FranklinCovey Blog | July, 2009
This Spring I made a presentation on strengthening families in times of crisis. Gathered in the room were people who had recently lost their jobs and now find themselves looking for new work in a very tough environment. This gathering, of course, was a snapshot of millions of people all over the U.S. and in many parts of the world.
We know that being out of work can have a troubling impact on families. The stress, worry and pressure often impact a person’s ability to be the spouse or parent they want to be. Communication might break down. Quarrels might increase. Family members might feel neglected, scared or withdrawn.
In these kinds of situations, I have always counseled people to focus on those who are the most important in their lives and what matters most. Yes, being out of a job might have you in a crisis, but isn’t your family your most precious possession? So what can we do to strengthen our families in good times or in times of trouble? › Continue reading
Much has been said about the negative impact of the current global economy; lives have been changed and much has been lost. However, might I say there are positive outcomes?
Today’s reality has forced us to question how we lead ourselves and our families:
- Do we need that next purchase or would we feel better with the security of a savings account?
- Should we be constantly going somewhere or are our best times in the backyard?
- Are we eating healthier by eating at home more often?
- Could our children benefit by playing with other children rather than attending another activity?
- Would there be less stress if we drove less?
What positive outcomes have you experienced? › Continue reading
I am often asked if there is one habit out of the 7 Habits that is more important than the others. Of course, if you ask me all the habits are important and they form an inter-connected whole or a continuum. I believe for maximum effectiveness, you have to build from one to the other and apply them consistently. From that perspective, Habit 1: Be Proactive provides the foundation for all the other habits. Habit 1 is, undoubtedly, the foundation for leadership at home or at work because it begins with the mindset “I am responsible for me, and I can choose.”All the other habits are dependent upon being proactive and choosing to master and practicing principle-centered living.
The key to being proactive is remembering that between stimulus and response there is a space. That space represents our choice- how we will choose to respond to any given situation, person, thought or event. › Continue reading
Ernst & Young (E&Y) presented a white paper at Davos that shows that companies with more women executives make more money than their less female-populated competitors as measured by EBITDA, return on invested capital, and net profits. Very cool! However, I’m not thinking that just any woman in the role makes a difference. Obviously, the woman needs character and competence and leadership capability and a whole host of things we can explore on later posts. For today, here are some questions related to the E&Y study to consider if you are a woman that aspires to an executive role:
- 1. Do you know how EBITDA is measured? Or even what the acronym stand for?
- 2. What about return on invested capital or net profits?
- 3. How does your company currently stand in terms of cash flow, revenues, profits?
- 4. Any idea what Davos is?
My point is this: One of the main responsibilities of an executive is fiduciary responsibility. › Continue reading
In these unpredictable times it is likely that you or someone you know is looking for a job. I have had several people approach me for advice and insight on matters concerning professional development, whether looking for a new position or looking to advance in their current role. I have seen the tremendous need for direction and guidance on this topic. As a result, this August I will be hosting a professional development webinar series. The topics I will cover are Employability, Resilience, and Contribution. But until then I would like to share a couple thoughts to help you or someone else find new work.
Times have changed. One of the things I often tell people is that you can’t do a job-search the way you used to. Most people have relied heavily on a job application form and a resume. Typically, that just doesn’t work anymore, although those are useful things and most times necessary. In today’s world you have to adopt a new mindset for finding and securing a job-and not just a job but work that you would find meaningful. › Continue reading
In my last post I discussed how deciding what is most important, finding your real “top-priorities,” will help you achieve your goals. Now let’s move on to the next steps #2 Candidly Assessing New Behaviors and #3 Preparing to Follow Through…
2. Candidly assess new behaviors. Jeff’s next assignment was the most often overlooked aspect of effective goal setting – identifying the leading behaviors his team would need to adopt – which is Discipline 2 in Franklin Covey’s 4 Disciplines of Execution.
Jeff and I made a list of all the driving behaviors that achieving the three goals would require of his team. The list contained existing activities that would now have to be performed at a higher level, requiring the team to identify best practices, document new standards, and develop training. The list also contained entirely new activities for which even more change was required. In the end, we identified the four highest impact behaviors from this list that would have to be fully adopted for the team to succeed.
Changing human behavior is hard, even in the best of circumstances. While it’s common for a leader to assess the staffing, technology, and expense requirements of achieving a goal, it’s rare to see an assessment of the behavioral changes it will require. Identifying this critical aspect in advance allowed Jeff to understand the magnitude of the changes and to plan accordingly. It also gave him a way to connect the activities of this team directly to the goals he had set.
3. Prepare to follow through. Despite all we had done, the most difficult aspect of achieving Jeff’s goals still remained – following through – Disciplines 3 and 4 in Franklin Covey’s 4 Disciplines of Execution.
In the next few weeks, we engaged his team in designing a scoreboard that would enable them to remain focused, as well as detecting early warning signs when progress was stalling.
We also instituted a weekly meeting in which regular communication and personal accountabilities for each member of his team could be upheld.
Jeff ultimately transformed his goals from a list of things he hoped his team could do, to a set of results he knew they would deliver. In the end, he became the leader both he, and his company, wanted him to be.
What do you think; will these 3 actions help you achieve your goals?
Author: Jim Huling, Senior Consultant, Execution Practice