Capability Enables but Passion Drives

Productivity & Effectiveness: Capability Enables but Passion Drives
#Productivity is defined as the ratio between Output & Input. In other words, it measures how much output has been delivered using inputs such as time, effort, money.

Productivity & Effectiveness: Capability Enables but Passion Drives

I have always said that if we did all the things that we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. But more importantly, I fundamentally believe that if it was passion-driven our work then we would not need any external motivation, as it would make us feel good.

In fact, a lot of research is being conducted and written about Productivity & Effectiveness driven by capability or passion. Therefore, it is no surprise that not only organizations but a significant lot of individuals are trying to romance the concept.

“Productivity is defined as the ratio between Output & Input. In other words, it measures how much output has been delivered using inputs such as time, effort, money. And, Effectiveness is defined as the degree to which something is successful in producing the desired result.”

In this world, Resources (time, effort, money, etc.) will always be limited and Success will always be a measure. Thus, it is important that we invest our scarce resources wisely so that our outcomes are most Effective (read successful). And if you are productively efficient you may have found the key to Happiness.

There is a handy tool you could use. I call it the skill-will matrix. Plot your desire against capability for every task you do. You will essentially plot all tasks in 4 quadrants. Let’s de-code the quadrants,


I have a friend who loves animals, she cares for them deeply and so she started an animal shelter. In front of the shelter, she has started an animal salon & spa. The salon provides grooming for pets, sells accessories & animal use products. It also allows for day & night boarding for pets when the family goes on vacation. Her passion for animals makes her a very effective product manager and pays her bills. She doesn’t tire while putting in extra hours or weekends, she doesn’t mind filling in for the team and most importantly, she is the worst critic of her own product.

You are in this space when you have the required skill and have a burning desire to excel. Much like the Passion meets Purpose quadrant. It is important to find this zone for yourself either professionally or personally and in rare cases both!

Such people are likely to LOVE what they DO & DO what they LOVE.


An ex-colleague discovered the joy of living close to nature. She uncovered the joy of healthy eating and the many benefits yoga had on her. She found a “guru”, made small changes in her lifestyle and has joined classes. She follows what her guru suggests willingly and with a lot of devotion. I see her wake up at 4 AM to finish her practices the day she needs to start early for office. She has gladly given up socialising late in the night, since she has to wake up early in the morning.

You are in this space when you have found your calling. What you need to do is invest in skilling yourself. Skilling can come from formal classroom learning, self-paced courses or simply learning on the job. You could also do all 3 simultaneously.

These are EAGER learners who need to build their skill to be more & more effective.


This is a dangerous zone. This is when you feel trapped in doing something that you don’t care for much. What is worse is that you make mistakes and don’t care enough to practice or learn so as, not to repeat them. This is a red flag zone that you must quit. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Bankers will advise you to cut your losses and shut shop. Sooner the better!


I remember my granny in the kitchen when (and if) she had to cook a regular meal. She was an excellent chef I remember. Her curries and breads were well admired across our families and friends but she hated cooking! She would try every trick in the book to avoid going to the kitchen. She could taste a dish and find faults and suggest quick-fix improvements in a jiffy but only when she wanted.

These folks are erratic because they are highly skilled but lack the will (desire).

If you find yourself in this zone, you should either exit or find small rewards for yourself. Find a way to nudge yourself into quadrant 1.

Many of us could be really good at something that we don’t enjoy. You may be exceptionally qualified, but it doesn’t mean that you’re passionate about it. When your skills don’t match our desires, you often feel dissatisfied with your personal and/or professional lives, lacking meaningful work and sometimes feeling just plain bored. In order to be productive & efficient and more importantly happy & satisfied, you must use your hours judiciously and invest in somethings that add life to your life!

How do you do this?

Make sure you map your tasks on the Skill v/s Will matrix, clearly and effectively. For every task, you do, plot it on the matrix and evaluate where you are and where you want to be.

  • Use the map and consciously and find things to fill in Quadrant 1.
  • Nudge and find ways of moving Quadrant 2 and Quadrant 4 tasks into Quadrant 1.
  • Exit Quadrant 3, sooner the better!

If you have tipped one way or the other, you can always identify the problem and start making changes that realign your skills and your desire. It’s important to note, this is not a one-time activity but a continuum that needs to be updated with context and time!

Happy Plotting!


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