Effective Rule #19 – Do the right thing, and do it right


  • Doing the right thing is being effective
  • Doing things with minimal energy is being efficient
  • Being effective is better than being efficient, as doing the right thing slowly is always better than doing the wrong thing quickly

Rules of Thumb

  • Have a great product or service, as a slightly better product is not good enough
  • Follow through with excellence

“Just that you do the right thing. The rest doesn’t matter.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.”

Peter Drucker

Keep It Super Simple (KISS)


  • The simpler a task is the more likely the task will get done correctly
  • The more complex a task is the less likely it will get done correctly


  • It sounds obvious, therefore, very often this rule is ignored
  • How do you know a task is simple as opposed to being complex? These questions usually help,
    • Skill – Can the task be done by an Advanced Beginner or does it require and Expert?
    • Duration – Will the task take a long time?
    • Domain – Does the task expand beyond multiple disciplines / dimensions of knowledge?
    • Management – How many people are required?

Note to Self

  • If you think this is too obvious and take this rule for granted, then you probably deal in too much complexity
  • There is always room to simplify

Being Effective vs Being Efficient

The Gist

  • Effectiveness and Efficiency are two different things
  • Efficiency is to accomplish a task with minimal use of energy
  • Effectively is to accomplish the right task

Why is this important

It is better to accomplish the right task slowly, than to accomplish the wrong task quickly.

‘Truly fast, repeatable actions must be smooth, but you cannot perform a smooth action fast if you cannot first perform a slow action smoothly.’

Peter Stecher


The Gist

  • Focus is the most important requirement in achieving anything
  • Only those things we focus on have a chance of getting done. The inverse is also true, whatever we don’t focus on has a lower chance of getting done

Why does this matter

If you want to achieve a goal, then deliberate and relentless attention is required.


“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”

Paulo Coelho

“If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.”, “To measure, is to know”

Lord Kelvin