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8th Habit

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The 8th Habit

By Stephen Covey

A Summary

The Whole-Person paradigm says that people are whole people - body, mind, heart and spirit - and they have four related capacities: (1) Physical Intelligence, (2) Mental Intelligence, (3) Emotional Intelligence, and (4) Spiritual Intelligence. People also have four related needs: (1) To Live - Survival, (2) To Love - Relationships, (3) To Learn - Growth and Development, and (4) To Leave a Legacy - Meaning and Contribution.

People have choices - in fact, there are six choices that we have in any situation (1) rebel or quit, (2) malicious obedience, (3) willing compliance, (4) cheerful cooperation, (5) heartfelt commitment and (6) creative excitement. People want to be paid fairly, used creatively, treated kindly and given an opportunity to serve human needs in principled ways.

So, whole people (body, mind, heart and spirit) with four basic needs (1) to live, (2) to learn, (3) to love, and (4) to leave a legacy) and four intelligences or capacities (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) and their highest manifestations (discipline, vision, passion and conscience) all of which represent the four dimensions of voice (need, talent, passion and conscience).

Our voice lies at the intersection of talent (your natural gifts and strengths), passion (things that naturally energise, excite, motivate and inspire you), need (including what he world needs enough to pay you for), and conscience (that still voice within that assures you of what is right and that prompts you to actually do it.

Your voice (or calling) is found as you engage in work that taps your talents and fuels your passion, that rises out of a great need in the world that you feel drawn by conscience to meet. As we apply these four capacities talent or discipline, need or vision, passion and conscience to any role of your life you can find your voce in that role. The challenge is to take any role in our life and ask the following questions:
1. What need do I sense?
2. Do I possess a true talent that, if disciplined and applied, can meet the need?
3. Does the opportunity to meet the need tap unto my passion?
4. Does my conscience inspire me to take action and become involved?

Everyone must choose one of two roads in life: (1) the well-travelled road to mediocrity or (2) the road to greatness. The path to greatness unleashes and realises human potential. Greatness lies in Finding Your Voice and Inspiring Others to Find Theirs. This is the 8th Habit.

There are three kinds of greatness:

1. Personal greatness - this is achieved as we develop three birth-gifts: choice, principle and the four human intelligences. As we develop these gifts and intelligences we develop a character that is full of vision, discipline and passion that is guided by conscience.

A. Our Birth Gifts

(1) The Freedom to Chose - between stimulus and response there is a space, and in that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response and in those choices lie our growth and our happiness.

(2) Natural Laws or Principles - we live by principles (that are universal and inarguable) or natural laws rather than by going along with today's culture of quick fix. We also live by the specific values that we choose to govern our life - social norms that are personal, emotional, subjective and arguable. Consequences are governed by principles and behaviour is governed by values.

(3) The Four Intelligences or Capacities of our Nature - our nature has four parts (body, mind, heart and spirit) and corresponding to these four parts are four capacities or intelligences that we all possess: our physical intelligence (PQ), our mental intelligence (IQ), our emotional intelligence (EQ) and our spiritual intelligence (SQ).
A. Physical Intelligence - the things our body does without conscious effort - it runs our respiratory, nervous and other systems - constantly scanning its environment, destroying diseased cells and fighting for survival.
B. Mental Intelligence - the ability to analyse, reason, think abstractly, use language, visualise and comprehend.
C. Emotional Intelligence - this is our self-knowledge, self-awareness, social sensitivity, empathy and ability to communicate successfully with others. It is a sense of timing and social appropriateness, and having the courage to acknowledge weakness and express and respect differences.
D. Spiritual Intelligence - this is the central intelligence as it guides the other three - it represents our drive for meaning and connection with the infinite.

The challenge is to develop all four intelligences. One way to do this is to make four basic assumptions: (1) For the body - assume you have had a heart attack; now live accordingly; (2) for the mind - assume the half-life of your profession is two years; now prepare accordingly; (3) for the heart - assume everything you say about another, they can overhear; no speak accordingly; and (4) for the spirit - assume you have a one-on-one visit with your Creator every quarter; now live accordingly.

These four intelligences have four related manifestations:
A. For the Mental - Vision. Vision is seeing with the mind's eye what is possible in people, in projects, causes and in enterprises.
B. For the Physical - Discipline. Discipline is paying the price to bring that vision into reality.
C. For the Emotional - Passion. Passion is the fire, the desire, the strength of conviction and the drive that sustains the discipline to achieve the vision.
D. For the Spiritual - Conscience. Conscience is the inward moral sense of what is right and what is wrong, the drive toward meaning and contribution - it is the guiding force to vision, discipline and passion - and is in stark contrast to a life dominated by ego.

2. Leadership greatness - this is achieved by people who choose to inspire others to find their voice and who practise the four roles of leadership (modelling, pathfinding, aligning and empowering).
A. Modelling (Conscience) - Being a model involves fining your own voice and then choosing the attitude of initiative (taking initiative to expand your influence in every opportunity around you). As we model character and competence we lay the foundation of trust in every relationship and organisation. Modelling also involves developing strong relational skills that build trust and that create third-alternative solutions to your differences with other people.
B. Pathfinding (Vision) - Pathfinding involves creating with others a common vision about your highest priorities and the values by which you will achieve your priorities.
C. Aligning (Discipline) - This is the voice of execution where goals and enabling systems are aligned for results.
D. Empowering (Passion) - This is the empowering voice - were we release passion and talent by clearing the way before people and then getting out of the way.

Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come it see it themselves and set in motion the process of seeing, doing and becoming. We lead (empower) people while we manage and control things.

