This is not a test to determine how a brain works. However, it may be good to note your first thought on this topic. It may help you in determining the career path that is best suited for you. Are you seeking to create a business opportunity, or would you be better suited to make it better?
If you ran a business and had to choose between being effective and efficient and could select only one, which would it be? There is no right or wrong, response, especially when it involves a business. However, do keep in mind that effectiveness is necessary and that efficiency complements it.
If a business model has a market and is making money, that would indicate that it is effective. A need for a product or a service in a marketplace means that the business model would be effective. Whether an organization with an effective product or service is operating efficiently could be an entirely different story.
Effective is mandatory; efficient is optional (to a point). If a company operates inefficiently, it may affect its ability to be effective.
A pizza shop is a good example of a business to look at to distinguish the difference between effective and efficient. A pizzeria that is known for its great pizza is likely to have customers due to its reputation. It may be the worst-ran business on the planet with a nasty owner, a staff of disenfranchised employees, and no semblance of culture, or organization. It doesn’t matter. If it has customers that love the pizza, the business is effective.
Being inefficient could become a problem, especially if there are comparable options out there. However, if a business is unique and has a following, only those with intimate knowledge of it may even know that it is operated inefficiently.
Do keep in mind that disregarding the value of being efficient could hurt you. If two pizza parlors make the exact same pizza, the shop that delivers better service, meaning that it is more efficient, will probably do better than the other one.
The terms are not synonyms of each other. So, the next time someone asks, which one takes precedence? You know that effective is the most efficient response to that question.
This video by Roger Reece offers more insight on the difference between effective and efficient.