Stephen R Covey - the community - Join Now For Free

Archive for November, 2008

Thanksgiving–A Willingness to Serve

Friday, November 21st, 2008

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!

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

The Greater Identity Theft is Our Cultural DNA

Friday, November 14th, 2008

We are warned more and more about the threat of identify theft. However, the greater identify theft is our cultural DNA; it’s not someone taking your wallet and using your credit cards—that’s very superficial. It’s about the profound identity threat that comes from people being raised in a comparison-based culture, so they focus more on secondary greatness, to become rich and famous, rather than primary greatness, which deals with character and contribution. This switch to secondary greatness is alluring and occurs throughout cultures of the world—secondary greatness has replaced primary greatness, and, as a result,  trust has deteriorated, confidence has gone down, and we’re living with its consequences, as evidenced by the global financial crisis.

So it’s a healthy thing to be humbled by this or any other crisis, to realize that we have to take an inside-out approach in learning to be humble, to focus on integrity and character and on making a contribution, to serve other people, and serve worthwhile causes. How is the crisis affecting you? Are you focusing your efforts on strengthening your primary greatness—your character and ability for contribution? Set a goal to make a difference for someone else at work, at home, in your neighborhood, or community. The more you focus on serving others, the more authentic you will feel; your character strength will grow, you will be build trust, and you will build your worth based on principles versus on the need to gratify our cultural values, which often center on instant gratification and becoming an enviable figure in public. This will help to prevent your identify theft and help you resist your negative cultural DNA.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Stephen Covey’s 7-Country Speaking Tour in Europe - Julie Edgin, Program Manager

Friday, November 7th, 2008

In October, we completed a 13-day, 7-country speaking tour with Dr. Covey across Europe. Having just joined Stephen’s team as his program manager, I was amazed at his energy level and stamina for a demanding travel schedule. How does he do this? The answer is simple: his passion drives him. Even though I found myself at times running low on energy, trying to keep up with a hectic schedule, I felt inspired by Dr. Covey’s energy for meeting with people and organizations to present principles for effectiveness and success. I felt equally inspired by the many audiences and people we met, who were so teachable and thirsting for the principles Dr. Covey teaches.

Dr. Covey presented in the Czech Republic, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Kazakhstan, Latvia, and Denmark. Here are some snapshots of the trip:

Dr. Covey had the opportunity to have dinner with a business team from the Czech Republic. He felt so impressed with each team member and their enthusiasm to use principles and FranklinCovey solutions to strengthen individuals, organizations, and families. He was also impressed with their willingness to share their feelings about their own lives and the culture in Prague.

In Kazakhstan, Dr. Covey was intrigued by the questions posed by the audience and sensed their struggle with applying the principles into their businesses to move from the Industrial Age to the Knowledge Worker Age. However, he was impressed with their desire to learn new paradigms of thinking and adopting new models of doing business, and, given time, he felt they would succeed. He also had the opportunity to present the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families and was very touched by their humility and eagerness to strengthen their families and relationships with each other.

He spoke to three different audiences in Latvia: university students, community, and business leaders. Each audience was extremely different, but all were like sponges soaking up the information. Many university students stood for over an hour while Dr. Covey presented. The questions asked by the business leaders intrigued and excited him. He could tell that many of them were already moving from the Industrial Age to the Knowledge Worker Age.

In Denmark, we visited a school which was launching the 7 Habits in their curriculum. Dr. Covey was greeted enthusiastically by students, teachers and administrators who were filled with passion for the 7 Habits and for their plans to transform their school.

I’m very excited to have these experiences and see first-hand the power of principle-centered leadership—and how masterful Dr. Covey is in teaching universal principles. Our next international trip is to Brazil…I’ll report on that soon.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!