FranklinCovey Consultant Blogs | Todd Wangsgard | Priorities
This fall the geniuses in our Product Development team will be consumed by FranklinCovey’s biggest product launch in history. We are set to, once again, redefine the field of time management. Not since the ubiquitous Franklin Planner covered the globe in seven-ring binders has such a movement had more impact on personal and professional productivity.
The 5 Choices
Yes, that’s the name of the course. Of course, the number 7 still shines in the halls of FC, but 5 now gets a whole new following, positioned to reshape how people think about information, technology, balance, priorities and renewal.
One of the books that was researched to create The 5 Choices is Schwartz, Gomes and McCarthy’s “The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The four forgotten needs that energize performance.” The authors not only reinforce Dr. Covey’s four dimensions of sharpening one’s saw – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – but they offer new research on the increased productivity that results from regular breaks in a sustained effort in order to maximize focus, concentration and yield. Read it!
I’m looking forward to the certification event I’ll be attending for full-time FC consultants in Salt Lake on July 18-20. I’m sure I’ll want to share more details with you then. But for now, plan on attending a complimentary worldwide launch event in your hometown. Here’s the insider link to the pre-registration site. We are conducting 170 of them across the globe. Theres ’s sure to be one close to you.
Let your first choice be to not miss out!
In his recently published biography, “The Snowball,” investment guru Warren Buffet is credited with offering the following advice:
”Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.”
You can change the word “greedy” to anything you like better. Eager. Aggressive. Risky. It means just about the same.
Anyway you look at the current economic milieu, it clearly represents a profoundly poignant opportunity for people and organizations to capitalize on principle-centered thinking and action. Here are just a handful of pairings between popular 7 Habits principles and crisis-driven actions that you and I can use to strengthen our organizations.
- Production/Production Capability: Invest in the best people who might be nervous and go hire the best people who have lost work elsewhere. Your talent edge will continue to sharpen while the competition loses its.
- Emotional Bank Account: Assure your best customers and suppliers of your loyalty. Reinforce abundance. See this as a chance to bolster relationships of trust that may have been stagnant or malnourished.
- Begin With the End in Mind: Redefine what you and your organization need to look like on the tail end of the recession. This allows you to begin aligning your reality with your newly formed vision – now.
- Put First Things First: Hone your ability to focus and execute on your highest priorities. Use this time to build highly motivated teams toward making significant weekly contributions that are documented during regular accountability session.
Sure, there are less noble actions that fear can breed, such as the chance for the clever and strong to take advantage of the ignorant and the weak. However, that’s exactly why I emphasize “principle-centered.” Only by operating on true principles of effective human behavior will our actions from these difficult times sustain the kind of rewarding relationships we are seeking over the long haul. More and more, people can read our intentions like a book and will judge us by the outcome. We can’t afford not to make principles the centerpeice of every action.
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.
Six years ago this month I was sitting in a friend’s living room in our neighborhood talking about nothing. These are friends in their mid-30’s who had two beautiful children, good income, and apparent happiness. Out of the blue the wife said, “I’m planning to start medical school this Fall.”
I just about fell out of my chair. Not because someone would go to medical school – that happens all the time. I was surprised primarily by this seemingly dramatic turn in her life and career as a stay-at-home mom who seemed to have already established the life that she wanted. Besides, most people begin this kind of endeavor a little earlier in life. She went on to explain that she had the grades for it and had always been interested in the health occupations. Good for her!
Then she said something that rang in my ears for the next several weeks. My neighbor’s reasoning was, ” I’m going to look back 8 years from now, and I will have either become a doctor or I won’t. Regardless of what I do in that time, 8 years are going to pass.” › Continue reading