Back to Blog

Stand Tall Teamwork Series: Efficiency vs Effectiveness

classroom management education consultant educational leadership educational leadership programs effectiveness efficiency goals keynote speaker leaders in education leadership coaching leadership for educational equity leadership styles in education motivational speaker professional development public speaking reflection stand tall steve steve bollar values within our ranks Jan 15, 2024

In the evolving world of education, the terms efficiency and effectiveness often find themselves entwined in a love-hate relationship. And with the excitement of a new year, this is a great point to reflect on where and how you are spending your energy. This episode will be a podcast you will want to listen to again when it is all over.  Let’s get into the definitions, applications, and challenges posed by efficiency and effectiveness in education. What is Efficiency and Effectiveness?

Efficiency= Doing Things Right
Effectiveness= Doing the Right Things

Efficiency measures how quickly a task can be accomplished with minimal time and effort. It's about being swift and resourceful, and you won’t break into a sweat over it. Perhaps it is given a particular timeframe. It's the Usain Bolt of teaching, always in a hurry. 

How are you spending your time?  Are you maximizing the time you have?  It may seem that you never have enough time to get everything done.  What could you do differently?  Make sure everything is working as effectively as possible.  Talk with others.  Ask for others' opinions.  Survey your work.  You may be surprised how much time is floating around out there.

On the flip side, effectiveness concerns itself with the quality of the outcome, regardless of time constraints. It's about achieving the intended or expected results. Effectiveness is like the quality control inspector. It's ensuring the outcomes are on point, even if it takes more time. Think of it as the Gandalf saying, "A wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to." That's effectiveness for you.  Effectiveness comes into play with a dash of emotion, a sprinkle of value, a dollop of desire, and a heap of purpose. It's the secret sauce that makes your teaching wizardry genuinely effective. Harry Potter, meet your new teacher.

These concepts, efficiency and effectiveness, stand as pillars supporting the framework of success in education.

Believe it or not, everyone has the same amount of time. #standtallstatement

The Efficiency-Effectiveness Formula:


Efficiency= Expertise + Execution

Effectiveness= Efficiency + Emotion

I have a formula that encapsulates the essence of these two concepts. Efficiency is a product of expertise combined with the execution of that expertise. It's about how adeptly one can implement their knowledge. However, effectiveness emerges from the fusion of efficiency with emotion, value, desire, and a sense of purpose. This formula provides a holistic perspective, acknowledging the cognitive and emotional dimensions of the educational process. Be sure to check out this clip: 


Mid-Year Reflection: Striking the Balance

The mid-year reflection is an opportune time for educators to reassess their efficiency and effectiveness. It's a critical juncture to recalibrate, especially in the face of rapidly changing expectations and evolving teaching methodologies. The goal is to find a delicate balance where efficiency and effectiveness harmonize to yield optimal results. This balance ensures educators are quick, resourceful, and attuned to their work's emotional and value-driven aspects. 

If you didn’t start your reflection before the beginning of 2024, there’s always time. Read more here! Do you still need to set goals? I’ve got you. 


Administrator's Dilemma: Striving for Excellence

Where is the middle ground where both efficiency and effectiveness are maximized?

Administrators often grapple with the delicate balance between pushing for effectiveness and considering the efficiency of their staff. You have to support your teachers through new initiatives, not just the first three PD days of the year. The demand for outstanding outcomes may sometimes overshadow the realistic timeframe required for proper execution. A key takeaway for administrators is to appreciate that efficiency and effectiveness are intertwined but require nuanced management. Expectations should align with the expertise and experience of the educators, allowing for a dynamic yet sustainable approach to achieving goals. 

Administrators are like directors of a three-ring circus. They want the big laughs, the applause, the outstanding outcomes. But, uh-oh, sometimes they need to remember that good shows (and curricular changes) take time to develop. Pushing for an epic finale without considering the efficiency of their performers may lead to punchlines falling flat. Remember, gang, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a new curriculum. 

Generational Perspectives:

From student teachers to veteran educators, different generations in education may lean towards either efficiency or effectiveness. Shaped by a diverse technological landscape, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers often prioritize effectiveness. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are like the Shakespearean actors, taking their sweet time for the grand finale. They value the quality of outcomes over rapid execution. 

Millennials and Gen Z, products of a digital era, lean towards efficiency, more like improv comedians, always looking for the quickest, funniest route to the punchline. They embrace tools and systems that expedite tasks. 

When these comedy styles clash, it's like a sitcom crossover – entertaining but a tad chaotic.

The challenge arises when these diverse generational perspectives converge within educational institutions, creating potential friction and highlighting the need for a balanced approach.

Efficiency and effectiveness offer a profound lens through which to scrutinize our educational practices. Striking the right balance is an ongoing challenge, requiring self-reflection, awareness, and adaptability. As educators, administrators, and stakeholders, we must navigate this intricate dance, appreciating the strengths of both efficiency and effectiveness, and fostering an environment where each can thrive. In this delicate equilibrium, we discover the path to educational excellence.

Because you are a Stand Tall Leader, you can identify who you can help and who you can’t help so that you are not wasting your time and energy and, therefore, are able to balance the level of efficiency and effectiveness of your work. #StandTallStatements

Within Our Ranks

“Training for educators who want to speak professionally.”

Do you have a wealth of educational knowledge and experience, but need to know how to turn it into speaking and consulting opportunities? 

For those of us in education, we value the voice of fellow educators when it comes to professional development sessions and trainings.  That’s exactly why Within Our Ranks is so unique: educators train, support, and support other educators! 

Unleash Your Potential as a Professional Speaker and Trainer

If you have ten or more years of experience in K-12 education, it’s time to learn about the world of educational speaking. Through this multi-step program, turn your knowledge into a profitable experience! 

  • Program Flexibility (perfect for those transitioning careers)
  • Educator Focused
  • Learn the business of the speaking industry
  • Constructive feedback to grow confidently 
  • Start your own full or part-time public speaking career!

Don't let your goldmine of knowledge and expertise go untapped. Unlock your potential as a professional speaker and trainer with Within Our Ranks. Embrace this transformative coaching program and embark on a journey to become an influential voice in educational speaking. Together, let's make an impact and inspire others through the power of effective communication.

Learn more today!
Schedule a time to speak with me about this program.


Don't miss a beat!

New moves, motivation, and classes delivered to your inbox. 

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.