How To Make EFFORT = SUCCESS
Where would business be without acronyms? We regurgitate them like mother penguins to newborns! Be they TLA’s (three letter acronyms) or longer or shorter, whether for personal business taking PTO (paid time off), addressing our browser HTTP (HyperText transfer protocol), or writing our goals that got SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound) with our results measured by KPI (key performance indicator)…there are literally hundreds of others common or job specific shortcuts in language that are part of our lexicon.
Trainers, I confess, love the device because it is pneumonic and appears clever and making something memorable is the best hope to make training practiced. There is also a slightly different practice, for lack of a known definition I’ll call it reverse acronymizing (it’s done regularly but maybe I just coined that phrase). This is the practice of taking a word that already has a meaning you believe relevant and writing an acronym from it.
George Doran, a consultant, is credited with ascribing the SMART attributes for goal setting back in 1981. I don’t know if it took form as coincidence or intention but it is one of the better known, and trained, acronyms in business.
I train and regularly write on the subject of SUCCESS and after a recent session with a CEO we got to breaking down his efforts to achieve success as he defined it. “I’m trying, trying hard.” he insisted. “I’ve taken your strategy advice, tried to use the techniques and pointers but no matter how much effort I give I’m not seeing results!”
This perplexed me. I have enough success training experience to know that once given guidance effort usually equals positive results, however variable. Then I got to thinking about Goals processes. I harkened back to times when I was giving and getting all kinds of goals and putting out all kinds of effort but not realizing the hoped results. Utilizing SMART Goals dramatically changed the effort to results ratio quickly with the honing of the process. I wondered if might be the same issue with people who had some strategy and training and were making honest efforts to achieve success?
Effort is a great variable. Chiché informs us all to work smarter and not harder but finding out how to do things smarter is a preparatory effort unto itself. I decided to break down the word into it’s most significant elements in effort leading to success. Wouldn’t you know it…I came to an acronymous discovery.
EFFORT: E is for ENERGY, F is for FERVENT, 2nd F for FOCUSED, O for OPTIMISTIC, R for REQUISITE, T is for TENACIOUS.
When most things are equal we tend to attribute the level of success to the amount of effort, quantity more than quality, but just like poorly formed goals can see failure despite effort, poorly formed effort will not likely yield optimal success. These six associated words, worked in harmony, are an ideal process for converting effort to success.
ENERGY is a level of trying, it can be applied in bursts or through stamina but a consistent vitality drives the pace of achievement. A FERVENT try is intense and impassioned and brings the heart to join the head, the FOCUSED undertaking creates efficiency. Being OPTIMISTIC sets the belief there will be success (self doubt is a huge win killer). One may endeavor to cure cancer but without REQUISITE understanding it is misspent application, without essentials in place trying hard can be futile. Finally, and most importantly, it is the one who is most TENACIOUS in their course of action, who sees defeats as temporary setbacks and resumes with persistence, who is most likely to reach the mountain top, raise arms and exult success.
Next time you think you’re really working hard, or giving (the meaningless) 110% effort to reach your success, break it down. Maybe you need to effort your effort to reach your mountain top.