Efficient and effective are 2 words I have used to describe my work style for years.

While they sound like positive words in a business context, both efficient and effective can be limiters to growth, innovation, and creativity when overused.

Today in my group coaching program, we’re covering commitment 9 from “The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership.” This commitment is called living a life of play and rest.

I reread this commitment this morning and noticed my 2 favorite words, efficient and effective, but not in a positive light.

Commitment 9 emphasizes that when we are coming from a state of threat this commitment looks like: “I commit to seeing my life as serious; it requires hard work, effort, and struggle. I see play and rest as distractions from effectiveness and efficiency.”

By contrast, when we are coming from a state of presence or trust this commitment looks very different: “I commit to creating a life of play, improvisation, and laughter. I commit to seeing all of life unfold easefully, and effortlessly. I commit to maximizing my energy by honoring rest, renewal, and rhythm.”

How do you view play and rest? If rest and play seem like distractions from efficiency and effectiveness, try adding 10 minutes of play. See what unfolds.

Is your organization ready for a change?

Stephanie Blackburn Freeth is the creator of The Strategy Tango.


The Strategy Tango is designed to move through seven tried and true planning steps while also accommodating the unique needs of your organization in each moment.


The Strategy Tango process is built upon a foundation of collaboration, candor, and focus.

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