FranklinCovey Blog | May, 2009
Stephen M.R. Covey, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, is sharing the power of trust in a 13 city North American speaking tour.
In a recent interview with The Orange County Register Covey addressed the economic worldwide crisis of confidence and how he sees trust as the remedy.
- When leaders ignore or forget their principles, they behave in ways that cause others to lose trust and they loose moral authority, causing social and economic impact. Trust is not a soft social virtue but is a hard-edged economic driver. Financial markets work because of capital and liquidity, but these two elements are not enough. Currently, the government has stepped in to help out with liquidity, but trust cannot be artificially created. › Continue reading
Maggie is a single 28 year-old woman who works full time for a recreation organization. She grew up in a town that provided numerous leadership opportunities for boys while, for girls, the emphasis was on being “nice” and above all, “pretty.” In her early 20s, she found that while there was nothing wrong with being nice, an authentic life also required some flexing of the courage muscle, and that physical beauty wasn’t enough to guarantee a meaningful life. Around the same time, Maggie read the book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Dr. Robert Putnam. Dr. Putnam’s thesis is that civic disengagement is impoverishing our communities and our lives. We sign fewer petitions, belong to fewer organizations that meet, know our neighbors less-we’re even bowling alone as opposed to league bowling. And civic disengagement leads to personal disengagement, crime, and a whole host of social problems.
Maggie decided that her contribution to future women, her community, and to herself would be through the Girl Scout organization, the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.6 million members worldwide. According to www.girlscouts.org, Girl Scouts are the leading authority on girls’ healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. After two years as a troop leader for girls ages 13-15, they wrote her a thank you note that said, “Ms. Maggie, you have taught us to make good decisions and that we can make a difference. We’re going to be healthy eaters who can manage conflict. We promise to be great leaders that recognize the potential in others like you have in us.”
There is a lot to do to revive our communities. Be informed, vote, choose your civic/global contribution, and do it. Executive Mamas live by the Girl Scout Law!
Author: Jennifer Colosimo, Vice President of Sales and Delivery Effectiveness at FranklinCovey
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, it’s referred to as “Sharpening the Saw” (If you don’t know what that phrase means, perhaps you should attend the workshop). Essentially it means taking time to renew yourself, refill your engine, or regenerate your mind, body and spirit.
For me, this has been really hard. When I get to work I tend to be heads-down and not resurface for a long time. I would eat at my desk, or not eat at all. But what I’ve found, over time, is that the harder I work, the greater my stress becomes. It’s a vicious circle that you can’t escape.
But when I take five or ten minutes to read an interesting news story completely unrelated to work, run an errand at lunch, or call a family member or friend for a few minutes, my mind clears and I find that I have even more energy to get my projects done. Once I even went to a nearby Costco, grabbed a hot dog for lunch and walked the aisles for 20 minutes. It opened my mind and kept me fresh for the remainder of the day.
Regardless of what you do, find some time every day just for you. Whether alone or with others, find something other than work, to experience for a few moments.
Hopefully these five tips will keep your stress levels low, increase your productivity, and improve your life-no matter how crazy it becomes.
Author: Matt Murdoch, FranklinCovey
Do you have a mission statement? Have you taken the time to put your mission statement down on paper?
According to Dr. Stephen R. Covey a mission statement is like a constitution by which you make all decisions for your life. Highly effective people shape their own future instead of letting other people, their culture, or their circumstance determine it. A mission statement provides direction and clarity for your life, your family, your team and your organization.
Such clarity is critically important in today’s turbulent climate. You may work within an organization with fewer people, fewer resources, more confusion, and more noise-you may be expected to do as much or more with far fewer resources. In order to survive in such an environment, you need a compass to help stay focused and on course in order to make critical decisions and accomplish key priorities.
Like most people, you probably like to help people out if they’re in a bind, especially if it’s your boss or your bosses boss. So, telling people “no” is a really hard thing to do. We all suffer from it.
Tip #4: “No” is not a four-letter word
When times are tough, people will ask you to do more. In fact if you haven’t had someone come into your office today and ask for help with a project completely unrelated to your week’s priorities, you probably will. So here’s the rub. Unless you’re in a sole-proprietorship, you’re probably working with other people. And those other people will need your help, just like you will need theirs.
