Analytic Vision

Posts Tagged ‘intelligence’

Some differences between working hard and working SMART

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 27/06/2017

What is the difference between efficiency and effectiveness?

Efficiency is putting the ladder on the wall and climbing it down the other side of the wall as fast as possible. Effectiveness is knowing on which wall to put the ladder.

Some people learn in life, either by experience or modeling, to cherish the hard work. While this is important and certainly correlated with positive outcomes, it’s certainly not the most important.

Some people hear “strategy” and understand “procedure” or “technique”, hear “planning” and hear “lack of liberty” because some of the most relevant representations of these have been expressed in an extreme way.

Some people consider experience as a relevant source of learning. Hard work, trying and failing, persevering on one’s own path is currently mantra for many. Still, it is, for other people the poorest form of learning.

So if running after some unrelenting standards must be a very precious value in order to ensure quality, it seems weird that some of those who promote them (despite the qualities and advantages it defers to consumers of their products and services) are so tired, bored, unnerved and tense. Something doesn’t quite add up.

There is no need for conflict. Things can be done fast and best. You may learn through modeling more effective than through experience – if you have the right models (finding them requires skill). You may plan and enjoy your life. You may strategize and find opportunities that allow you creatively move in freedom. You may work enough and intelligently. Providing best quality can be a rewarding experience during the process. Want to know how to get there? Here it is some advice I find useful.

  1. Ask yourself every day or as often as possible: what little change, added to the baseline of my performance, can make an outstanding difference?
  2. What other perspective can this be seen from?
  3. How are others succeeding and why? What can be replicated?
  4. What is the proper structure for getting the results envisioned?
  5. How will this be mostly done in 5 years?
  6. Who has the proper experience, results and motivation to take in consideration as a model?
  7. How do you see yourself from the outside when having the goal completed? Backtrack from that moment: what will you be doing a week earlier, a month earlier?
  8. How is seeing the bigger picture helping you with deciding differently?
  9. How is this working plan helping you today with the perfect plan you mean to do tomorrow?
  10. How does changing the people you work with/for support you in making a bigger impact with fewer efforts?
  11. What other useful, important things might you be doing with your efforts if you’d have more time?
  12. How could the people you are working with/for make your work/life easier?
  13. What other people could you choose to work with/for and how could you find them?
  14. What other goals might be more worthy of your efforts?
  15. How would changing the challenges you confront support you to develop yourself?
  16. Who wold get an award for doing what you are already doing?
  17. What would make you able to choose better?
  18. In what context is the kind of hard work you do more appreciated or featured?
  19. Who would benefit the most from your efforts?
  20. Who would care more about your deeper intentions?
  21. How could you reinvent your work?

How do you think about your efforts now? Do they seem more intelligent? Now, that you will be able to do smarter work, you may choose if and in which directions you prefer to work hard.

What does SMART mean in goal management?






For example take in consideration such a table that can be used in order to detail and support any goal formulation, to make sure it can be measured in tasks, time and units, therefore making it achievable in a realistic timeframe set.

How could I improve this goal, working smarter and less, using just some of the questions I recommended?

  • I could use an application which would correct my errors as I type (such as
  • I could record my voice reading the content of an article and delegate to someone to transcribe it.
  • I could delegate the translation into English from Romanian of several articles I already wrote
  • I could write useful copy to promote my services as posts which would also make interesting reading
  • I could write useful articles for my clients
  • Make a plan of how many clients do I want to gain using my articles on this blog
  • Use the time saved to serve existing customers and develop strategies to find new ones


SMART goal






What specifically?

How much? (for each article)

Publish 2 posts/month on Analytic Vision, monthly, covering by 2018 all the subjects in the Excel file (24 posts/year)






1. update excel ideas file 1. 5 mins
2. design structure 2. 5 mins
3. create content 3. 20-90 mins
4. check content 4. 10-20 mins
5. publish content 5. 10 mins
6. share content 6. 2 mins

Posted in Debug Your Mind | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Personal Development Goals Evaluation For 2012

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 30/03/2013

About a year ago, I have stated here[en, blog] that I will change/improve some things with me, overall, based on the 360 degrees annual evaluation[en, blog]. Last year, in the fall, I have done the 360 degrees evaluation for 2012, so I now have a pretty good overall picture on what I have accomplished in the 8 months which have passed from March 2012 till November 2012. Although I did my homework and I completed the little research, I haven’t made time to share with you the results in such an organized fashion as I had done it for the 2011 evaluation here [en, pdf].

