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Archive for October, 2008

Restoring Trust Can be an Enormously Positive Adventure

Friday, October 31st, 2008

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!

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Members on the Community Span 192 Countries!

Friday, October 24th, 2008

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!

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Crisis Creates Humility

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Last week, Dr. Covey did an interview for a leading newspaper in Brazil. Not surprisingly, the topic of the interview was the global financial crisis and the concerns of these uncertain times. When asked to comment about this historic financial meltdown Dr. Covey first stated: “This is a time of great crisis. Crisis creates humility–pain humbles people.” Because of this, he explained, people often become more open and teachable.

Dr. Covey is planning a visit to Brazil in a few weeks where he will teach principles of effective leadership. He expects that business leaders in the audience will be especially attentive to the message for developing principle-centered leadership in a global marketplace where conditions are changing and creating new challenges. Of course, with new challenges comes new opportunities. Whether in good times or bad times, the key to great leadership is understanding moral authority versus formal authority. A leader’s role is to communicate the worth and potential of individuals so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves–to help them unleash their potential and respect people as an organization’s greatest asset rather than seeing them as an expense. Moral authority comes from being centered on principles, which are universal and timeless. Principles such as, fairness, trust, integrity, compassion, honesty are central to enduring leadership–both at work, at home, or in the community.

In reflecting on Dr. Covey’s words, I think Dr. Covey would challenge each of us to humble ourselves–to seek for more understanding, openness, synergy, learning, purpose, and self-reflection. Each of us is a leader–either in our roles at work, at home or in our individual, personal lives. Are we humble enough to center our lives on principles? Are we willing to learn the lessons that are before us and change our lives based on universal principles that are sure to create stability  and sustainability for us, even in turbulent times? Now is the time to humble ourselves, make profound changes and take full advantage of the opportunities that come from  of crises.

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Changelessness Amid Reeling Change

Friday, October 10th, 2008

We are in the midst of a global financial crisis that has everyone worried for today and the future. This is evidence of:  (1) the net effect of the law of the harvest: we, as individual consumers, business leaders, and government leaders simply cannot stray from timeless principles and expect to avoid the inevitable consequences; (2) the reality of global markets and economies and how tightly knit we all are around the world; (3) the reality that we live in a world that is changing at a rate unthinkable only a few years ago or even months ago; (4) there being only one constant in the midst of turbulent change: principles.

In these especially difficult, uncertain times, the need is to develop a solid unwavering core. When we adopt changeless, timeless principles such as trust, fairness, service, courage, humility, integrity, human dignity, contribution, growth, empowerment, as our core values, we anchor and enable ourselves to adapt and respond to the forces of change and the new dynamics of the global economy.

I suggest this is also a time of opportunity. Make time to take an inventory of your life, to determine your values, to focus on what matters most and let go of the dead weight of things that matter least—the things that distract us and lead us on the wrong path. Each of your concerns and situations is different, but here is a thought for action:

  1. Think of one area of your work or personal life that is in a constant state of change—perhaps one that brings with it great stress.
  2. Identify any principles that can be a source of guidance or stability in the situation.
  3. Using these bedrock principles, consider what choices you can make to adapt to the onslaught of change.

I wish you well and hope you will find encouragement through principle-centered living and leadership, especially when faced with this global financial challenge and your personal or professional challenges.

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