The 2E’s of Success

Last weekend, I did two seminars at the Revolution (Youth) Conference in Sheffield. It was a great conference and I would like to thank the organisers of the event for inviting me for the second time in two years.  This blog post focuses on the main theme of the first seminar: The 2E’s of Success. Can you guess what they are?

These are Effectiveness and Efficiency. Peter Drucker, the late Management guru, defined effectiveness as doing the right things and efficiency as doing things right. The relationship between effectiveness and efficiency could be likened to that of a horse and a cart. Logic dictates that you put the horse before the cart if you intend to make progress. Imagine that effectiveness is the horse and efficiency the cart. You can’t be truly efficient without being effective. Doing the right thing precedes doing it right. Efficiency is useless without effectiveness because you could be doing something unimportant well but that doesn’t make it important. Both are like two sides of a coin and are dependent on each other as well because you could be doing the right thing (effectiveness) but not doing it right (efficiency).

The success of effectiveness and efficiency is underpinned by two key things: Knowledge and Understanding. Without these two things, you will never be effective and efficient. This is because before you can do the right thing (effectiveness) and do it right (efficiency), you have to know and understand the right thing to do. Knowledge and understanding are the starting blocks for effectiveness and efficiency. I would define knowledge as ‘what to do and how to do a thing?’ while understanding is ‘why to do it?’ Knowledge is the information while understanding is the rationale. I love this anonymous quote that “the person who knows how will always have a job but the person who knows why will always be his/her boss.”

Today is the start of a new month and it is great time to decide the things you need to put in place to help you become more effective and efficient in April. I will discuss in my next post the main challenge of being effective and efficient and what you can do to get round it.

One reply on “The 2E’s of Success”

Good stuff, Prof. These days I’m working on keeping these two E’s together without breaking down. I’m really focused on managing myself better so I don’t wear and tear for no reason. I take it it’s important to look at the right side of the coin at any point in time, huh?

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