This was originally posted on our blog about a year ago. I am generally not a fan of recycling posts, but as you know, repetition is the key to learning and some issues are worth addressing again. I recently attended a class and an area of contention was the differences and importance of efficiency and effectiveness. So, in response to that discussion, here I address and discuss the differences. Enjoy.
Many of us have said something like, “I am an efficient and effective leader, capable of leading teams to extraordinary achievements…” For some, these are just buzzwords used in an attempt to sound intelligent but often come across as, well, something else. For others, these “buzzwords” are true definitions of who they are and how they lead, but they cannot explain what it truly means. What does it mean to be an efficient leader? What does it mean to be an effective leader?
Efficiency and effectiveness are often used synonymously but are in reality a bit different. Efficiency can be attributed to the time or rate which something is accomplished, whereas, effectiveness is the accuracy or quality of the accomplishment. Which is more important?
(Added content to increase understanding). If you were planning to climb a mountain within 7 days, you would find the right people to guide the way, pack the right equipment, ensure your team were physical fit, and plan your path to the top. You then set out on your journey and make it to the top in 5 days – that is 2 days ahead of schedule! This is efficiency. However, you realize you climbed the wrong mountain! Climbing the right mountain is effectiveness.
Here is an example to illustrate the difference between the two.
It is appraisal time, you have 8 team members to evaluate, and you only have 8 hours to do them all, among your other tasks. So, you spend an hour developing a quality appraisal and you copy and paste your information into each of the remaining 7 appraisals. You are able to deliver all 8 appraisals, including your face-to-face discussions, in less than 5 hours. Each team member receives an appraisal, and you have 3 extra hours to do what you want. This is efficiency.
Alternatively, you spend more time developing an honest appraisal for each team member and deliver the face-to-face discussion, all in 8 hours. You conduct your appraisals in this way as each team member performed a different function, had different goals and tasks, and performed to a higher or lesser degree of quality. Each team member understands his or her successes and areas to improve for next year, thus, a more accurate assessment. This is effectiveness.
Which appraisal method is better? Is it more important to be efficient or effective in this case? In reality, as the leader, you should be constantly evaluating your team and the final appraisal should be a relatively easy wrap-up, but that is a topic for another day.
A leader that accomplishes a task quickly is efficient. A leader that accomplishes a task accurately is effective. A leader that can do both is efficient and effective. Are you an efficient and effective leader, capable of leading teams to extraordinary achievements?
Next week I will add to this discussion by addressing expectations and quality as they affect what is perceived as efficient and effective.
Until next time.
The mountain climbing example was originally used here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140730001606-37049081-effective-vs-efficient
Last week I wrote about what a (business or life) coach is. This post is dedicated to why everyone needs a coach and what they can do for you. Professional athletes, who get paid millions of dollars to play a sport professionally, all have coaches. The coach serves as the person from the side-lines, observing the individual and team’s actions, and providing correction action, suggestion, and direction. In the same way, a professional (business or life) coach is there to help see what you cannot, for a number of reasons, provide suggestions, direction, and potential corrective action. The question is, do I really need a coach?
This can be challenging for several reasons:
A coach is there to see what you cannot. You may be too close to the situation to have an unbiased position, they are able to see things from a different perspective and provide insight otherwise left unseen, or may simply be better at something than you are and can help solve an issue by asking the right questions, providing new insight, or giving you a little nudge in the right direction.
Reasons why you may consider hiring a coach:
Number 3 (above) could be done in a number of ways – hiring a consultant to help resolve your issue, bringing on a new team member to fill a void, training for yourself or your team, etc. There are a several ways to accomplish your goal, a coach is another method (depending on what it is).
What to look for in a coach. Look for someone who:
Number 5 is a little tricky. There are some coaches out there that charge flat rates, per hour, or per project. If it is a project based fee, then this is really a consultant as they should be providing something tangible like a documented improved process, marketing plan, etc. Some are better than others. You may be charged $100-$1000 per hour (or more), or have a nominal (or significant) retainer. The reason it is tricky, is without the coach, could you have succeeded without them? Had you not paid the $2500 per month retainer for 6 months, would you have been able to improve your marketing return on investment by $500,000, or hired the right team and increased revenue by 30%? The question is, would you rather spend $5000 and earn $30,000 or spend $20,000 and earn $100,000?
How to be a good coachee:
Finding the right coach for your situation may be challenging but beneficial for you, your team, and your organization, no matter how large or small. I encourage you to consider to options and get yourself a coach.
What do you think about this? Do you have a coach? Are you a coach? Please share your experiences by posting your comments here.
Until next time…
A while back, I wrote about what a mentor is. You can check that out here. Mentors and coaches are somewhat used synonymously, but they are actually different. A mentor is someone who will guide you along your journey to achieve a certain goal, usually to gain a promotion, become better at a certain aspect of your job or role (such as leadership, accounting, etc.).
