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No "A’s For Effort"

by David Brock on August 30th, 2007
Kids are headed back to school—-it’s caused me to reflect on comments we hear from teachers, parents, and friend—“A for Effort.” That term has slipped into our vocabularies and we apply it to all sorts of business and personal situations. I suppose it’s an attempt to justify failure to achieve results.

It seems much of what is done, even rewarded today focuses on effort, not results or accountability. People are very busy, work incredibly long hours, load their agendas up with meetings, lots of activity, and overlay that with constant interruptions of Blackberry’s, mobile phones and emails. Somehow “busyness” has become the end–its become what is recognized, rewarded, promoted.

All this “busyness” diverts us from focusing on effectiveness, accountability, personal responsibility, and achieving the outcomes or results we want. “Busyness” seems to be something that we can hide behind so that we don’t have to do the tough work of figuring out what’s wrong and why we aren’t producing results. It’s easier to schedule more meetings, work longer hours, send more emails. Perhaps what is really needed is time to reflect on the question Michael Hyatt poses: “What is it about my leadership that is producing these results?” We all have to accept personal responsibility for making a difference and achieving results. Many of us blame others or external factors. We fall back on focusing on the effort and the valiant try. We fool ourselves.

Ultimately, it’s about personal responsibility or accountability. Each of us is responsible for and are in control of everything we do. If what we are doing is not, producing the desired result, it’s up to us to figure out what we have to do to fix it. We can’t blame it on others. It’s about knowing that each of us has an impact and is responsible for what happens in our lives and business. It’s owning this that enables each of us to achieve our goals and have an impact.

What are your thoughts?

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