In most cases I believe it’s important to help people when they ask for it, especially if you have some expertise they could benefit from. It’s good karma and they’ll be more willing to help you in the future. However, there are times when you just can’t do it all. You’ll know when these times are. And if you can sense that the request isn’t “mission critical” just say no. The other person will survive and, if they have any sort of morals, they won’t be offended. Plus it will keep you from getting distracted on your week’s plan.
If you have to say no, you should provide the requestor with some ideas of how they could accomplish their task. Refer them to someone who might have more time and the skills needed. You may also try and schedule their task later in your week when you have more time to spend on it. But don’t make “no” a regular part of your vocabulary. It could damage relationships over time and damage your reputation in the organization.
Saying no is a very liberating feeling. Try it today and you’ll find out what I mean.
Next time we’ll cover the final tip: Find Time for Yourself Each Day
Author: Matt Murdoch, FranklinCovey
I just read a cool little book, The 4 Laws of Financial Prosperity: Get Control of Your Money Now! It is so timely and so relevant to where we are today in this financially tumultuous environment we are living in. I liked this book because it is for those who may be head over heels in debt and for those who aren’t in debt but want to optimize their financial freedom.
We all know that when we are enslaved to the credit card companies, the mortgage and the bill collector it’s hard to enjoy life, family, and our jobs, right? So why not get control and be happy? It’s common knowledge that financial peace of mind is directly tied to our happiness. › Continue reading
I just had an interesting interchange with one of my associates who was shocked that I was not offended by her expression of an opinion that was the polar opposite of mine. I was shocked that she did not realize that it was safe and healthy to respectfully express your true perspective without sugar coating it. A difference of opinion can be a great starting point for growing trust NOT the end of it. Respectful straight talk confronting a different perspective adds to trust while walking on eggshells and concealing your true feelings while purporting to have a candid discussion is a counterfeit behavior that actually destroys trust.
Hidden agendas undermine authentic communication. Listening to the opposing opinions with the intent to understand and empathize builds trust. Remember empathy is not sympathy or agreement-simply understanding their perspective. Test this from you own experience. You trust people that authentically express their true opinions more than those that hide them and tell you what they think you want to hear. › Continue reading
If you’re like most people, including me, your task might require its own Dewey Decimal system. Do you get a dozen new tasks every day, on top of the dozen you were handed the day before? Although it may seem impossible, there is a way to get the most important things done.
Tip #3: Plan or Perish
If you’re like me, you have multiple projects. Each with dozens of sub-tasks that need to be done “right now.” Right? To get through this jumble of projects you must do one simple thing: plan. It’s as easy as that. It’s no secret. It’s pure and simple common sense. Try out this process and you’ll see for yourself.
- 1. This coming Sunday night, before your work week begins, review your list of tasks. › Continue reading
“We only get one chance to prepare our students for the future. What are we going to do with that one chance?” – Dr. Stephen R. Covey, The Leader in Me
At FranklinCovey we are passionate and serious about preparing future leaders. For the last 18 months FranklinCovey has been working on an exciting new offering for elementary schools. It is called The Leader in Me, and it is designed to prepare children to be leaders in our changing society.
The process is based upon the experience of educators and students at A.B. Combs Elementary School in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1999, this school was struggling with low academic performance and lack of engagement among faculty and parents. After searching for a solution, the administrators and teachers began learning principle-based leadership skills, including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®, and then began teaching them to their students. In a short amount of time, end-of-grade tests improved dramatically. At the same time, the school saw significant and sustained increases in students’ self-confidence, dramatic drops in discipline problems, and impressive increases in teacher and administrator job satisfaction. › Continue reading
Have some of your colleagues been laid off recently? Are you being asked to pull up the slack and do more with less?
You’re not alone.
I mean, there are still other people in your organization, right?
Tip#2: Embrace Others
Odds are, when you’re working fast and furious, there is probably someone, somewhere in your organization that may have some downtime, or they’re worried about not being aligned with strategic projects. Find them. Grab them. Capitalize on their skills. And have them chip in. People are generally happier when they’re engaged and contributing. Sure, quality might slip a bit and it might take longer for you to get that project done. But there is a huge feeling of relief when you delegate a task to someone and you go back to your office and are able to tackle something else. And there is an even better feeling when they come back to you and the project is finished and better than if you did it yourself. › Continue reading