At iLEAD, we believe development and growth are vital to one’s well-being and to our community. Over the years, our staff has been collectively studying and implementing the philosophies put forth by Stephen Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The concepts explored are useful for people of all ages. We will continue summarizing each habit monthly in the Monday Message, and we hope it will encourage you to explore the habits at a deeper level by practicing them in your own environment.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win!
When developing habits that lead you to personal victory, you are creating a winning situation for yourself. You find methods by which you can win, and you follow them up with action. These same skills can be used to translate that “win” into a multi-person victory. Creating a winning scenario in a setting that involves more than one person is a “win-win.”
A win-win perspective views life as cooperative rather than competitive. Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks to benefit all human interactions.
Stephen Covey suggests that there are three vital traits to a person who approaches conflicts with a win-win attitude:
1. Integrity: Holding steadfast to your true feelings, values, and commitments.
2. Maturity: Expressing your ideas or feelings with both courage and consideration at the same time.
3. Abundance Mentality: Believing there is enough (success, benefit, etc.) for everyone.
Try approaching decisions by creating an opportunity for both sides to win. It may not always be possible to come up with a deal in which every single party wins; however, at the very least, you can create a deal that shows your teammates that you are looking out for everyone’s interests equally.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey focuses on the principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. At iLEAD, we believe consistent development and growth are vital to one’s well-being and to our community as a whole! The concepts explored in this book can be useful for people from all walks of life at all ages, and they deserve to be revisited! We hope you find our brief summary of each habit in upcoming Monday Messages useful, and we encourage you to explore the habits at a deeper level by demonstrating and practicing them in your own environment.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 3 is all about prioritization. While people’s priorities vary, prioritization is good as it allows us to gain new perspectives. It is essential that each of us develop our own habits and priorities to meet our own goals.
Putting first things first is the physical creation of one’s goals. Learning how to prioritize one’s activities according to one’s goals is essential for turning goals into a reality. Proper prioritization helps one work more effectively because it eliminates needless work, or at least arranges it appropriately. According to Covey, prioritization is about learning how to manage yourself.
Covey promotes the Time Management Matrix (also known as the Eisenhower Matrix) for identifying and arranging priorities. This matrix helps people to focus on identifying higher-value tasks and accomplishing results by first classifying their daily activities by urgency/importance, and then approaching them based on the quadrant of the matrix in which they fall. Using this matrix, one’s daily activities can be categorized into four quadrants:
Quadrant 2 is about having personal leadership and focusing on the important tasks that have long-term effect. This quadrant reflects one’s life goals and desires, which are linked to one’s life purpose. It is the magic quadrant on which people should focus, and yet it is often the most neglected.
There are two reasons why Q2 tasks are often neglected. First, Q2 tasks (for example, taking care of one’s health or pursuing one’s dreams) don’t often present visible urgency until it is too late. Second, Q2 tasks require more time and energy investment before one sees results. Unfortunately, this conflicts with modern society’s desire for instant gratification.
We encourage you to spend some time this school year evaluating your time and priorities and try plugging them into the matrix! Keep in mind that Q2 tasks reap the most reward in the long run. Think of time spent in Q2 as sowing seeds for an abundant future harvest!