I do a great deal of speaking across the country with the intention of helping people move up the ladder of success. Over the years, I have discovered and shared many effective tools for accomplishing goals and living a better, happier life. Without question, one of the most powerful pieces I discuss (if not the most powerful) is Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Simon & Schuster).
Covey was introduced to an audience of 8,000 Northwestern Mutual wealth advisors and their families in the early 2000’s with the Time Magazine quote: “He was the most significant leader in the world of self-improvement in the twentieth Century.” That is a powerful statement, and one I certainly will not dispute. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits are more than timeless. They are formative traits that point to a life of success and fulfillment. I can’t think of ONE REASON why ANYONE would not want to learn these, and more importantly use them each day we occupy this earth.
So, for the next 7 weeks, I will post, in order, the Seven Habits.
Don’t read them.
TEACH them to your children and your team members at work.
When you have committed these to memory and they have become part of your thought process, you will find that you will be using them time and time again each day. They are invaluable tools for leaders to not only understand but to use. After all, they are the Habits of Highly Successful People. Good luck and have fun learning them.
Let’s start with the first one right out of the book, and I quote,
Habit 1. BE PROACTIVE
Being proactive is more than taking initiative. It is accepting responsibility for our own behavior(past, present, and future) and making choices based on principles and values rather than on moods or circumstances. Proactive people are agents of change and choose not to be victims, to be reactive, or to blame others. They do this by developing and using four unique human gifts – self-awareness, conscience, imagination, and independent will – and by taking an inside-out approach to creating change. They resolve to be the creative force in their lives, which is the most fundamental decision anyone ever makes.
If you were to attend the NFL Rookie Symposium this year, you would hear one main theme of the meeting: CHOICES / DECISIONS / CONSEQUENCES. Proactive people make better choices because they make choices for the right reasons, not because of someone else or any other outside influence. Proactive people make better decisions because their decisions are driven from the inside out, not the outside in. And lastly, proactive people end up with better consequences, better results, and hands down a better life.
See you next time for Habit 2.