I have recently shared a few thoughts on a different way to lead. Over the past few years, I’ve thought a lot about how to make a difference in the world. In order to do so, you have to be different. You have to be an orange balloon in a world of grey ones. Standing above the rest of them.

I first talked about being available to your team and your customers… Today I want to share a leadership principle I have tried to practice for many years. This is a principle I teach to every team member that works with our company. It’s called:
Effective Vs. Efficient.

Almost every leader is concerned about their legacy (or their teams legacy), asking the big question: “How do I want this team to be remembered?” or “Will this season of organizational life be any different than every other season?”

These questions are great to ask at any stage, particularly the beginning stages. But I can’t just answer the question, I needed a strategy for our team to actually BE different. After some thought on how to structure a strategy around this idea I came up with the following statement:

When given a choice, we will choose effectiveness over efficiency.

In leadership books you hear that you need to be both in order to be successful… however I disagree. In a world full of systems, processes and using people to execute mindless tasks, leading differently means being concerned about one of the two. So our team chooses effectiveness. Let me give you a brief overview of the difference of these two mindsets.


Relational Focus
“To-Be Lists”
Being Present


Gig or Product Focus
“To-Do” Lists
Being Accomplished

You see the difference? A focus on doing the project at hand in a way that honors others and accomplishes excellence. This is a strategy that doesn’t care as much about quickly finishing a task, but building a brand and doing things thoroughly. Individuals move fast. Teams go far. Believing that last statement is the first step in adopting the attitude of being effective.

Related Posts:  Team-Minded Leadership

I don’t want to be a part of a company that says “Look at all the things we have done.”

I want to be a part of a team that says “Look at the difference we have made.”


There’s a massive difference between these two mindsets. There are obviously times that we can’t be effective, most often when time isn’t on our side. However more often than not, I find we have a choice. When we do, we choose effectiveness.