February 24, 2016 • Bookshelf

“The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People”

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.

Now, 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.”

About ScaleCo

ScaleCo Capital is a Cleveland-based lower middle market private equity firm that focuses on control-oriented leveraged buyout and growth equity investments in fast-growing companies based primarily in the Great Lakes region. ScaleCo partners with companies in the verticals of business services, tech-enabled services, value added distribution and assembly, and training, compliance, and education sectors, bringing operational expertise and strategic resources to scale their growth potential and build long-term value. To learn more, visit scaleco.com.

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