Coincidence or Not?

Coincidence or not

You may have seen this motivational masterpiece. It’s a favorite among performance consultants.

It goes as follows:

IF

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

THEN:

K

N

O

W

L

E

D

G

E

 

11

14

15

23

12

5

4

7

5

96%

AND:

H

A

R

D

W

O

R

K

   

8

1

18

4

23

15

18

11

 

98%

Both are important, but fall just short of 100%

BUT…

A

T

T

I

T

U

D

E

   

1

20

20

9

20

21

4

5

 

100%

So the moral of the story is that if you have the right attitude, you will achieve 100 percent of your potential. 

It sure looks great on paper. To test the mystical value of this proposition, I’ve written a short script to first create words that are between 2-12 character long that add up to the value of 100 and then find which of these is found in a dictionary. 

As might be expected, the script generated hundreds of valid words (see the short sample at the end of the post just for the letter A). It turns out that many of them are not very motivational.

A

N

E

U

R

I

S

M

   

1

20

20

9

20

21

4

5

 

100%

B

O

Y

C

O

T

T

     

1

20

20

9

20

21

4

   

100%

The problem with all of these leadership gimmicks is that they fail to understand the fundamentals of human performance, chiefly that nothing in nature functions at 100% efficiency. In reality, any information worker productivity in the 50 percentile range of is outstanding. As you can see from the list bellow, this is an average daily activity breakdown of a typical information worker:

#

Activity

Time (Min)

1

Checking social media

44

2

Reading news websites and checking out Amazon

65

3

Visiting and discussing non-work-related activity with colleagues

40

4

Making hot drinks

17

5

Smoking or doing some mobile device maintenance

23

6

Texting and instant messaging

14

7

Snacking

8

8

Preparing food in the office

7

9

Calling partners and friends

18

10

Looking for a new job and doing LinkedIn “maintenance”

26

Total

262

So about 4.3 hours of every 8 hour day are non-productive. Any doubts? Feel free to consult Frederick Brooks’ Mythical Man-Month.

Word

Letter Values

Sum

Abrogative

1 + 2 + 18 + 15 + 7 + 1 + 20 + 9 + 22 + 5

100

Acromegaly

1 + 3 + 18 + 15 + 13 + 5 + 7 + 1 + 12 + 25

100

Affectation

1 + 6 + 6 + 5 + 3 + 20 + 1 + 20 + 9 + 15 + 14

100

Alienation

1 + 12 + 9 + 14 + 5 + 1 + 20 + 9 + 15 + 14

100

Anchoritic

1 + 14 + 3 + 8 + 15 + 18 + 9 + 20 + 9 + 3

100

Anglophobia

1 + 14 + 7 + 12 + 15 + 16 + 8 + 15 + 2 + 9 + 1

100

Anorchism

1 + 14 + 15 + 18 + 3 + 8 + 9 + 19 + 13

100

Aryanism

1 + 18 + 25 + 1 + 14 + 9 + 19 + 13

100

Asbestos

1 + 19 + 2 + 5 + 19 + 20 + 15 + 19

100

 

© Copyright 2017 Yaacov Apelbaum, All Rights Reserved.

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