FranklinCovey Blog | April, 2009
Why is it that when layoffs occur, and the workforce retracts, the work seems to expand? The remaining employees are, quite often, left with additional responsibilities and fewer resources. Sound familiar? I’m going to share with you my five keys to remaining sane when your job requirements try to drive you mad.
Tip #1: Eliminate Chaos
When everything around you is moving fast it’s hard to get organized. Does this sound like your typical day? You return from one meeting only to go to another and yet another throughout the day; you don’t have time to focus strategically on one project because your time is spread so thin over a dozen; you have three people at your door waiting for a decisions on three different projects. › Continue reading
My name is Sam Bracken. I am the global director of product management marketing for FranklinCovey. In addition to my marketing responsibilities I am passionate around the topic of transformational change. I would like to dedicate this blog to transformational change and all those who would like to make a positive change. I am excited to start this blog and I have decided to do a video post in a addition to my regular post. To watch my video post click here.
A very wise and wonderful woman once told me that we become a reflection of our life experience. There are about 6.8 billion people in this world and they all have very different experiences. They all think though things differently, do things differently, and get the results that their behavior produces. Today more than ever we live in a very complex environment, technology breakthroughs, massive noise, complexities with factors and forces that interact, it’s chaos out there, the speed of information is overwhelming. The pressure to perform at work is harder today more than ever. What worked in the past may not work in the future because of the changing climate that we have. › Continue reading
I was introduced to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 25 years ago as a freshman in college. The book wasn’t even written yet. I found the lecture series on tape in my campus bookstore, and bought them hoping for some solid advice as I embarked upon my college career.
I liked everything I heard, but some habits and ideas resonated with me more than others. Habit 2, Begin With the End in Mind was a habit that made theoretical sense to me, but it’s application (writing a personal mission statement) just seemed a little too ‘touchy-feely’ to me. It wasn’t that I was against the idea. I mean, ‘if you’re the kind of person that is in to that self-exploratory stuff, that’s great, but that kind of thing just isn’t my style.’ I will be honest, I kind of glossed over Habit 2.
Big mistake. › Continue reading
We often ask the question: “who do you trust?” to organizational leaders and workers around the globe. In both the public and the private sectors there is now an uneasy caution about who you can trust. The more penetrating question is who trusts you? Imagine if you could grow trust in an environment of ever decreasing trust. What a competitive advantage that would be. It is more important than ever for you to give people someone they can trust. Starting with yourself, by behaving and leading in ways that inspire trust creates a ripple effect of influence.
Test this for yourself. Think of the person you trust the most. What is it like to work with or be with that person? Do they have influence on you because you trust them? Does it speed up business to work with them? What IF? What if, everyone on your team had that level of trust? At worst it would be a lot more energizing to work together. At best trust makes the playing field really fast and becomes a performance multiplier that has a ripple effect on the results of your team and your organization.
Author: Greg Link, The Global Speed of Trust Practice Leader at FranklinCovey
Some “mamas” strive to raise children of character that become confident, courageous, and caring adults. Others may be “mama” to their extended families, their neighborhoods, or to social or political causes.
In Korean, mama can mean ‘a concubine of an ancient high-ranking official’ or the goddess responsible for smallpox. All interesting roles. This blog focuses on one of them- what it means to you to be a great mama to children. Everybody has an opinion of what defines a great mother. And not just an opinion, most are dang sure it is the RIGHT opinion. I find most books on working mothers downright depressing. According to these manifestos, either it is a moral imperative to work outside of the home(”you owe it to the women who came before you and created your right to options”) OR mothers who stay home with their children, either by choice or necessity, are morally elevated and celebrated and working mothers are denigrated but the book provides some hints to get by if the reader’s life circumstances are forcing them to work. I would suggest the following realistically optimistic guidelines as you define how you plan to embody great motherhood: › Continue reading
Dr. Stephen R. Covey, best-selling author and Contributing Editor to USA Weekend, was recently featured in the newspaper supplement, which is in print in more than 600 newspapers. The article, “How to raise a happy child,” featured advice from Covey. In his latest book, The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time, Covey applies his 7 Habits as they relate to education, parenting, elementary schools and kindergartner students. The habits help children to develop personal leadership and character.
Covey suggested the following to parents in the article:
- Parents can help their children be successful by affirming their children’s worth and potential in a way that inspires them to feel it is so. Children don’t derive their sense of self from being compared with other people. True success comes from character and not just from being rich and famous.
- A family mission statement is vital and should deal with the four parts of life – - mind, body, heart and spirit. It should also focus serving others, whether it’s working at a food bank or helping friends who come from dysfunctional families.
