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Not Good vs. Bad; Good vs. Effective;

What if You Could be More Effective?

Quotes can help convey and clarify what we are trying to say and what we mean. Yesterday a great quote came up at a Regional Financial Review meeting held by Steve Bailey for The Garden Center Group. Jim Wallitch, owner of Wallitch Nursery & Garden Center in Louisville, Kentucky explained his position on rallying their company to help with improving the results from his business. He shared this quote from one of his associates:

“You can help, you can leave, but you can’t watch.”

– Ed Ellingsworth

Ed “gets it” when it comes to improving effectiveness as an individual and as a company.

A frequent client conversation begins when they tell me proudly that they have “good people”. I would never disagree with that because pretty much all the associates I meet at client companies truly are good people. What I like to clarify with my clients however, is that despite their best efforts good people often do not get good results. Effective people do. It is not a question of having “good people” vs. “bad people”, but it is a question of how effective we are individually, and as a group.

When you get right down to it the opportunity to be effective alone is not really all that effective. Part of our personal effectiveness is in our ability to facilitate the effectiveness of the company or organization as a whole.

Becoming more effective does mean we must continue to learn from our own experiences and the experiences of others. It also means we must learn the correct lessons from those experiences. Often, we learn more about how not to fail than we learn about how to succeed.

Increasing our effectiveness begins with gaining perspective, insight, and a correct mindset about what we are trying to do. Trying to learn with a faulty perspective and mindset is like trying to learn with our mind closed. It is exactly like that. Many people are limited in their ability to change and adapt because they have it all figured out. Their minds are like concrete – thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

As the famous philsopher Mark Twain said:

“It isn’t what we know that gets us in trouble. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.”

We have built into our Advantage Development System programs a process to begin with discussing the belief system and mindset we currently have, and the process by which we gained it. Understanding the way and the reason we think the way we do is an essential step to put in perspective new information about how we could think, and what we could do as a result of thinking – and acting differently.

When Ed says those three words, “You can help” it says a lot about what is needed. When he adds “you can leave” the personal choice to either play well or play somewhere else is given light. The final statement, “but you can’t watch” clarifies an expectation of effectiveness. In my words, get effective and get on board or get off the train – now.

American companies, (including yours and U.S. automakers) don’t have the time, energy, or financial ability to continue to carry dead weight. Being fair and nice to people does not include allowing them to stand idly by and waste your money, and their time. That is enabling them to be unproductive, ineffective, and makes you a co-dependent with them hiding from reality and delaying the inevitable. Bail yourself out now while you have a chance. It is time now to get real about becoming more effective.

As former President John F. Kennedy said during the Cuban Missile Crisis –

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.”

Click here for a short list of more of my favorite quotes. And Reply or Comment to leave your favorite quotes.

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