I have written this article due to the transparency that I preach – do what I say and say what I do. Therefore, let’s take my accomplishments and failures in terms of the year 2012, in rapport to what I’ve assumed as a target in front of everyone. I have marked in red the failures and with green the successes. This is NOT the top of my strengths and weaknesses. This article follows the results of my goals in the order declared last year. This is part one – how I’ve developed my strengths.

The 10 abilities (strong points) planned to enforce were:

1. Seriousness & reliability

People said about me in 2012: Professionalism, Seriousness, Maturity, Reliability , Corectness, Emotional self-control, Never complaining, Decisiveness, Independence in taking decisions, openness, honesty, niche, lots of info, Good specialist, preoccupied with things not on first hand, built façade, Word-keeper, Able to help, Healthy habits (Church, self-incentive, hard working, supporting a cause).

The problem is that this this considered quality is not the 3rd in the people’s eyes, but the 6th thing they think about, when they think about me. This is totally opposite to what I intended to obtain. This was one of the most important things for me for 2012 and I haven’t accomplished it.

Personal self-critic. I have abandoned some of my professional goals in 2012. How have I let down people in general in 2012?

I concentrated so much on writing for Discerne, my Romanian blog, and for, that I completely abandoned my English blogs: Analytic Vision and Debug Your Mind. From this focus, in the same time resulted my winning two awards with Discerne. But, to my shame, I have not notified my readers that I’m going to take a long break.

I have announced that I was going to publish two books on negotiation and I have published just one. Basically, in 2012 I have published the revised edition of the e-book “Guide for the efficient learning” [ro, blog] and my first professional printed book on business, “Persuasion’s Paths to Negotiation” [ro, blog]. So that’s 2 out of 3 editorial projects finished. In 2013, I plan to have published 3 publishing projects. March has ended and I haven’t finished any of them yet. We’ll see how I handle.

I took a (too) long professional break in consulting & training, first until April 2012 and from August to October 2012, while I’ve been working on the book.

I also talked to some people about my plans of continuing my post-graduate studies in EU, but I have decided to postpone that opportunity for the moment. Still, last year I took from the faculties the original documents for the masters I graduated in 2011: the diploma, the supplement, the analytic programme, the authenticity attestation. In 2013, I have translated all of them and apostillated with the Hague apostille. 2012 was the first year for a long period when I haven’t been a student anywhere anymore.

2. Detachment

My enthusiasm has dropped 1 place in the top of strong points, according to the average opinion of 26 people I have asked in 2012 to tell me 4+, 4- [en, blog]. I am generally overenthusiastic and I get involved in too many things and finish just some of them. Detachment is a quality which allows you to lean back and react in balanced fashion, considering the bigger picture. I have succeeded that by taking time to work with me, to change some of the issues I was having. Detachment from my own emotions, from others’ opinions. For example, now I am in a period when I get myself involved in a lot of things and I strive for a little period of break-time, to take things into perspective. I learned to take breaks a little bit easier, which is useful, especially since I don’t want to fall into burnout or depression.

3. Faith

This strong point became more visible during 2012, probably also because of the fact that I’ve been writing pro-orthodoxy articles [ro, blog]. Actually, my best and oldest friend recommended me that I should write a book on this topic, because he thinks I write good about it. The fact is, this strong point went up from the 15th position (2011) in the top to the 9th (2012).

I think people consider this a quality even if they don’t share the same beliefs. Someone practicing a Christian confession is believed to have morality, therefore (s)he is more trustworthy. I do consider myself that some of my principles and rigorousness comes from following and practising orthodoxy.

4. Creativity



11th place in strengths

11th place in strengths

3.5 points

4 points

2 dissertation papers

2 books published

200+ articles published

125 + articles published

So, as you can observe in the table, although I have been more prolific in 2012, my peers actually considered me almost as much creative than in 2011. This is a blow for me, because creativity is my life, it’s one thing which should define my activity as a marketer. More is not better, and this actually seems to be the case. Especially since 4 points is even lower than what I got for creativity in 2010, when it was on the 13th place as strength. I have to admit that I haven’t come with ground-breaking ideas or discoveries in 2011 or 2012.

