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Archive for December, 2007

Video: The first step to reach your goals

Monday, December 17th, 2007

In preparation of the upcoming Stephen Covey Community we’d like to post a video of Stephen giving a brief overview the first step of reaching your goals.

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Thursday, December 13th, 2007


Exclusive and limited offer.

To help usher in the holiday season, and as a thank you to all of the supporters of his new blog, Dr. Covey has autographed a limited number of his best-selling books; The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, The 8th Habit, and Everyday Greatness. These autographed books, with new, handsomely designed jackets and box set packaging, are available only while quantities last.

Click here to order yours today, there are only a few left.

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The Leader Formula: The 4 things that make a good leader.

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Each week we will be asking Dr. Covey to comment on common questions. This week we ask: what makes a great leader?

Q: What makes a great leader?

A: My definition of leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.

Q: You often say that leadership is a choice not a position. Can you elaborate on this?

A: Because of the definition I use for leadership, the ability to become such a leader is a choice that any person can make; any parent or grandparent, any teacher, any coach, any co-worker, and friend. When I speak throughout the world, I often ask audiences,

“How many of you had someone in your life that communicated your worth and potential so clearly that it profoundly influenced your life?”

Inevitably over half the people raise their hands. I walk around the room and ask them to share their experience with how it happened, who did it, the impact that it had upon them, and if they, too, are making the choice to do the same with other people. People often become very emotional when they talk about the parent, the coach, the teacher, the formal leader, the friend, the neighbor, or the relative who really became very close to them and communicated to them their worth and potential. This is always an inspiring experience.

Q: Is there a formula for becoming such a leader?

A: I believe there is a formula. They are what we call the four imperatives of leadership.

  1. The first is to inspire trust. You build relationships of trust through both your character and competence and you also extend trust to others. You show others that you believe in their capacity to live up to certain expectations, to deliver on promises, and to achieve clarity on key goals. You don’t inspire trust by micromanaging and second guessing every step people make.
  2. The second is to clarify purpose. Great leaders involve their people in the communication process to create the goals to be achieved. If people are involved in the process, they psychologically own it and you create a situation where people are on the same page about what is really important—mission, vision, values, and goals.
  3. The third is to align systems. This means that you don’t allow there to be conflict between what you say is important and what you measure. For instance, many times organizations claim that people are important but in fact the structures and systems, including accounting, make them an expense or cost center rather than an asset and the most significant resource.
  4. The fourth is the fruit of the other three—unleashed talent. When you inspire trust and share a common purpose with aligned systems, you empower people. Their talent is unleashed so that their capacity, their intelligence, their creativity, and their resourcefulness is utilized.

I would add that these are based upon principles that build upon each other rather than techniques or steps that have to be taken independent of each other. These aren’t “management tricks” but real principles that guide a true leaders character.

The world is vastly different today and ever-changing. If we can develop leaders who can withstand and embrace the changing times by deeply rooting themselves in these principles of great leadership, then we can develop great people, great teams and great results.

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Top 4 questions for determining your dream job

Monday, December 3rd, 2007
Each week we will be asking Dr. Covey to comment on common questions. This week we ask: What should I do to discover my dream job?

Discovering your dream job involves asking yourself these basic questions over time :
(1) What do you really love to do?
(2) What do you do well?
(3) What should you do so that you tap into your true voice?
(4) What does the world need?

It is so important that people take time to reflect on their potential. Most people do not do this. They get swallowed up in other people’s definitions of them and others’ agendas. And those agendas, those external agendas, tend to drive their behavior. This is what I call the “true identity theft.” It is like a cultural DNA, or blanket that lies on top of your true DNA—your true capacities and nature—and robs you of your identity.

You get so immersed in it, so absorbed by it, so habituated to it, so socially reinforced by it that you lose the sense of who you are and what you could do in life. This identity theft is very real and is going on all of the time simply because people are not reflective enough to distinguish the difference between their true DNA and the social DNA. As one person put it,

“When man found the mirror, he began to lose his soul.”

The point is, he became more concerned with his image than with his “self.” To be successful, focus on that which taps into your talent and fuels your passion—that rises out of a great need in the world that you feel drawn by conscience to meet. That is how you will discover your dream job. This might not give you society’s definition of success (money, status, material things) but you will feel a deeper success that completes who you are.

“Where talents and the needs of the world cross, therein lies your vocation.”

Join us next week as Dr. Covey discusses what to do if you aren’t in your dream job. 

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