Are You More Or Less Effective Than You Were A Year Ago? You Have More Technology. You 'Process' More Work. But Are You More Effective?

by Dan Kennedy | June 19, 2011

There is a 'secret key' to peak personal productivity and performance that entrepreneurs are unwittingly depriving themselves of, to a worsening extent from one year to the next. This subtle form of self-sabotage takes its toll many different ways.

Entrepreneurs and sales professionals need 'resiliency.' We face opposition, we experience rejection and disappointment, and we resolve problems in greater quantity and intensity than people in jobs, who work for others only 9 to 5. Our need to quickly and frequently rebound is far greater than for most people.

Consequently, we need to engineer into our daily schedules a sufficient amount of recovery time.

Most businesspeople have given it all away and have none.

What is 'recovery time'? It is quiet time. Time to think. Time to re-gain perspective. Time for casual, stress-relieving conversation about other things than business. Such recovery time used to exist naturally and automatically in everyday life. While walking from the office to a restaurant for lunch. Driving in the car. Waiting in an airport. But all this is gone, given up to a cell phone glued to your ear, checking e-mail ten times a day. The result of all this is NOT improved productivity. Not at all. Oh, there's a greater QUANTITY of communication taking place, that's obvious. But as the QUANTITY has multiplied, the QUALITY has suffered. Today's entrepreneur or sales pro is immersed in all this communication under greater stress and tension, which diminishes attention span, listening skill, comprehension, and clear thought, and also breeds rushed ill-considered response, and short(er) tempers.

Peter Drucker, the godfather of industrial productivity and quality, makes a huge point about the distinction between 'efficiency' and 'effectiveness.' Too many people are sacrificing 'effectiveness'.

Being instantly or constantly accessible to your clients or employees does not necessarily mean you are more effective in those sales, service, or managerial roles. In fact, it's a very good bet, you are less effective. Returning phone calls and engaging in conversation while also speed-walking through an airport, dodging passer-by, in a din of noise (vs. waiting and returning calls in a hotel room with quiet and privacy) does not make you more effective. No, again, it makes you less effective.

No one can perform at optimum effectiveness - thinking, appraising, formulating ideas, communicating, persuading, negotiating or managing - if under unrelenting pressure. Few people can communicate with optimum effectiveness under extremely adverse environmental conditions.

If you want to be more effective this year than last, you'll focus on quality, not just quantity, and you'll exert new control over your time, relationships and communication.

Dan S. Kennedy is the provocative, truth-telling author of thirteen business books; a serial, multi-millionaire entrepreneur; trusted marketing advisor, consultant and coach to hundreds of private clients running businesses from $1-million to $1-billion in size; and he influences well over 1-million independent business owners annually through his newsletters, tele-coaching programs, local Chapters and Kennedy Study Groups meeting in over 100 cities.


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