Last Thursday, I heard Stephen Covey talk here in Seattle. The purpose of his talk was to reveal and discuss his 8th Habit of Highly Successful People. His new book, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness comes out in November and is available for pre-order here on Amazon.
Here is the second installment of gems from this talk. I ended yesterday’s Covey post with the following statement:
Have you found your voice? Would you know how to approach finding your voice?
Here are a few of the nuggets Covey offered on the topic:
1. “The fastest way to change behavior is to change their role (map, paradigm).“ Covey offers examples of shifting one’s role from learner to teacher, or single person to parent. When we shift roles, our thinking, actions, and priorities change. Here’s how I relate this to finding one’s voice - If you want to be a writer, shift your role to being a writer. If you want to develop strong relationships, volunteer to lead the membership committee. If you want to help abused animals, start a rescue group. Changing roles means changing basic assumptions, landscape, and regimens - or what Covey refers to as a map.
2. “We can best dissolve old perceptions by acknowledging them.“ Covey shared the following example to illustrate his point. People who go to leadership seminars, then come back and just start acting differently are often met with resistance and a lack of support or acknowledgment. Why? Because they are known a certain way and any quick change will seem like a fake change. Instead, after attending the seminar, we should get our team together and say that we know we have been a crummy listener (assuming this was the topic of the seminar), that we want to become better listeners, and we would like their support and feedback. Covey says that by acknowledging what we want to change we are able to lessen or dissolve old perceptions and facilitate real progress.
3. The formula for greatness: “Vision, passion, discipline, governed by conscience.“ Covey says that Ghandi had all four, whereas Hitler possessed three of the four.
4. What gets in the way of finding our voice? Covey says we do not spend enough time on important work. In fact, he has found that managers spend 50% of their time on urgent but not important tasks. The numbers are higher, the higher one's role is in an organization. This is sad but not a surprise. Managers and organizations that work on important tasks are far more successful. Here are some interesting statistics from Covey:
Deming Prize-Winning Organizations work on:
Not important, not urgent less than 1%
Not important, urgent 15%
Important, urgent 20-25%
Important, not urgent 65-80%
vs. Other Organizations work on:
Not important, urgent 50-60%
Important, urgent 25-30%
Important, not urgent 15%
How do you spend your time?
Tomorrow I will write about the benefits of teaching, the Indian Talking Stick, the Statue of Responsibility, and much more. Stay tuned!