Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A x E = R (Huh?)

The end. The bottom line. The conclusion. The outcome. The result. No matter how it is stated, when it comes to judging if something is successful, we tend to look at the result. What was the final scored of the game? How much money was made last month? What grades did you get on your report card? How much weight did you lose? Everywhere you look, people are focusing on the result.

In one of my previous jobs, we were taught the principle of “A x E = R”. At first glance, it may look like it a reference to someone who cuts down trees. What it means is “Actions (times) Effectiveness (equals) Results”—something I fully believe in.

After all, how do we get results? By doing something and doing it at some level of effectiveness. For example, let’s look at weight loss. I think if you talk to anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight, they will tell you what they did to lose it. Maybe they started exercising thirty minutes a day. Maybe they cut out all sugars from their diet. Maybe they did a combo of both. The point is they did something.

But just doing something isn’t enough. It has to be effective. I could say, “From now on, I’m going only drink water with my meals—and I expect to lose twenty five pounds in a month’s time.” Clearly I’m doing something, but I doubt it will be effective enough to get the results I want.

All of this may seem like common sense, and frankly, that’s because it is. So why do I bring it up? Because I think that too often people look at the formula backwards.

Let me demonstrate with the weight loss example. If I were to say, “I’m going to lose five pounds this week”, and then every three hours I weighed myself, I’m spending too much time on the results and not on the actions that will bring those results.

The main focus should be on the action and their effectiveness. The results should be used as a measuring guide for how you are doing with your effective actions.

I honestly believe looking at it this way is rather encouraging. Why? Because you can control your actions. You have the power to eat that extra doughnut or not. You have the power to study that extra hour for that test. You have the power to speak to every potential customer about your product.

Too often, I would get calls from by boss asking me, “What are your commitments for the day?” These “commitments” he wanted were in the form of results. Let me state this loud and clear: I do not believe you can commit to results. You can commit to actions—on things you can control.

If you do that, the results will come.

No comments:

Post a Comment