In the U.S., unemployment is reaching close to 10%. Many people and families are feeling devastated as they lose their jobs. Others who have jobs feel the fear of losing their jobs or becoming irrelevant at work.
In response to this employment challenge, I am conducting a career webinar series.
If you or someone you know is concerned about job security or career advancement, I invite you to join my webinars. In these webinars you will learn the mind-set and skill-set necessary to not only survive but thrive in today’s turbulent times.
The first webinar on August 4 will focus on Employability: How to Keep Your Job, Secure Your Future, and Become Indispensable at Work. The key to achieving this is becoming a solution to your organization where you proactively find ways to create value and become a problem-solver rather than just an employee. This requires a new way of thinking and approaching your job.
I would like to hear from you…what are you doing to secure your job?
If you would like more information about the webinar on August 4 CLICK HERE
The beginning of a new year is an exciting time—it’s a time for reflection and a time for looking forward. As many of you are making New Year’s resolutions, I would like to share some thoughts for how you can best succeed with achieving them. Far too many of us know that it’s easy making resolutions but it’s far more challenging not breaking them.
My first advice is to start small. Choose something small you can start doing now that will help you achieve a bigger goal or resolution. For example, if your goal is to get healthy or lose weight think of some thing you can promise to keep. You can decide to wake up a little earlier to organize your day to allow some exercise or decide to drink more water during the day and cut out unhealthy drinks. The main thing is to make a promise to yourself and keep it. When you make a promise and keep it you will find yourself grow in self-assurance and confidence. The more successful you are with making and keeping promises to yourself, the more you will be able to make and keep promises to others.
Again, start small and create a private victory. You can build on this with other small promises and enlarge your victory until you establish healthy habits for your life. Make a promise and keep it.
am now 76 years old and could easily retire. But I’m not retired and I don’t plan to retire. I don’t believe in retirement. Why people ask me? Simply, I have a life motto. It is: Live life in crescendo!
Living life in crescendo to me means that my most important work is always ahead of me, never behind me. I believe that “where much is given, much is required.” I have a sacred stewardship to contribute and not to retire to leisure. Also, the greatest way to serve my 50 grandkids is not just to love them and tend to their interests and needs, but to be an example of someone who is constantly making a difference in the world.
Start living your life in crescendo–and remember your most important work is ahead of you, not behind you! There is so much more to do, to learn and contribute.
This holiday season is a great time to reflect on our lives and particularly on our families. As a husband, father and grandfather, I am so thrilled with my family. They are my greatest blessing and my greatest joy.
I’ve wondered over the years what mistakes I have made in my role as a father. There are mistakes along the way; the important thing is to get back on track. I think one of the things I would differently as a parent is spending more time developing informal win-win agreements with each of my children. Doing this consistently and over time, covering the different phases of their lives would have been beneficial.
Because I traveled a lot I felt that I often indulged them and went for lose-win too often. Instead I would have liked to pay the price to take the time to build relationships through win-win agreements.
Think about your own relationships with your children. What can you do to create more win-win? Would you like to try creating win-win agreements with them to involve them more in decision-making, problem-solving and being accountable? Find a problem or issue you want to work on. Talk to your child about their needs or desires (their win). Explain what is a win for you. Then come up with ideas for meeting your child’s needs in a way that will also meet your needs. Set up specific expectations, to-dos and outcomes. You even can put this down on paper and you both will sign it so you can always go back to it in case of questions. This also creates accountability.
The more you create win-win with your children, the more trust you will build with them—and you’ll model and teach them one of the most important skills they need to have to thrive in their relationships not only in the family but in all their relationships, now and in the future.
I am often asked if there is one habit out of the 7 Habits that is more important than the others. Of course, all the habits are important and they form an inter-connected whole or a continuum. 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. Imagine a pause button between stimulus and response—a button you can engage to pause and think about what is the principle-based response to your given situation. Listen to what your conscience tells you. Listen for what is wise and the principle-based thing to do, and then act.
Being proactive (Habit 1) becomes much more powerful when connected and related to the other habits. The key to the habits is the power of their combined synergy and meaningful purpose. Leaving one habit out is like having a four-legged chair—when you remove one leg the chair is out of balance.
I just completed a speaking tour in Brazil, where I met and talked with many amazing, gracious people, who are profoundly committed to principle-centered living and service. One couple traveled over 15 hours with their baby to hear me speak. When they got there they were told that no babies were allowed in the hall. Not wanting to disappoint them, the organizers of the event offered to babysit their baby so they could attend the program. What a magnificent gesture and display of compassion and willingness to serve!
