Sometime before 2011 I recognized Stephen Covey’s work as one of the books that most influenced my life in this earlier blog post. There are probably millions of my generation who would say the same. The book came out some years after I finished business school and right around the time when I suffered a disability that forced me to postpone the completion of law school. So it came at a time when I really needed life coaching and inspiration. This blog post is meant simply as a memory refresher, based on the blinks published more recently.
For lasting effectiveness, adopt these seven habits:
• Be proactive: You have a natural need to wield influence on the world around you, so don’t spend your time just reacting to external events and circumstances. Take charge and assume responsibility for your life.
• Begin with an end in mind: Don’t spend your life working aimlessly, tackling whatever job comes to hand. Have a vision for the future and align your actions accordingly to make it into a reality.
• Put first things first: To prioritize your work, focus on what’s important, meaning the things that bring you closer to your vision of the future. Don’t get distracted by urgent but ultimately unimportant tasks.
• Think win-win: When negotiating with others, don’t try to get the biggest slice of the pie, but rather find a division that is acceptable and beneficial to all parties. You’ll still get your fair share and build strong positive relationships in the process.
• Seek first to understand, then to be understood: When someone presents us with a problem, we often jump right to prescribing a solution. This is a mistake. We should first take time to really listen to the other person and only then make recommendations.
• Synergize: Adopt the guiding principle that the contributions of many will far exceed the sum total of individual contributions. This will help you to achieve goals you could never have reached on your own.
• Sharpen the saw: Don’t work yourself to death. Strive for a sustainable lifestyle that affords you time to recuperate and recharge, so that you can stay effective in the long-term.