Getting Highly Effective

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 12:26 AM

Well, I wasn't sure I was going to make it, but I'm glad I did. I friend of mine had a ticket to a lecture by Dr. Stephen R. Covey for last night, and since he couldn't make it, he gave the ticket to me. Yesterday was a pretty crazy day so I almost decided not to go, but I'm really glad I didn't miss it!

Covey is the author of the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and one of Time's 25 most influential people. He was really impressive. Never during the lecture did you get the impression that Dr. Covey was speaking “down” to the audience — in some ways it seemed almost like a 1-on-1 conversation.

He emphasized integrating one's life and setting a personal missions statement. To set goals and stick to them. To not compromise when working with others but listen to each other until you can “synergize” instead. To “live, love, learn, and leave a legacy.” Lots of good stuff in there, to be sure.

The jist of his message breaks down to these four points which I thought were excellent:
  1. Body: Assume you've just had a heart attack and eat and live accordingly.
  2. Mind: Assume your career has a two year “half life” and act accordingly.
  3. Heart: Assume that everything you say about anyone is heard by them, and speak accordingly.
  4. Spirit: Assume you have a 1-on-1 quarterly discussion with your Creator, and live accordingly.

All of this sounds fairly simple, but a heathy dose of common sense is perhaps what this nation needs. It seems that one grade school back east that adopted Covey's program saw their standardized test results go from the 62 percentile (IIRC) to the 92 percentile in just 18 months.

Dr. Covey made some really good points. For example, on leadership, he noted that leadership isn't a position, it's a way of working with people. Management is a position. Leadership is “showing people their value so that they feel motivated to live up to it.” He noted that some of the greatest leaders of all time didn't even have an official title or position. How true.

I just happened to get a third row seat in the auditorium it was in, which gave me the opportunity to walk up and meet Dr. Covey afterwards. I even got a signed program! :-)

Anyway, it is getting late and I'm tired, but I wanted to write a little something about the event. While most of his lectures, I think, are somewhat focused on the business management world, I really don't see any reason why you shouldn't attend if you get the opportunity, even if you aren't in that sector.

Tags: Life

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