In the same time, I think people associate generally creativity with innovation, and this is not necessarily the case. I have a more pronounced correlative intelligence, rather than an innovative one. Considering I have made it a goal in 2012 to be more creative and I failed to do that, in the feed-back of 32+ people, it’s certainly something to think about.

5. Organisation

I haven’t accomplished this goal – I will write about it more in the article about the weaknesses.

6. Expressiveness

The number of points received by this strength has more than doubled spectacularly, making expressiveness one of my top 3 strengths. People said about me in 2012: Assertiveness, negotiation, Efficient communication, excellent verbal expression, Diplomacy, Understanding, Offering good feed-back, Relaxed presenting style, Good education, common sense, respect, Good man, Manners, good will, Nice guy, Write a lot, Easy to talk to, Nice looking, Sympathetic, Ability to have a dialogue.

So, even if I’m considered less creative in 2012 compared to 2011, I’m considered almost twice as expressive, which shows that I have seriously improved my communication abilities. I have also enriched and diversified my styles of writing. This is one of the goals I really nailed in 2012. Nobody can tell me you can’t succeed in planning with precision to affect other people’s opinion.

7. Optimism

More people from those who gave me complete, relevant feed-back, viewed me as optimist in 2012, compared to 2011. Probably since I became more expressive, people could perceive me more coherently and one of my strengths is my optimism, even if its corresponding weakness is idealism, which is much more visible.

8. Concision

The attribute analysis, as a strength, fell from the 5th to the 7th position in 2012. The attribute overanalysishas also dropped its position (from 11 to 12) and points (from 6 to 5,5) in the top of weaknesses. I’ve been complimented for the results of my work with Persuasion’s Paths to Negotiation” [ro, blog]. I published the book in December 2012, so after completing the 360º evaluation. I’ve been commended for the fact it is a very concentrated book which synthesizes excellently thousands of pages of speciality books.

For me, to develop the ability to synthesize, next to my great analytic talent is very important. People expect me at my age to make some conclusions and not to keep analysing alternatives.

9. Balance, calm

Although some people appreciated at me in 2010-2011 the balance, the calm, the objectivity, I confess of seeming to lose all of it in 2012. Actually, I was perceived as more in a rush than in 2011. My patience with me and with others seems to have ran out in 2012. Unfortunately, people see me rather as agitated than peaceful.

10. Data & rights security

This is actually not so related to my personal branding or my personal development, but it is a declared interest. I have been continuing my activity in password-protecting all the documents I sent. I have kept on removing from all unwanted places my writings (e.g. materials written by me and published by others on Scribd without permission – including a draft of book), I have registered my copyrights for all of the articles published in 2012. I have shared my work with less people.

I have participated to one security workshop.

I have kept on changing passwords to all my accounts and none of them got hijacked. I have been using virtual keybord when accesing sensitive accounts from wireless connections. I have installed a protection software for wireless connection, I have disabled google tracking in Chrome. I have been using an encrypted partition for my work.

I haven’t had a file data loss since 2011. My maintenance of computers, both the central unit and the laptop, both software and hardware, have spared me of any problems. I had my laptop cleaned from dust and I replaced its charger and battery.

I have been raising attention to the internet-rights as human rights [en, php] related issues by publishing posts on this topic and sharing initiatives such as .

Other positive things I have accomplished in the area of my strengths, based solely on the 360º evaluation:

I was considered in 2012 50% more intelligent and 2 times more emotionally intelligent  than in 2011, which is a radical and consistent improvement in my image.

People said about me in 2012:

  • Intelligence, Evolution, Competitiveness with self (perfectionism), Reasoning capacity, Self-taught, reading a lot, (thirst for) knowledge, Smartness, good memory, passion for study,

  • EQ (empathy + showing emotions), attention to others’ needs, good listener & confident, knowledge of people & questions, good advice, helpful, innocence, constructivism, will to do good, caring, thesaurus of wisdom, offering, generosity, remembering the names of people, nice guy. Practically, this attribute has gone from the 8th position straight to the 4thposition in 2012.

I will continue with an article where I will share with you what I have accomplished in working with my weaknesses.So far, 70% success from what I proposed as a goal from 2012 for 2012.

Posted in Analytic & Critic Vision Over... | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: