“It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement.”

“It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement.”

– Mabel Newcomer, economics professor

535Image from Flickr by joeflintham.

The quote above makes me think about the words “effective” and “efficient”. Many people today aim to quicken their pace at lots of daily activities – including eating, work, and most forms of interpersonal communication.

A critical downside of our multi-tasking, fast-paced society is that we are often focused on doing things efficiently, without always being sure we are actually accomplishing what we intend to achieve.

Exercise:

During your day, take a few moments to ask yourself the following question: Is what I’m doing (or about to do) moving me forward to what I desire?

By focusing on where you truly want to go, you won’t mistake activity for achievement.

“Knowing where you’re going is the first step to getting there.”

“Knowing where you’re going is the first step to getting there.”

– Ken Blanchard, American author and management expert

478Image from Flickr by malfet_

About ten years ago I had the opportunity to meet Ken Blanchard in person at a coaching conference where he was the keynote speaker. He has co-authored over 30 books including his famous The One Minute Manager. After his keynote, he had a separate breakout session with a smaller group of coaches to conduct an open forum on topics of interest to the group.

Surprisingly, he brought his coach Shirley with him to the discussion. During our session, she made a statement about Ken that left a lasting impression on me. She said, “When I coach Ken, I need to both remember who he is and at the same time forget who he is.” This way, she would be an advocate for his greatness, and not be intimidated by it at the same time.

Exercise:

How can you, like the accomplished Ken Blanchard, keep setting your sights on your personal and professional goals as the first step in achieving them? If you’ve already read The One Minute Manager, consider reading some of his other books: three of my other favourites include Raving Fans, Gung Ho! and Whale Done!