How to Survive Sudden Leadership Challenges - Covey Has Some Clues
I have decided to start with this text as simply far too many people have said to me I should - it clearly has an enormous following of people who found the message rang true for them.
In the introduction to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Covey talks about how we perceive reality based on certain beliefs or paradigm.
As an example, he tells the story of a ship in a fog, apparently on a collision course with another craft. The captain, having become quite agitated at the other crafts refusal to alter course, experienced a significant paradigm shift when it was realised that the other craft was a lighthouse. The captain then faced a situation in a new light(no pun intended). His reality and behaviour altered by the new understanding. The message is that often we forget that what we think is reality, is only what we see. Just ask any magician!!
A strong thread through this first section is that people don't do things to you. They are acting on their reality in the same way as you are seeing motives behind their actions based on what you can see. When the feeling of being "done to" rises we too often look to blame something external. What Covey is saying, is that only by understanding the perceived reality of the do'er, can we find the common reality necessary to both appreciate the true middle ground.
This is not easy. When I have been in the position where I was sure someone was doing something just to get back at me, I struggle to even consider their position in any unfiltered light. I have needed someone I trust to take me aside and say "Listen Steve, no matter what you think, this person is doing this because they truly believe it for the good of the group". This was something I would not even had heard from the person in question, and frankly was not that easy to hear from my then trusted coach. Covey has a great quote "What you are shouts so loudly in my ears I cannot her what you say" -how many times has that been the case?
He speaks of an "inside-out" approach to problems, that means to start with ourselves and what?s happening on the inside. As an example this approach says that private victories precede public ones, that keeping promises to ourselves precedes keeping promises to others.
"Character is a composite of our habits"
"habits are the intersection of Knowledge, Skill and Desire."
These statements under pin the rest of the book.
Covey talks about three levels of maturity. Dependence where everything is about "you"(someone else) that we are dependent upon. Independence, where its all about I - I am responsible and I can do it. This is where I feel many leaders stop. With the confidence of only themselves they try to drive others to their dreams.
Interdependence is where its all about we. Being a natural introvert, this is something I have to learn. I am far more comfortable doing my stuff on my own. The thought of having to rely on others for part of my dreams does not feel natural. That may be a bit harsh, in fact there are a few individuals I have worked with where is has not been an issue of leadership, more of partnership. My issue is to expand these to a wider number of people.
Covey talks about how interdependence can feel like dependence and therefore not a step forward. Often phrased as "doing their own thing" or being liberated people move back from potential interdependence to independence.
The rest of the book is divided into three main parts. The first three chapters deal with taking people from dependence to independence. Now if you are like me, you think this is a step you have already taken. This maybe so, but these chapters are going to heighten our self awareness and cement us at or above the level of independence. Covey describes these as "Private Victories".
Habits four to seven are the "Public Victories" that will move us from independence to interdependence, and the last habit is about continuous improvement.
Covey then talks about efficiency as the necessary balance between return and investment. Or as he calls it Production and production Capacity (P/PC). An interesting quote here for me was "..always treat your employees as you would have them treat your best customers." He speaks of how you can employ people but the extra special part of the individual has to be won, passionate employees are there for more than the money, is the way I see it. This is where the interdependence and trusting those you work with all starts to come together.
The final message of the introduction is:
"No one can persuade another to change. Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside".
For me this is a moment of commitment. I feel that I have a choice here and now. I can leave the gate closed and go on as before, or open it and dive into the rest of this text... "and see how deep the rabbit hole goes" as Morpheus said.
Be brave, be famous.
Come with me as I discover the keys to surviving sudden leadership... 2leadership.com">http://2leadership.com
Prolific author William E. Butterworth III, who wrote under the name W.E.B. Griffin, has died aged 89.
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The New York Times reviewer wrote: "Rosamunde Pilcher, where have you been all my life?" It sat in the bestseller list for 49 weeks in hardback and then tipped Tom Wolfe off the No 1 spot in paperback. The Shell Seekers was translated into more than 40 languages, selling around 10m copies.
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JD Salinger's son has confirmed for the first time that the late author of The Catcher in the Rye wrote a significant amount of work that has never been seen, and that he and his father's widow are "going as fast as we freaking can" to get it ready for publication.
Salinger died in 2010, leaving behind a small but perfectly formed body of published work that has not been added to since 1965's New Yorker story, "Hapworth 16, 1924." Rumors have circulated for years that the creator of one of the 20th century's most enduring characters, Holden Caulfield, continued to write over the ensuing decades he spent in the New Hampshire village of Cornish, far from public view.
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, his son Matt Salinger has finally revealed, definitively, that his father never stopped writing and that "all of what he wrote will at some point be shared."
One of the biggest stars to come out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week wasn't a CEO or a head of state or a venture capitalist. It was Rutger Bregman, a Dutch journalist and historian, who used his speaking time at the conference to lambaste the rich attendees for failing to talk about the one thing we know could fight wealth inequality: raising taxes for the kind of people who go to Davos.
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Behrouz Boochani, whose debut book won both the Aus$25,000 non-fiction prize at the Victorian premier's literary awards and the Aus$100,000 Victorian prize for literature on Thursday night, is not allowed into Australia.
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Steve Cavendish, a former editor of the Nashville Scene and Washington City Paper, writes about the dire state of local newspapers, and his hopes that his new venture, to relaunch the Nashville Banner online as a nonprofit, will provide a model that will revitalize local media:
Wednesday was a bloodbath for journalists. BuzzFeed said it would lay off 15 percent of its employees, and Verizon Media announced it would cut 7 percent from its newsrooms at HuffPost, AOL and Yahoo. Worst of all, a wave of layoffs tore through Gannett newsrooms across the country that day, hitting staffs that had already been thinned by years of nearly annual cuts. In December, Gannett's USA Today Network president, Maribel Wadsworth, told her employees that the nation's largest-circulation newspaper chain "will be a smaller company" in the future and, well, the future is now. Wadsworth is facing a lot of pressures: Print revenue is down, digital and mobile revenue aren't nearly enough, and now a hedge fund promising even deeper cuts wants to acquire the company. If the future of corporate news operations looks bleak, that's because it is.
In Tennessee, we've been watching the slow-motion destruction of our news institutions under Gannett for a few decades now, and the idea that things are about to get even worse is appalling. As badly as the country needs strong coverage of national news these days, the local news landscape is important, too. And what happened here mirrors what's already happened in city after city.