June 20; Efficiency Versus Effectiveness
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful


Chapter Six: Correction; 20 June

Why do you look for the living among the dead?

Luke 24:5b

Efficiency Versus Effectiveness

Right Stuff

We are the Efficient Nation. We get things done Faster! Better! Cheaper! We are married to our Daytimer® managing time with a packed Outlook® calendaring and scheduling more-more-more.

Get more done in less time. More than a woman: I am Efficient. Hear me roar.

And this works perfectly for the staffer.

But what if the manager is working Faster! Better! Cheaper! on the wrong tasks? Does it matter much how much work you accomplish if it’s the wrong work in the wrong area?

The iconic TV series I Love Lucy sheds some light on this problem for us. In one episode Lucille Ball loses an earring and is looking for it on hands and knees in the living room. Husband Rickie walks in and wonders what she’s doing.

“I’m looking for my earrings.”

Rickie says, “You lost your earrings in the living room?”

Head down Lucy keeps moving, “No, I lost them in the bedroom. But the light out here is much better.”

This is the problem for our Novice Manager. He will keep working in the wrong spot in the organizational chart because it’s the easier job to do. He will continue to do the tasks of the individual contributor; the actual work that she knows how to do. Work that will have an output—something to show for his time.

Too much of management–as the seasoned professional will attest–is working in the dark, doing the uncertain, the imperfect, the unknown.

The newly minted manager like any normal human, prefers the known, the do-able, the familiar. Who wouldn’t? You’ve had tremendous success. You have a track record of competence and as you searched for excellence — you found it. You were the best in your department. You were perfect.

And what is your reward for outstanding performance?


You will now have to look for success in another room.

You were promoted out of the light of the efficient individual contributor into the darkness and gnashing of teeth of the effective manager. You “add” nothing. You “do” nothing. You are now part of the company overhead. You now advance organizational goals. You now work to be effective. Cheers!

Why do you look for the living among the dead? Luke 24:5b



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