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Word comparisons

Note 156 – Comparing ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’

During my research today, I found many definitions and explanations of the words efficiency and effectiveness, but my favourites are Peter F. Drucker’s and the Cambridge Dictionaries online:

Definitions from Cambridge Dictionaries Online

When someone or something uses time and energy well, without wasting any

Successful or achieving the results that you want

Peter F. Drucker’s explanation

When comparing the words efficiency and effectiveness for an individual it may be wise to remember Peter F Drucker‘s saying: “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things”.  This is similar to another saying of his: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things”, which would suggest to me that management are efficient and leaders are effective.  Your thoughts?

In Peter F. Drucker’s book The Essential Drucker he explains that “for manual work we only need efficiency, that is, the ability to do things right rather than the ability to get the right things done”, whereas effectiveness is what turns intelligence, imagination and knowledge into results. 

Sentences using efficiency and effectiveness

  • The energy efficiency is the new house is excellent.
  • We liked the efficiency of the bar staff – we were served so quickly and with a smile.
  • The teacher’s effectiveness was based on her pupils’ exam results.
  • Janet continued to go to work whilst sick, which lowered her effectiveness as a manager.

My thoughts: This one was tougher than I thought today.  I always use my own examples when coming up with sentences but it took me a while tonight to come up with words using effectiveness.  I got there in the end, but can you think of any others?

This blog forms part of my writing challenge. Don’t forget that you can subscribe to receive my daily blogs by email so that you don’t miss any. Just click ‘sign me up’ on the home page. Alternatively you can follow my blogs on Twitter!/madeirasandra or my ‘Tips and LuxuriesFacebook page. Requests for future blogs (punctuation/grammar/writing tips) are always welcome.

Until tomorrow…


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Reference list:

Cambridge Dictionaries online:

The Essential Drucker by Peter F. Drucker (US)

About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer



  1. Pingback: Sunday Cryptoquote Spoiler – 10/30/11 « Unclerave's Wordy Weblog - October 31, 2011

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