10 Skills Making You an Efficient but NOT an Effective Executive

Veteran, new and aspiring executives need methods to be successful in their organization. There are 1000s of leadership podcasts, videos, blogs, and articles but few authors address what to do or how to do it.

We have witnessed many executives who are efficient (doing things right), but few executives are effective (doing the right things). We believe this is misguided and aim to remedy the shortfall with executives.

This is the 10th episode of the Effective Executive podcast. In this episode, Tripp discusses 10 executive skills found through most mediums. Download our FREE Effective Executive Starter Kit.

Show Notes

The Effective Executive – Episode 10

10 Skills Making You an Efficient but NOT an Effective Executive

Efficient vs Effective

Synthetic Thinking – Key to being Effective

4 Methods to be an Effective Executive

Decision-Making, Innovation, Data  Analytics, Organizational Design



Tripp Babbitt: [00:00:00] This is the 10th episode of the Effective Executive podcast.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:00:05] And this week I’m going to talk about 10 executive skills, making you an efficient but not an effective executive. So I’ve been watching a bunch of TED talks and YouTube videos on executive skills and things of that sort. And I am actually amazed of how many of these things completely missed the mark on doing things right or and doing the right things. So what’s what’s kind of take this apart? I’ve been talking about this quite a bit on the podcast and YouTube videos, which is being efficient, is doing things right, being effective, are doing the right things. And so when I go through this list that I compiled, these 10 executive skills that people are touting, that will make you and your organization better. They are all efficient things, but they don’t make you effective. So let’s kind of walk through each one of these. And I’ve combined them from a variety of sources. But one is organization having a tidy desk. Time management is the second one. Your ability to control your time being goal oriented is a third thing. A fourth thing is planning. Fifth is having a working memory. Six is flexibility. Seventh is sustained attention. Eight is emotional control. Nine is metacognition, the ability to evaluate oneself and 10 as task initiation. And I don’t deny that all of these things can help enable creating value in an organization. But they only make you efficient. They don’t make you effective.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:02:08] And again, being efficient is doing things right as opposed to being effective, which is doing the right things. And I think executives completely, completely miss this. I’m not saying that they aren’t executives out there that are doing the right things, but these are skills that will enable you doing the right things. They don’t they are not methods. And the amazing thing to me is all of these things are internally focused. They’re very much oriented towards the individual. And, you know, I understand leadership training and executive skills. If it’s something you can personally do to better yourself, that those are good things, but they don’t make your organization effective, doesn’t create value for the organization directly. And so real gains come from creating value for your organization. So let’s contrast these ten skills against skills that can create value for the organization like. And to me, the basis of this is synthetic thinking, your ability to understand the whole of the organization. Not just the parts, and focusing on the individual is the lowest common denominator that you have and focusing on the parts. So and again, I’m not saying that’s important in a lot of change needs to happen at the individual level in order to enable the whole. But you need the synthetic thinking, understanding of how all the pieces play in the organization, how your organization plays in the and broader systems out there in order to create value as an organization.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:04:04] So synthetic thinking to me is the base piece. You have to understand synthetic thinking. And I have videos out there that I usually tag in one way or another, either in the description or at the end of this video that you can go to and understand the difference between analytical and synthetic thinking. And you’re not just being honest with you. You’re not in systems, in organizations that promote synthetic thinking. They’re just not that prevalent. And a lot of them think they are, but they’re not. So and that’s my opinion. But from all organizations I’ve seen and what this offers is a huge advantage for you to create value and whatever industry that you’re in by changing your thinking. So synthetic thinking, then, there are methods that you need in your organization in order to create value, and if you can do these methods, they will make your organization, I’d say, more competitive, but they will set you apart so much that everybody is going to be trying to copy what you’re doing, but they can’t because it’s unique to your organization.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:05:22] So those four things are how you go about making your your decision making to innovation, which is a huge one from my perspective, which is this is what creates value in capitalist societies, in any society.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:05:38] Is innovation coming up with new ideas, new industries, a whole different way of disrupting your industry. And this is something that has to be done proactively. Three executive data analytics. Once you’ve looked at your system as a whole, you’re going to come up with a whole list of new measures that have nothing to do with the stuff that you measured before. And these measures will create value within your organization.But you’ve got to get there from synthetic thinking. The fourth thing is organizational design and the ability to design an organization that is that that can create value for customers and setting up that way, not just buying into the previous thinking of just breaking down the pieces into sales and marketing and so forth, kind of kind of throw all of that out. Everybody does the same thing. And so there’s huge advantages even in organizational design.


Tripp Babbitt: [00:06:41] So my message this week is you have to have a method for each of these things, the decision making, the innovation, the executive data analytics and the organizational design in order to create value. And then my second message is focusing on yourself will help and it will create maybe two to five percent of the value that you can create by having methods to improve the entire system. And so this is the focus of my executive education program that you can take a look at. It’s available through Think IFIC and I’ll put a link to it. But this is the movement that I’m talking about can focus on the individual. And again, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t improve yourself, but you’re going to get monumental gains from improving the system. And if you’re the one facilitating that, then you’re creating a tremendous amount of value for your organization.

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