FranklinCovey Consultant Blogs | Renee Tomlinson | Uncategorized
So, how do you build a 7 Habits of Highly Effective People culture?
First, ensure that individuals are trained and have carried out their commitments made during the workshop including completion of the 7 Week Contract.
At the leadership/systems level, consider this adage: “what gets measured gets done.” When a leader’s/team’s performance plans and reviews include how effectively they incorporate 7 Habits tools and concepts into their business, you will have true alignment. (I know it’s a systems issue and could be a challenge to implement). › Continue reading
I was listening to NPR recently and caught Garrison Keillor’s installment of “The Writer’s Almanac”. He read a poem by Nancy Fitzgerald entitled, “The Meaning of Life” which I found very impactful. I offer forewarning and ask for preforgiveness from the queasy…
There is a moment just before a dog vomits when its stomach heaves dry, pumping what’s deep
inside the belly to the mouth. If you are fast you can grab her by the collar and shove her
out the door, avoid the slimy bile, hunks of half chewed food from landing on the floor.
You must be quick, decisive, controlled, and if you miss the cue and the dog erupts en route, you must forgive her quickly and give yourself to scrubbing up the mess.
Most of what I have learned in life leads back to this.
The Meaning of Life” by Nancy Fitzgerald from Poems I Never Wrote. © Poetry Harbor, 2001.
As I ponder the poem’s “aftermath”, I make connections to Habit 1, Be Proactive. Highly effective people choose to accept reality and not derail as a result of unfair, unjust, unwelcome, unpleasant life events and circumstances. Fitzgerald advises to “forgive her quickly”. The ability to forgive — and to mean it — is the mark of an emotionally healthy, highly effective person. As Stephen R. Covey writes, forgiveness is a verb – real and sincere forgiveness inoculates us from debilitating bitterness. In Joyce Meyers’ book, “Beauty for Ashes”, (1994 Time Warner), she puts it this way: “Harboring unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping your enemy will die! Unforgiveness poisons anyone who holds it, causing him to become bitter. And it is impossible to be bitter and get better at the same time!”
I also link this poem to Stephen M.R. Covey’s best-selling book and training program, “Leading at the Speed of Trust”. “…give yourself to scrubbing up the mess”. When we “give” ourselves to Right Wrongs, we are taking concrete action by demonstrating one of the 13 Behaviors that build, extend, and restore trust when it has been violated.
Our dog, Sparky. She is preforgiven.
A mental health professional, referring to the physiological impact of stress, said the adrenal gland in the average person is likely 25 years older than he/she is because of over-use. Adrenaline is the flight or fight chemical which increases our physical strength and heightens our senses when we are in dangerous situations. Competing for a parking spot near the mall entrance is likely not a life or death situation calling for a shot of adrenaline.
As a person who has accessed adrenaline more than recreationally and can “catastrophize” (new word — just hasn’t made it to the dictionary), with the best of ‘em, I am learning to slow the flow of negative external messages and stick with reality as a way to calm myself in anxious moments.
Relate this to the “Circle of Influence/Circle of Concern“, a core concept from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The only things we personally can control are our words and actions. Our behavior, then, comprises the inner Circle of Influence which will either have a positive or negative impact on other people or situations. The outer Circle of Concern is composed of people, events, and situations that we choose to care or even worry about. When I teach this concept in my workshops, I am struck by two sentences people often say when they come to understand it: “Now I know what to focus on.” Or, “Now I know what to let go of.”
Anxious about_____? (Fill in the blank). My advice is to choose to remain calm by focusing on the Circle of Influence:
- What can you practice and become proficient or even great at? Perfect practice makes perfect.
- Who/what is most important to you? Focus and spend time with these people and on these activities.
- What do you choose to access? What needs to be turned-off?
FranklinCovey is the go-to solution provider for individuals, teams, and organizations choosing to go for greatness.
Speaking of Paradigm Shifts: while teaching in Calgary recently, a guy in my workshop, (who I would guess to be in his late 20’s), shared this. Fresh out of college he took what was to be a two week vacation riding the rails in Europe. The two weeks passed quickly and he decided to extend his stay — by eight months! He went from place to place and worked odd jobs, sometimes for only a day at a time, just to earn enough money for food and maybe a place to stay at night. Really, he was on an all inclusive “Paradigm Shift tour” gaining the kind of learning that only experience can provide. He got really clear on needs vs. wants. He went on to say that although he is now an established professional with a good salary, nice car, and HDTV, he knows full well that these material items he’s acquired are wants not needs.
In 1997, when the Red River burst its restraints and swept through Grand Forks, North Dakota, almost every home had flood damage. Residents considered themselves “fortunate” if only their basement was flooded. Many residents lost their house, car, and everything else they owned. A TV camera crew followed a woman as she returned to what was left of the home she and her family had made for the past 25 years. As the house was unstable, she quickly went to try to salvage what she could of family pictures and heirlooms. Although she gently handled these items, many disintegrated in her hands. At one point, holding a soggy photo, she brushed tears aside and said to the interviewer, “during the past several weeks I’ve gotten very clear on the things that are important to me — and I realize they aren’t things.”
In these wacky economic times that renowned management consultant Ram Charan describes as a “100 year flood” what’s your mental map when it comes to essentials vs. nice-to-haves? The Habits of Private Victory help us to choose, visualize, clarify our values and then exercise integrity to execute on what is most important. Why not do a major review of your mission statement? www.franklincovey.com/missionbuilder is a great place to start. Ensure you are perfectly clear on needs vs. wants and that you are spending time with the people and activities that are most important to you.