring home the point that being effective is still far more important for many of us. let me tell you why, based on my personal experience.
although human being is a lot smarter today, we still find it difficult making the right decision. we are presented today with so many options, variations, packages, sizes etc that weren’t available at least a hundred years ago. do you remember how hard a car manufacturer like Henry Ford to cater those difficulties? he put down his foot and gave birth to ‘you can have any color you like as long it is black’ to his invented Model T. Of course, because the need of having the car is greater than painted color, the car sold in total 15 million units!
Now, coming back to effectiveness is about doing the right things. A lot of young executives today (smarter ones of course) are well educated. formal education really will enhance cognitive and reasoning capability. it will trigger some creativity skills (depending how active you are at school) but very unlikely teaching you how to become effective. with the advent of technology they are a lot smarter than their parents (but that doesnt make their parents fool!). But too many of them make the wrong choices in their early to mid career path and development. Because they dont know what to choose or simply where to choose from because of overloads of information, they wait for someone or somebody to tell them what to do next. this embedded programming somehow ubiquitious and in many organization a permanent problem the last few years. So when these young executives that dont know where to start, the question of being efficiencies is a misnomer and misleading. we don’t address the right context.
Hence we need to teach and train them how to be effective, i.e. how to become productive, how to save time, why they need to work harder, what time they should come to work, how to become resourceful, where to why they should practice self discipline and who they should chase so they can advance in organization and more importantly advancing themselves. Having experienced both effectiveness and efficiencies, i concur that efficiencies actually the result of constant effectiveness for a period of time. for example one of the highlighted in my recent post Joker’s Guide to Personal Effectiveness, Talk Less Listen More. it means the young executive should remind himself everyday that he should learn to talk less and listen more. after constant practice, he will do this automatically. and then he will move to another techniques and so on.
Some may ask for how long? well, it depends on you. the more you make the technique your second nature the shorter time you need. For example Eat, Read, Think are three activities that will definitely make the executives such valuable asset to the company, if not his family. For those who agree with these activities, can you tell me how many of you really doing these? For those whom already practicing, answer loudly how long do you need to take to get these activities ‘programmed’ in your system? As second nature? Years right? Ask people that you look up to, how they can become what they become. you will find some clues (they wont tell you the answers).
The only time i put away my books and thinking are during my Hari Raya break recently and that last for few hours. i sneaked out from my grandmother house and walked to my car, open the boot and take out the rubber mat. because underneath the rubber mat was my reading materials. it was hidden from someone that asked me to give her a break! lols! when it already second nature, people around you will also feel that you have changed. of course change is uncomfortable. dont worry, it will normalize in no time.
Therefore, i still believe and sticking to my earlier stand that effectiveness is key in any endevaour that we do if we want to become successful. of course along the way we will automatically become more efficient, and only if you are passionate about it. well, i would love to dwell more on passion when it comes to efficiencies because there is another discipline that is so connected with these two verbs; Innovation. For now, lets call it a day!.
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