There’s so much news that we don’t know where to start! But this week’s blog can’t pass without paying a tribute to Stephen Covey and his contribution to leadership and personal development. He left our world earlier this week; we are richer for his wisdom and Paradise Rescued grew out of his teaching. What better way to celebrate his life than (to try) to give a one page synopsis of his best work: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People…..
The central theme to the book is the progression of an individual and as a leader from a position of Dependence through to Independence and on towards Interdependence. The first phase is described as a Private Victory and the second phase as the Public Victory.
In the Private Victory as you progress from Dependence to Independence, the three habits are:-
1. Be Proactive. To be a leader you have to take action.
2. Begin with the End in Mind. In other words develop a Vision, a clear mental picture of what you what to achieve.
3. Put First Things First. A simple process to assess and manage your priorities based on a matrix of Urgent and Important.
In the Public Victory, Covey takes us from Independence to Interdependence with three further habits:-
4. Think Win / Win. How to develop the art of collaboration and achieve better results together than by working alone.
5. Seek First to Understand…then to be Understood. A master class chapter in the art of listening to other people first rather than our own stories.
6. Synergise. The sum of the whole is greater than the parts. In summary it is what happens when the first 5 habits all come together.
Surrounding all the habits above is the very important seventh one:-
7. Sharpen the Saw. This is the habit of continual learning, personal development and growth. Without this habit and attitude, none of the other six can take effectively place.
As we all know you can’t summarise someone’s life nor a 300 page book in one simple page. Stephen Covey left us an enduring leadership legacy and his 7 Habits will continue to be a major reference model for anyone wishing to be a business, personal, community or any kind of leader.
Without the Seven Habits book, there might not be a Paradise Rescued today. And when we talk about #Cloud9 thinking, we will always respect, remember and continue to practice Stephen Covey’s wisdom and teaching.