Stephen Covey, columnist of the mega-seller, The 7 Habits of Highly Able People, died Monday at the age of 79.
Back in the summer of 1993, I was advantageous to sit in on a “7 Habits” training that Covey himself kicked off with a 3-hour session. We got brilliant analysis because the Secretary of Energy, Hazel O’Leary, brought the absolute chief agents of the Department of Activity out to the Milliken Institute for training in absolute affection management.
Coincidentally, I had aloof accomplished the arrangement for my book Lean and Clean Management: How to Boost Profits and Productivity by Reducing Pollution, which discusses TQM and its affectionate accord with abuse prevention. You can buy copies actuality for as little as 10 cents additional shipping! I accept it is still a acceptable book on systems thinking; in any case, it was that arrangement that got me an allure to the training alike admitting I was aloof a newly-hired Special Assistant for Policy and Planning to Deputy Secretary Bill White.
Covey was awesome. He was a absolutely optimistic and amorous being who cared about people. I spent about an hour bygone attractive through a dozen boxes to acquisition my notes, but while I begin my date book that shows I abounding this in August 1993, I may accept accounting the addendum on a advertisement and not a notebook, which agency it will booty me a lot best to acquisition d I still accept it.
I audibly bethink Covey talking about his limp, but I can’t bethink the details, which I accept begin online here. Covey admired contest in school, but afresh got “slipped epiphysis, which is a abasement of the thigh and hip cartilage during the advance process.” That put him in crutches starting in inferior aerial school. The result:
“It absolutely confused me from contest to academics, which I’m beholden for now. So it angry out to be a absolution in my life; but the time, you know, I anticipation my activity was about over, decidedly aback I was told I had to go on crutches for a abounding year. Afresh I approved to get aback fast, too fast, and I was impatient, and I had to do that like over afresh for an absolute year! Afresh it went to my aing leg…. But anyway, that absolutely afflicted my access to academics, and I began to adulation acquirements for its own sake.”
The rest, as they say, is history. This is, as Shakespeare put it in Romeo and Juliet, “adversity’s candied milk.”
The 7 Habits is one of the few self-help books I would acclaim after averseness because it is based on analytical what the best able bodies do. And what the best able bodies do is act systematically. Covey’s access to allegory what the best bodies was one of the inspirations for my new book — out aing month — in which I appraise what the best able communicators do. If course, they use a arrangement also: rhetoric.
The 7 habits are ones that anybody would be astute to follow, but because they are systems oriented — and because they are aimed at bringing about change — they accept a accurate amount for altitude hawks who appetite to change the activity arrangement in time to bottle a adequate eco-system. Actuality is the abbreviate adaptation of them (with my additions in parentheses and links to Covey’s best description of them):
SELF-MASTERY (independent systems thinking)
INTERDEPENDENCE (working with others systematically)
These may assume obvious. But as is the case with best self-help admonition the ambush is absolutely accomplishing them. Every day. Clearly they represent the aspect of what it agency to be a altitude hawk. We all alpha with the end in mind — avoiding adverse all-around warming. The alone way to abstain adverse abating is to act proactively, afore it happens. And that agency we charge to accent aka deploy, deploy, deploy.
The best altitude solutions are win-win, decidedly activity efficiency, which is the alone acumen there’s any adventitious we ability absolutely abstain catastrophe: They accept countless co-benefits. Habit 5 is about the best affectionate of communication, and Habit 6 defines the affectionate of political activity that is needed.
Since none of us is accomplishing a acceptable abundant job now, we all charge to continuously improve, but also, as Covey noted, we charge “a counterbalanced affairs for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.” Cerebration about altitude change 24/7 is not a acceptable strategy, I can assure you from claimed experience!
Indeed, the accomplished raison d’être of altitude hawks is to abstain a approaching area everybody is affected to anticipate about altitude change 24/7 because it has broke a adequate climate, banishment anybody into a “scarcity mentality,” which Covey hated because it represents a “zero-sum archetype of life.”
Stephen Covey will be missed.
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