P stands for Production and PC stands for Production capability. This rule states that true effectiveness and productivity comes from the balance between production and production capability.

Let’s understand this with the help of a famous fable which most of us must have heard of in our nursery classes about a story of a farmer who had a very unique and intriguing goose.

Each day the goose laid a glittering golden egg which the farmer sold and became rich. This made him greedy and he decided to slaughter the goose to take all the golden eggs at once but there was nothing except blood all around and not even a single trace of an egg was found. The outcome of his greed made him poorer and poorer day by day.

Here, P is the golden egg and PC is the goose. The farmer tried to create an imbalance that led to the death of the goose and eventually production.

Stephen Stephen Covey wrote in his all-time famous The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, that people generally think —

The more you produce, the more you do, the more effective you are.

But that’s not always the case. This evil of greed will always kill the goose in the longer run. Let’s raise the curtain to show the instances of such imbalances in our daily lives:

These days startups are primarily focused on growth which is need of the hour for them. The term growth is itself very subjective, for some organizations growth is about improving every day and while for most of the newbies, growth is all about setting unrealistic 2x or 3x targets and running to achieve them by relentlessly expecting their employees (PC) to work hard, overtime, stay up all night to more output(P).

This P — PC imbalance always proves to be a wet weekend for employees by depriving their physical and mental health, personal and social life. Furthermore, this imbalance always leads to worsening productivity and quality in the long run.

Setting unrealistic production goals is absolutely fine only if you have good production capabilities. Good production capability may include hiring, treating and taking proper care of employees, timely appreciations and rewards, and finally creating a healthy work environment.

Always treat your employees as you want them to treat your customers.

The question is how many times we unreasonably tried to expect more from a living or a nonliving thing without considering their actual production capabilities.

  1. It could be telling your son to clean the room (Production) properly daily without knowing your son’s lack of interest on the importance of a having a clean room (Production Capability)
    Solution:
    Before telling or ordering firstly teach him the importance of a decluttered room and ask him to start with little.
  2. It could be a fitness trainer forcing a novice enthusiast to lift 300 pounds in squats (Production) without knowing about the individual’s strength (Production Capability).
    Solution:
    Before making him lift a gigantic weight, focus on strength development first and then slowly start increasing the weights pounds by pounds. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day.
  3. It could be being a pound wise penny foolish to save some extra cents on not upgrading your car’s engine oil timely and thus compromising on its maintenance (Production Capability) and finally expecting your car to run smoothly for years (Production).
    Solution:
    By taking care of your car with regular health checkups, proper servicing with oiling and greasing.

Conclusion

P and PC rule is all about balancing the two extreme poles:

  1. Focusing only on producing short-term results will never furnish outstanding results. In the long run, these would act as barriers and constraints in the smooth functioning of your production because you never focused upon cultivating the production capability.
  2. Focusing only on production capability without having short-term goals would also not bear fruitful results. There is no point in increasing the production capability of a sword by sharpening its edge if you are not going to use it at all.

Lying on either of the extremes is a huge problem. Hence a strong balance between the two poles is the core of effectiveness. If you want the most important dimensions of your life including job, relationship, education, health, and business to be effective then P — PC balance is a must.

What’s Next?

There are many more topics we need to discuss in detail, follow me and keep an eye on this place. In the next few posts I will be writing in detail about the following topics:

  • Creatine, Yes or No?
  • Are you consuming fruits in a correct manner?
  • Learn about compound exercises.

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Thanks for reading 😊 Cheers, keep learning and sharing 😊.

Excerpted from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R.Covey.

Software Developer at Microsoft