If you have read Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you may be familiar with the P/PC Balance, and know that in this case, P/PC does not mean pay per click. If you have not, simply refresh your memory about the Aesop’s fable about the goose that laid the golden eggs.
How the fable explains the concept
In case you don’t remember that fable by heart, here is how it goes. A struggling farmer finds an egg made of pure gold in the nest of his goose. He thinks it is some kind of joke, then gets it appraised and discovers that the golden egg is for real. The goose lays one of those golden eggs every day, which should be enough for the farmer to live a great life. He indeed becomes rich because of those golden eggs.
But even though he is now rich, it is not enough for the farmer. He wants more, and getting that once-a-day egg is not enough. So, convinced that there must be a literal goldmine inside the goose, he kills it and slices it up to get all the golden eggs at once time. Only thing is, he finds out that there is no golden eggs inside the goose, and now that he has killed the goose, he will not be getting anymore. So thanks to greed, he killed the thing that made him rich.
Defining P/PC balance
Covey uses this tale to illustrate the P/PC effectiveness equation. People think that “the more you produce, the more you do, the more effective you are,” Covey writes. But he notes that “true effectiveness” is really due to two things – what is actually produced (the golden eggs), and the thing that produces it (the goose). It is critical to have a P/PC balance. P is for production, and PC is for production capability.
So you can stay up all night, every night, to get your work done. But at a certain point, after you increase production, the production capability – you – will face diminishing returns, as you production capacity fades due to a lack of sleep.
If you have a car, and take care of it with regular maintenance, oil changes, and tire rotation, you are helping the PC – production capability — in order to keep the P – production – going smoothly. If you do not do that, you may save a little money on maintenance in the short-term, but you will lose in the long-term because your car will not run as smoothly, and will break down more frequently.
That is a great metaphor for having a good P/PC balance in whatever you do. There are various ways to keep your personal P/PC balance good – regular exercise, visiting a life coach, dieting, and relaxation techniques could keep you on an even keel. To learn more about how a life coach can help you with your P/PC, click here.
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