From Parker Palmer, on effectiveness [emphasis mine]:
We are in a society that is obsessed with effectiveness, with outcomes, with results. And efficiency is very much attached to that, which Courtney [Martin] wisely pointed to. I want to be clear that I’m not against effectiveness and getting results. I work hard on writing books, or on creating a non-profit, and on propagating programs through our 220 facilitators around the country. I want that work to be effective, just as everyone in this room wants to be effective.
But I am very clear, for myself, that the tighter we cling to the norm of effectiveness, the smaller and smaller tasks we’re going to take on, because they’re the only ones with which you can be effective. But there has to be a standard that trumps effectiveness. And I have a word that I use for myself that helps me walk this path. Um, and that’s the word faithfulness. Faithfulness has to trump effectiveness. And I don’t mean anything high and mighty about that. Remember, I’m the guy that God kicked out of seminary.
By faithfulness, I mean, am I being faithful to my own gifts? Am I being faithful to the needs I see around me, within my reach? And am I being faithful to those points at which my gifts might intersect those needs in some life-giving way?