Have you ever noticed someone swimming who is going really, really fast yet makes it look effortless? There isn’t a bunch of splashing or arm flailing. Instead, there’s a wake behind them.
I saw someone like this was in the pool this morning. He was in the Very Fast lane. (Interesting aside: There’s no longer a slow lane. Only medium, fast and very fast. Apparently, none of us are slow swimmers. Good for morale.)
I was in the fast lane, formerly known as medium. At one point, we came into the wall to do a flip turn at the same time so I had the chance to see (in a topsy turvy way) his turn. There were no extraneous movements. There was precision and speed and power. And yet–he made it look so easy.
All the work happened under the surface. Ditto for his strokes and his kicks. There was a lot of work being done, but if you watched from the surface, you saw none of it.
Next time you’re admiring an organization that seems to have it all figured out, don’t confuse output with effort. You are likely seeing the result of a lot of work being done beneath the surface.