Fear and uncertainty can freeze and immobilize even the strong. Confronting your resistance by taking on your “feared thing first” everyday is the secret to navigating perilous times. This habit has allowed me to regain my sense of purpose for 2009.
We all can take advantage of the current economic uncertainty by contacting our most important stakeholders and looking for opportunities to grow our trust account with them. Many people are frozen and afraid to call their customers and other key stakeholders for fear of hearing bad news. Guess what? The bad news is there whether or not you hear it. Much better to confront reality and give your customer a listening outlet to discuss challenges and feel understood than to abandon the relationship during difficult times. Now is the time to over-communicate with your customers and other key stakeholders. Give them someone they can trust by behaving in ways that inspire trust.
Regain your momentum by doubling your contacts. Call the ones you are afraid to call first. Ask for business. Ask for referrals. Ask for favors. They are as afraid and starved for meaningful dialog as you are. Go for it. Then have the courage and monomaniacal discipline to follow up relentlessly. Don’t take non responsiveness personally. Others are frozen and need your consistent concern to thaw them. Stay with this relentless follow-up and you will be very glad you did. One of two things will happen: 1) ou will have the happy surprise of good news and will grow your business immediately or 2) you will be the first one they think of when things improve, as you were likely one of the very few that communicated with them during tough times. Make doing business at the Speed of Trust your unique competitive advantage this year. Increase your credibility by doing your feared thing first. Everyday.
Author: Greg Link, The Global Speed of Trust Practice Leader at FranklinCovey
Women who aspire to public influence, in any organization, face barriers to success. Research shows that aspiring women coming from an economically disadvantaged background and/or women of color have an additional layer of barriers to overcome.
I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had great female and male mentors and it seems my skill set and capabilities have been, to this point anyway, valued. So I’ve got luck. I also believe, “Luck favors the prepared.” And the prepared don’t whine. Given the historical, societal, environmental challenge and opportunities you uniquely face, you have immense choice regarding what to say and how to behave right now. According to Victor Frankl, a Nazi war camp survivor highlighted in the Signature course The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the greatest human freedom is the ability to choose our reaction in the face of any circumstances. Imagine that instead of Susan B. Anthony saying, “Suffrage is the pivotal right,” and working her entire life to obtain voting rights for women in the United States, she had simply invested her time in complaining to the women in her knitting circle! Executive Mamas focus on what they can do, not on what they cannot.
Blame or finger-pointing and lack of personal responsibility
Keep the gloomy game going.
They keep stealing your hidden genius and potential wealth-
Giving them to a dimwit on the sidelines with
No leadership, heart, or financial skills.
- Hafiz, fourteenth-century Sufi poet
Author: Jennifer Colosimo, Vice President of Sales and Delivery Effectiveness at FranklinCovey
I got up on today, April 1, and unscrewed all of the canister lights in my kitchen, woke up my daughter and told her ‘no school today! too much snow and wind’, came to work and taped down a few mouse balls, and just generally wreaked some havoc and all because of my personal mission statement, after all it is April Fools’ Day.
FranklinCovey has a new “old” audio product just released called “How to Develop Your Personal Mission Statement.” I picked it up, listened, and tried again. I have written mission statements a couple of times and I always ended up feeling like I didn’t quite have it right yet. Sometimes I felt like it was more driven from fear-what if I write this down and I can’t really make it happen? Will that make me a loser in life?
A personal mission statement is based on Habit 2, Begin With The End In Mind. In life, the most effective way to begin with the end in mind is to develop a mission statement, one that focuses on what you want to be in terms of character, and what you want to do in reference to life contributions and achievements. Maybe it’s because it’s Spring, or because of where I am in life, but this time it really stuck. Maybe it’s just as Victor Hugo once said, “There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” And the time had come for my mission statement to become a powerful force in my life.
What really helped me out was the CD full of tools that is included in this audio package. It has all kinds of FranklinCovey tools and resources but most importantly it has a personal mission statement builder. I personally needed a sense of destination and the mission statement builder gave me that and created the energy to get me started and the inspiration to finish. In fact, Stephen says that at the beginning of this process there is enormous hope and encouragement as well as fun and happiness. And that for me was the clincher. My mission statement should be fun.
That tool, combined with Stephen’s coaching, got me to a place where I feel like I’m back on course and I can make a difference in this world and I will make a contribution.
So, what does all of this have to do with April Fools’ Day and the pranks I played? My mission is all about living a life of fun and good cheer, learning to have and share fun, showing and sharing love through joyful fun, and leaving a legacy of fun.
So, when it’s all said and done, I want people to come to my funeral and have a rip roarin’ fun party!
Author: Annie Oswald