Weekly Word

[Weekly Word] Getting it done


| ɪˈfɛktɪv |

Ever since its 1989 release, the late Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has transformed people and organizations worldwide, and is one of the go-to self-help or management books today. It also happens to be one of my favorite non-fiction books. There’s a reason for these: the truths it conveys to us are what they are: true and timeless.

Let’s take the first definition for our purposes. This alone already spells A LOT in what we want to achieve; in fact, the very fact that we are achieving something through TDA means that we are being effective. Because everything is about being effective (though not the only thing that everything is about). We can have a wonderful, game-changing plan that will impact the entire world with as little cost as possible – but if it is not effective in its execution, then it will be for nothing.

Especially when we are working in the fields of social responsibility, service, and development, effectivity is a must. We have to achieve results among our constituencies or stakeholders so that we can truly say we are responsible or service-oriented, or that we are developing others. Though we work our asses off, if we do not produce our desired outcomes, then we are not being successful in what we do. This is too true in innovation, what more social innovation.

That said, there is a mindset we must always employ if we are to be truly effective. Covey’s book is very good in structuring this mindset, but it’s actually common sense: we need to think about the end result (or our ultimate vision), we need to take the initiative if we want something, we need to be kind and understanding, we need to be self-capable but not islands, and we need to be open to learning all the time. It is, almost literally, doing our best.

It is about being responsible to others (and to ourselves) in the way we treat them (and ourselves), it is about having the heart of a hardworking servant who wants to work, and it is about aligning these characteristics with your end goal in mind – your higher purpose that you are out to achieve. Only then will we become effective purposeful livers.


  • successful in producing a desired or intended result

    • (of a law, rule, or policy) operative
  • existing in fact, though not formally acknowledged as such

    • assessed according to actual rather than face value


Late Middle English, from Latin effectivus, itself from efficere (“accomplish”).

In other languages

  • Bahasa Indonesia: efektif; mujarab
  • بهاس ملايو:
    • بركسن (berkesan)
  • Cebuano: epektibo
  • Deutsch: wirksam; effektiv
  • Español: eficaz; efectivo
  • Filipino: mabisa
  • Français: efficaceeffectif
  • 한국어: 유효한 (yuhyohan)
  • Italiano: efficace; effettivo
  • ភាសាខ្មែរ: សក្ដិសិត្ធ (sakde se t)
  • Latino: efficax; efficiens
  • မြန်မာဘာသာ: ထိရောက်သော (htiroutsaw)
  • 日本語: 効果的な (こうかてきな)
  • ພາສາລາວ: ປະສິດທິຜົນ (pasidthiphon)
  • ภาษาไทย: ได้ผล (Dị̂ p̄hl)
  • தமிழ்: பயனுள்ள (Payaṉuḷḷa)
  • Tiếng Việt: có hiệu lực
  • 中文: 有效 (yǒuxiào)

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