The Habit of Practicing Efficiency

images-1We are talking about important habits that leaders must develop.  Sometimes this is tough because we have made a habit out of doing it a different way and so we need to break a habit to repair a habit.  That may be true with this habit #7 PRACTICE EFFICIENCY. This important habit is a twin with the last one I shared (habit #6).  The two often get mixed up, but they are quite different even if they do work together.

EFFECTIVE (habit #6 that you may have worked on) and EFFICIENT are very common leadership terms. But, they are quite different.

Effective (adj.) is when the leader has created a solution that is adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result.

Efficient (adj.) is when the leader is performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort.

Here is what we mentioned way back in habit #1: “Being effective is about doing the right things, while being efficient is about doing the things in the right manner.”

No waste!  No wasted time.  No wasted money. No wasted effort. No wasted resources. No wasted opportunity. No waste!  That is efficiency!  So, how do you practice being efficient?

For the next 21 days (that’s how long they say it take to change or develop a habit) here are 5 things that I want you to do every day:

1.      Get yourself organized.  Know where all your stuff is.  Get the desk, the files, the car, the table top organized so you can put your hand on what you need exactly when you need it.

2.      Plan ahead.  If you have a meeting today plan and announce the agenda so you know and are prepared for exactly what will be discussed at the meeting. If a decision is to be made get the facts you need to make it. If an idea is to be discussed, set a time limit for the discussion. Better to have a short meeting with more to discuss then a long meeting hearing what people think who are not prepared to contribute to the discussion.

3.      Stay focused.  Stay on subject at meetings.  Don’t allow rabbit trails, where some phrase reminds someone of a story they want to tell.  Stay on the subject so you feel good about the meeting and don’t wish you had been able to do something else during that time.

4.      Pay careful attention to any feelings of anxiety from the people at the meeting.  Is there any  shame or guilt being expressed? Insecurity or helplessness? Doubt, or Fear?  Anything that can derail your discussions?  These may be based on physical or spiritual problems and need to be dealt with before you can proceed with a meeting.  In that case, dismiss the meeting and get the help needed before you proceed with the agenda.

5.      Get some away time.  You always need time for yourself.  Being efficient here will provide you more time than before.  Use it to refresh and renew yourself.

Important habit #7…be efficient as a leader in what you do.  It will save you a lot, including headaches.

Next important habit #8-Understand Risks


Dr. Ron Cline helps build the body of Christ around the world. His background as a pastor, educator, counselor, missionary and author gives him credibility and rapport with the many groups and individuals he and his wife, Barbara, minister to in various countries each year. After 7 years of pastoral ministry in Southern California, and ten years as the Dean at Azusa Pacific University, the Clines’ international service began in 1976 as a short-term opportunity when he agreed to pastor the English Fellowship Church in Quito, Ecuador for two years. Those two years stretched into six years. Following that he served as the president of HCJB World Radio, also in Ecuador, for 20 years. HCJB Global, now Reach Beyond, has media, health care, community and/or leadership development ministries in Latin America, Europe, Russia, North Africa/Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia Pacific. Ron and Barb currently serve as Global Ambassadors with Reach Beyond and live in Southern California after living 30 years abroad. They travel from Southern California throughout the world. For the last ten years they have been encouraging, coaching and working with leaders in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Mongolia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, America Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Central Asia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Ecuador, Russia, Malawi, Ivory Coast and South Africa.

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