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Quandary: Confusing Activity with Progress

Often teams get in trouble by confusing activity with  progress.

This principle works in many areas of life. You’ll find it helpful in businesses, organizations, churches, relationships and in your personal life.

Confusing activity with progress can be costly. 

I once wrote that growth covers over a multitude of problems. (Read that post HERE.)  I know many organizations and people that mistakenly believe for a time (before it catches up with them) that busyness means things are moving in the right direction.

That may or may not be true at the time, but long-term success always depends more on the quality of activity than on the quantity of activity. In the short-term, you can mask success with an abundance of action, but substandard performance will be discovered in time. (For more on this thought process, read my previous post, The Tortoise and the Hare Principle of Organizational Growth.)

It costs teams and organizations lots of valuable time and resources when they simply believe because they are “doing things” it means they are doing the right things. Progress must be measured towards certain goals and objectives.

So, ask the question – Are we doing the things that will help us achieve what you want to achieve?

In fairness, I’d rather we make ten wrong actions that may help us discover something new than to do nothing at all. So, don’t confuse one principle with another either. 

The simple point here is that if you want to ensure long-term success:

  • Consider the goals and objectives trying to be attained
  • Determine whether they are currently being achieved
  • Be willing to adjust activity accordingly to achieve better results.

Check out my leadership podcast where we discuss issues of leadership nuggets in a practical way. Plus, check out the other Lifeway Leadership Podcasts.

Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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