Spiritual Sisters

Spiritual Healing Serene Salad

Spiritual Voices Creativity Bakery

Spiritual Inspiration TeaRoom

Inner Sanctuary Growth Brew

Spirituality In The WorkPlace

Spiritual Parenting PlayRoom

Angels Miracles & Noble Deeds

Spirituality Message Boards

Short But Not So Sweet

    The eager employee takes on a new assignment to create some reports in Microsoft Excel. He hasn't used the software much, but prides himself on being able to figure things out. Once he clearly understands what the end product needs to look like, he fiddles and tries a variety of things. Once he determines how the task can be completed he works diligently to complete the task. He is proud of his effort and has the task completed in just two days.

    The young girl loves basketball, so she shoots baskets. She shoots in the rain, she shoots in the cold. She shoots in the scorching sun, she even shoots in the dark.

    The customer encounters a young salesman as he walks in the door. The salesman soon learns that the customer knows what he wants - a certain car among certain colors, with some typical options he would prefer not to have. No cars fitting this description are on the lot. The salesman begins what he thinks will be a simple process leading to a sale - finding the desired car at another dealer in town, get it to the lot, and make the sale. A small search leads to a larger search. A car is found, the paperwork prepared for the sale, only to have the trading dealership sell the car at the last minute. This happens twice. The salesman continues to look, up to 400 miles away, finding only cars that don't match the customer's needs. Eventually, unable to find the car requested, the customer buys a used car the salesman recommends, after 3 weeks and much time spent.

    On the wall of the young salesman's dealership, in big red letters reads Effort = Results

    I, as much as anyone I know, love a pithy quote or aphorism. I love quote books, Successories stores and motivational posters. I even publish quotes five days a week read by over 90,000 people.

    But the saying on the wall at that dealership bothered me. "Effort=Results" implies work hard and you will get the result you want. The slogan bothered me because it is wrong, or at least incomplete.

    The eager employee completed the job, but with the right information and techniques could have finished in 2 hours rather than 2 days. The budding basketball star will never even get on the floor in a game if her shot starts at her waist - everyone will block it. And our car salesman worked hard and eventually made a sale, but it wasn't the sale he really wanted to make (and took much longer than he hoped).

    Effort isn't always enough. It takes more than hard work. Informed effort, on the other hand, is a much more worthy goal. We have to know how to use the features and tools of the software, how to correctly shoot under duress, and intricacies of the car searching process. With this information, the effort put in by our three friends would have been leveraged to much greater success - or they would have reached success with much less effort.

    Do you know how to close a sale? How to write a great business letter? How to persuade others to follow your vision? How to make those around you more comfortable? How to let people know you care? How to search the web effectively? How to create more unique ideas and solutions? Do you know how?

    Effort has always been revered in American culture. "She's a hard worker" is one of the best compliments some people would ever give. Don't get me wrong - effort does matter. But if we are putting our efforts in the wrong place, or working without the knowledge of how to do a job easier or more productively, then much of our effort is wasted.

    Now, let's talk about the results side of this equation. Effort will always equal results - but not necessarily the results you intend! Operating without informed or experienced effort will lead you somewhere, but it is no guarantee that it will lead you to where you want to go. So how can we turn effort into informed effort?

    Here are a few ways -

  • Find a mentor
  • Get some feedback
  • Read about the experts
  • Have a coach
  • Try a new way
  • Attend a workshop or seminar
  • Do a web search on your task

    Informed effort, in other words is about learning and improvement, about making the right efforts, not just working hard.

    If I could amend the equation on the wall of my car dealer, it would read "Informed Effort = Intended Results." It is probably what the author meant, but is far from what was said. Are your efforts informed? Are you using your efforts intelligently to help you reach the goals you have set?

    Think about this lesson today and make sure your efforts are as informed as possible, but only if you care about your results.

    Get Advice From Great Mentors Today!

    If you enjoy reading Vantagepoints you will love the new book Walking With the Wise. It features insights and inspiration from great mentors like Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Bob Proctor, Zig Ziglar, Mark Victor Hansen, me - Kevin Eikenberry and many more!

    To learn more and to get your copy signed by Kevin, go to advice book

    Yours in Learning,

    Kevin :)

    Kevin Eikenberry
    The Discian Group

    Kevin Eikenberry is a speaker, trainer, author, and President of the Discian Group - a learning consulting company committed to helping Organizations, Teams, and Individuals reach their performance goals through learning. For information about the Discian Group or its products and services, visit our website at Discian.com

    � Copyright 2003, Discian.com. All rights reserved.


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