In honor of National Thesaurus Day today, I’d like to talk about ‘feckless’ and ‘fecklessness’ and how not to be labeled as either while providing services to clients.

‘Feckless’ and ‘fecklessness’ stem from and are antonyms to ‘effect’ and ‘effectiveness’ and have a range of flavors from aimless and shiftless to inept and ineffectual. A feckless individual adds no value or worth to the project he’s working on.  These are obviously qualities no person or organization should aspire to.


I think of ‘fecklessness’ as a preventable disease and, as such, here are a few ideas on how to avoid becoming infected:

  • Focus on the problem at hand – What problem is your client trying to solve? How is the work you’re doing helping the client resolve this issue? Ask yourself if the services you’re providing address the client’s needs, and, if they don’t, what will you do to retarget your efforts?
  • Use Lean Six Sigma principles as guides – Does the work you’re doing help create an efficient, effective solution to your client’s problem? If it doesn’t, what can you do to refocus your efforts towards building a better, faster and cheaper system or process?
  • Talk to your client – You may think you’re doing great things, but what does your client think? Also, be willing to provide your client with honest feedback. If something isn’t working, say so, but have a proposed solution ready. If you’ve goofed, confess your sins and explain how you will atone for your error.
  • Purposely strive not to be feckless. Provide your clients with services and products that improve outcomes.