FranklinCovey Consultant Blogs | Todd Wangsgard | Managers Program
Last week, I had the privilege of facilitating a 7 Habits for Managers program to a mix of leaders from diverse organizations including a state hospital, community hospital, and public schools. All participants were, of course, employees of a not-for-profit organization. But that’s is exactly what made the experience so profound. Not one person in the room was responsible for making his or her organization profitable, yet the principles taught in the 7 Habits for Managers program transcended that fact. Their need to be fiscally responsible and increasingly more effective was met by principles that never discriminate.
We began by discussing the need for leaders to lead themselves and then to lead others – as opposed to being managers who don’t lead by example and then attempt to control or manipulate their employees. Leadership is certainly not for the weak of heart. But it is certainly for those with heart.
This week I would invite all leaders (whether by title or by function) to revisit the 7 Habits and decide which habit could most enhance your leadership practices at the moment. Is it being more proactive? Do you always begin each endeavor with a written plan? Are you spending sufficient time on your priorities, instead of relentlessly being drawn in by the urgent? Does your team believe win win-win solutions? Do they actively seek them out? How well do you and others truly listen to understand, instead of listening to formulate your response?
When Ullyses wanted to hear the sweet, sultry song of the Muses, he knew that others had been met by tragedy when their ships turned too close to the rocks and were dashed into pieces. Ullyses had a plan. He told his seamen to fill their ears with wax and continue rowing, no matter what he might say or do during the journey. Then, they lashed him to the mast of the ship. Ullyses was able to listen to the beauty of the Muses’ ballad as the ship sailed safely on its course. No matter how much he screamed at the sailors to take him closer, they kept him safe at bay.
Who will lash you to the mast? Personally, I’ve decided that I need to focus on better working the priorities I’ve already set for myself, and not let distractions get the best of me. I’ve shared my intentions with others who can “lash me to the mast.” I’ve physically removed some distractions that might otherwise hold me back.