A flurry of priorities and commitments pulling me in numerous directions, as the lines between personal and professional life continue to become blurrier and blurrier for us all; I want to share a resource that I recently revisited to help focus my attention on the right things, in the right ways, having the biggest impact possible.  To provide context, I’ll start by sharing just a few of the thoughts and emotions swarming through my mind leading to this post.

  • The ever present thoughts of how ScaleCo can better support the success of our partner companies (one of our core values is “always look for a better way”);
  • my recent attendance to the PathNorth annual meeting, where I had the great pleasure of meeting and learning from some tremendously inspiring and influential people, and where I was introduced to the term “imposter syndrome;”
  • my impending fiftieth birthday (God willing, as Bud Brian, one of our partner company CEOs points out … 50 is not guaranteed!);
  • my twin sons embarking on their collegiate journey this Fall (where did the years go?!);
  • and my discussion with Anese Cavanagh on her leadership methodology, Intentional Energetic Presence, and the effects it can have on your company’s culture.

The 7 Habits by Stephen R. CoveyNow, back to the resource mentioned earlier!  If, like me, you think in check lists, formulas, and easy to remember steps, I highly recommend picking up a copy (whether for the first time or as a refresher) of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (and subsequently The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness) by Stephen R. Covey.  Mr. Covey’s works provide a road map for personal growth, happiness and tackling any form of imposter syndrome.  His eight habits or principals are:

  1. Be Proactive – I’m free to choose and am responsible for my choices;
  2. Begin with the End in Mind – create in your mind first and then bring them into physical existence;
  3. Put First Things First – act on your priorities;
  4. Think Win-Win – mutual respect and mutual benefit;
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood – we must understand why the other person is doing what they are doing;
  6. Synergize – the whole is greater than the sum of the parts;
  7. Sharpen the Saw – renew body, heart, mind and soul;
  8. Find your Voice and Inspire Others to Find Theirs

As I revisit these principals and do my best to put them into action to help prioritize, I think about the question asked at the close of the recent PathNorth meeting – what were your “a-ha” moments while in attendance?  As usual, it took me a while to think it through, but with the weekend to reflect, here are mine.

  • When asked the question, what is wrong with the world….someone replied “It’s me” (there was a story, so I simplified).  I see many of the Mr. Covey’s principals in this statement.
  • People that are willing to “Stand Alone” make the biggest impact (again simplified).  Stand up for what you believe, even when it’s not popular.
  • If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together (African proverb).  I realize that I need to incorporate more people in my plans and ask for help.

If you have a resource that has been helpful to you in taking action to prioritize and simplify commitments, please share with the community in the comments below.  I would love to hear from you.

Finally, I will leave you with a quote from Mr. Covey, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”