How Much Do You Value ‘Effort’ Versus ‘Outcome’?

outcome-effort-17Two managers are discussing which employee they should select as project manager for an engineering team.

One of the managers said, “When complex challenges arise, we always turn to Article.  He consistently gets us focused on the right things.  His mind is exceptional.”

Another manager who supported Marcus said, “True, but Article doesn’t work very hard.  He never misses a break and I think he spends a lot of time on social media.  If anyone comes within ten feet of him, he starts taking—usually about whichever team won last night.”

Marcus’ sponsor continued, “I understand that Marcus does not have Article’s skills, but he makes up for it with perspiration.  It may take Marcus a little longer but he sets the standard for hard work.  I think we need to reward effort.  Look, no one here matches Article’s IQ.”

Both employees are well-liked, respect the team’s core values and are dedicated to the company mission.  It’s just that Article, with God-given talent, achieves specular outcomes with less effort.  Marcus, being blessed with high energy, gets results.  He’s just not the genius talent.

No doubt, most of us would be delighted to have either employee as our leader.  I chose Article.  As much as we value “effort,” it is “outcomes” that determine our success.




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