Another encounter also moved me and humbled me. I had the privilige of meeting with Dr. Ricardo Guimaraes who made great efforts to travel for the event. He is an eye doctor who years ago was in a bad airplane accident, where he risked his own life by pulling out passengers of the plane. As a result, Dr. Guimaraes suffered severe burns on his body with scars on many parts of his body that are still visible today. This experience caused him to have a total life change and he made the decision to be more service-oriented. He is now working with our FranklinCovey office in Brazil helping to develop The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens program to help the youth in Brazil. As I sat with Dr. Guimaraes, talking over lunch, I was so moved by his humility, courage, and willingness to serve.
When we are willing to serve others, we find our voice and our greatest selves. I encourage each of you to find your voice, especially during this holiday season of Thanksgiving in the U.S.. It is is in giving that we receive life’s greatest blessings. Thank you for all that you do in your families, workplaces, and community!
When examining the great losses we’re seeing in the global financial crisis, one thing is very clear: one of the greatest losses we feel is broken trust. But all is not lost. It is a challenging path and a time consuming one, but trust can be re-built and restored.
In any given situation, both personal and in professional life, I think that the process of restoring trust can be an enormously positive adventure because you can redeem yourself and create newness. For example, when you have a broken relationship with someone, you have to learn to acknowledge your role in it, apologize, and have humility. Then you need to find a way to involve the person in a process of coming up with a new relationship.
I sometimes use the metaphor of an Emotional Bank Account. Like a financial bank account, you can make deposits and take withdrawals from the account. When you make consistent deposits, out of your integrity and out of your empathy—that means your understanding of what deposits and withdrawals are to other people—those two things—empathy and integrity—that little by little you can restore trust.
Think of your own crisis you may dealing with—perhaps a broken trust at work or at home or with a friend—and think of how you can restore trust in the relationship. Examine your Emotional Bank Account with this person; it’s most likely strained because of withdrawals. Make a commitment to start making deposits that matter most to that person, and do it. Little by little, even with small deposits, you will find that the account will grow. It may take time. But over time you will find the cumulative effect of the deposits. Slowly, depending on the severity of the broken trust, you can find trust being re-built and restored, and new relationship will be born. Of course, this also depends on the other person, but you can choose to do your part regardless of the other person—to focus on your circle of influence. And you will find some peace, knowing that you’ve done your part.
Reach out to someone today with whom you have a strained relationship or someone whose relationship needs strengthening. Make a deposit in their Emotional Bank Account…and commit to continuing the deposits. And don’t forget making deposits in your strong, high-trust relationships—it’s what keeps them strong! Enjoy the adventure!
Stephen Covey is currently on a speaking tour in Europe. So far he’s been to the Czech Republic, Portugal, Greece, and he’s now in Spain and ending the tour in Kazakhstan and Latvia early next week. We’ll report on the tour for an upcoming blog but wanted to share an experience Stephen had in Greece. He met a gentleman there who told him that he had just joined the Stephen Covey Community the day before. He approached Stephen, a bit timidly, and thanked him for his influence and for the opportunity to be part of the Community, sharing the great experiences he was having. This was an exciting moment for Dr. Covey to see the influence of the 7 Habits and principles spreading across the world and the connections that are being created on the Community.
So how many countries are represented in the Community?
So far, we have over 40,000 members from 192 countries (out of 194 countries in the world) represented on the site! As a member, you are truly part of a global community spanning every corner of the world. You are taking part in something truly unique as you make friends and connections with others throughout the world to spread your insights, your influence—to help people all over the world discover and learn the power of principle-centered living.
Thank you for being part of this profound movement! Let’s keep growing to spread the message—invite your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to join so they take part in a purposeful and visionary mission to thrive in a truly global community!
Within the “Ask Dr.Covey” area of the site, you can submit questions for Dr. Covey to answer and view questions asked by other community members. You can also vote on questions that you think are best by clicking on the Vote button.
The 10 questions with the highest number of “thumbs up” votes will posed to Dr. Covey during his next video shoot at the end of the month.
To join the fun join or login to the Stephen Covey Community and click on the “Ask Stephen” ink on your dashboard.
Here are some of the most popular questions so far:
Dr. Covey, Is there such a thing as The Law of Attraction and if there isn’t, why does it sometimes feel like there is? Thank you
Please tell us what was the greatest mistake you have ever made and what did you learn from it?
How can I listen empathically with out judgments getting in the way?
What is the most effective way to stay on track with your mission when dealing with everyday communications? I understand that the planning tools assist however I was wondering if there is a internal way to mentally train your mind to act according to your mission. Something to help avoid emotional stress and reactivity to society’s everyday drama.
How does someone who tries to live by the character ethic deal with an organization that rewards those that live by personality ethics?