A coach, on the other hand, is there to help you improve in a certain area of your work (professional business) or life (life coach). Each have a different purpose. Within each coaching type, you will find coaches that specialize in more specific areas based on their area of expertise. For example, some business coaches focus on leadership, efficiency, accounting, or general business practices.
A business coach will help with improve:
A business coach will also:
A life coach will:
A life coach is not a board-certified therapist. A life coach will help identify areas in your life that can be improved upon, and help make recommendations. One of these recommendations may be to seek professional counseling as a means to improve in a certain area of your life.
Both business and life coaches will provide recommendations. Typically, that is all they are – recommendations. So, it is up to you to decipher whether (or not) the advice/recommendation given is right for you. Keep in mind that the coach is giving you their best advice, to help you succeed, and be the best you can. Your time is valuable, and so is theirs. If you disagree (completely) with your coach too often, you may not have the right coach for you. If you find this to be true, perhaps seek a different coach. They will do the same (if they are any good). It doesn’t help either party to continue a relationship (because that is what it is) if neither are agreeing with each other or are dissatisfied.
Next week, I will discuss why everyone needs a coach.
Until next time…
I was struggling at work for quite some time several years back. Not that I was challenged or facing problems in my office, it was the opposite. I was unchallenged and struggling to find purpose and meaning in my work. I worked with some great people and had an excellent team, yet I was unsatisfied. My father asked me a simple question followed by simple advice. What is it you like to do at work. Once you know, then do that as much as you can. It was almost too easy.
Well, I knew I liked to mentor and teach, and I seemed to naturally gravitate to these aspects of my job – not that I was amazing at it, but I enjoyed it. I wanted to have a more significant impact on my team, and most of them could care less how great my PowerPoint looked or how many meetings I held. But motivating and educating, if done right, could last a lifetime. I remember my mentors and great teachers for their encouragement and inspiration more than I remember most of what they taught.
So… Why is it so important?
Mentoring is probably one of the most important things a leader can do. Why? Because this is how you build leaders and prepare them to lead others in a positive and meaningful way. Mentoring others is (can) be easy too. It starts with setting a good example. Remember, people are always watching. Mentoring is a process. It takes time and commitment from the mentor and mentee. Both will benefit from the relationship.
Once I grasped the idea of mentoring and teaching in the workplace, I began doing just that. I shifted my time and efforts from “doing the work” to strategy development, mentoring others, and teaching them different aspects of their job and mine. Teaching them my role and responsibility ensured that, if I left for any reason – transferred, quit, promoted, or anything else – that they would be able to continue succeeding (no single point of failure in my organization). I had already been doing these things, but my energy shifted from “the work” to these other aspects – I went from spending 25% of my time teaching and mentoring to 75%. The results were amazing. Productivity increased within my team greatly, they were more engaged and energized, and I began enjoying my work again.
After some time, I felt I was almost no longer needed. My team had a firm grasp on their duties and were taking on new challenges. I began focusing more energy on strategizing for my organization, taking on new roles and responsibilities, and becoming the “catch-all” for additional duties. It was quite interesting and gave me a whole new perspective on how the organization ran. However, my joy started to diminish as I was doing less mentoring and teaching, and more “other” stuff. I needed to get back to where my heart longed. The problem is, I didn't have anywhere to go. Promotions were unavailable, positions were already filled, and I was somewhat stuck in the position I was in – somewhat mentoring and teaching others what I had learned over the years, and doing the “catch-all” work. It wasn’t bad, just not fulfilling.
What does this mean for you?
As you go to work each day or work on your business, find what you love the most and do that. Sure, you will have to do other tasks that are less fulfilling – they just need to get done – but ensure you spend enough time doing what you love in order to be completely engaged and satisfied. If you are struggling to find your love in your work, perhaps you need to re-think what or how it is you are doing (it). You can find a new job. Do what you love for your business focus. Find your love and embrace it. The adage goes, if you love what you do (for a living), you will never work a day in your life.
To learn more about coaching, check out our mentoring blog posts below.
What is a Mentor?
Award Winning Mentorship
How to Make the Most Out of Your Mentor/Mentee Relationship
Until next time…
Last week I brought up the difference between knowledge and wisdom. I could go into depth to explain the differences between the two, but I believe the themes and quotes in this article present the differences quite well – better than I could. A little disclosure here. These themes and quotes were presented by Dr. Alan Kluge, George Fox University, on June 8, 2017. I found this knowledge to be quite valuable and too good not to share. Knowledge gained and shared when appropriate, is wisdom.
If you like what you read here, or have additional quotes, themes, or other comments, please post them below or send us an email. I look forward to your responses.
Until next week,
Sayings on wisdom
Leon F Selzer, (2012). The wisest quotes on wisdom. Psychology Today, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201204/the-wisest-quotes-wisdom