3. Organisational greatness - this is achieved as the organisation translates their leadership roles and work (including mission, vision and values) into principles or drivers of execution in an organisation. The execution gap consists of:
* Clarity - people don't clearly know what the goals and priorities of their team are;
* Commitment - people don't but the goals;
* Translation - people don't know what they need to do to help the team achieve its goals;
* Enabling - people don't have the right structure, systems or freedom to do their job well;
* Synergy - people don't get along or work together well
* Accountability - people don't regularly hold each other accountable.

There are four disciplines which will close the execution gap: (a) Focus on the wildly important, (b) Create a compelling scorecard, (c) Translate lofty goals into specific actions, and (d) Hold each other accountable - all of the time.

As a person engages in the sequential 8th Habit process of finding their own voice and expanding their influence as they help others find their voices, they increase their freedom and power of choice to solve their greatest challenges and to serve human needs - they also learn how leadership can become a choice not a position, and they are able to empower people rather than manage things.

An organisation is made up of individuals who have a relationship and a shared purpose. All people belong to organisations. Most of the worlds work is done in and through organisations. The highest challenge facing organisations is to set them up and run them in a way that enables each person to inwardly sense his or her innate worth and potential for greatness and to contribute to their unique talents and passions.

There are four chronic problems with acute symptoms:
1. When spirit or conscience is neglected in an organisation the result is low trust which leads to backbiting, in-fighting, victimism, defensiveness, information hoarding and defensive, protective communication.
2. When the mind or the vision of an organisation is neglected the result is a lack of shared vision or common value system which leads to people acting with hidden agendas, playing political games, and using different criteria in decision making.
3. When the body of an organisation (skeletal structure, systems, processes) is neglected the result is no alignment or discipline built into the organisation's structures, systems, processes and culture which results in interdepartmental rivalry, co-dependency, clear hypocrisies and misalignment with core mission, values and strategy.
4. When the heart of an organisation is neglected the result is a profound disempowerment of the people which results in moonlighting, day dreaming, boredom, escapism, anger, fear, apathy and malicious obedience.

So, when we neglect body, mind, heart or spirit you get four chronic problems in an organisation - low trust, no shared vision and values, misalignment and disempowerment - and all they acute symptom.

Developing influence it involves a process of ethos (ethical nature, your personal credibility, the amount of trust or confidence others have in your integrity and competence); pathos (empathy, the feeling side - it means that you understand how another person feels, what their needs are and how they see things) and logos (logic which has to do with the power and persuasion of your own presentation, your own thinking).

Covey presents tools for each of the four roles of leadership.

1. The Modelling Tools

A. Be a Trim-Tab - The Trim-Tab is the small rudder that turns the big rudder that turns the entire ship. This is people who exercise initiative in their circle of influence to positively affect the entire organisation. There are seven levels of initiative or self-empowerment:
(a) Wait until told
(b) Ask
(c) Make a recommendation
(d) "I intend to"
(e) Do it and report immediately
(f) Do it and report periodically
(g) Do it

B. Be Trustworthy
Trustworthiness is produced by Character and Competence.

There are three facets to Character:
A. Integrity - this means that you are integrate around principles that govern the consequences of our behaviour - honesty is the principle of telling the trust while integrity is keeping promises made to self and others.
B. Maturity - this develops when a person pays the price of integrity and wins the private victory over self that allows them to be bother courageous and kind - ie. They deal with touch issues compassionately.
C. Abundance Mentality - this means that rather than seeing life as a competition with only one winner, you see it as an abundance with ever enlarging opportunity, resources and wealth.

There are three facets to Competence:
A. Technical competence is the skill and knowledge necessary to accomplish a particular task.
B. Conceptual knowledge is being able to see the big picture, how different parts relate to each other - it is being able to think strategically and systematically, not just tactically.
C. Interdependency is an awareness of the reality that all of life is connected.

The Personal Planning System
The first task is to get your focus right - to decide what matters most, to identify your core values, to clarify your passion and determine were you want to make a difference in life. You must begin by writing down in a paper or electronic planner what matters most to you and then build those governing priorities into your planning system so that you can balance the need for structure and discipline with the need for spontaneity. This planning tool has three criteria: it is integrated into your lifestyle, it is mobile to be always accessible and it is personalised so it suits your needs. We must consider the four levels of planning:
A. Identify your mission and governing values
B. Identify your most important roles and set goals for the week that are aligned with the values and associated with the roles you have identified.
C. Do weekly planning where you reflect on your roles, select the big rocks and plan those in first before you begin to schedule your week.
D. Finally, you need to do daily planning where you make realists task lists, prioritise tasks and review scheduled appointments throughout the day.

C. Build Trust
There are ten key deposits and withdrawals that we can make with others that have a profound impact on the level of trust in our relationships (to practise these we need initiative, humility and sacrifice):
(1) Seeking first to understand - all relationships require a starting point of understanding.
(2) Keeping promises - nothing builds and strengthens trust like keeping a promise. We should never use the word promise unless we are willing and able to pay the price to keep it.
(3) Being honest and open - people will walk with us if they sense that we are honest with them.
(4) Being kind and courteous - children, as well as adults, must learn these four expressions: "please", "thank you", "I love you" and "How may I help?"
(5) Practising win-win - we must suspend our interests long enough to understand what the other person wants so that we can work on a new creative solution that meets both our interests.
(6) Clarifying expectations - almost all communication breakdown is the result of ambiguous expectations about roles and goal.
(7) Being loyal to those not present - how we treat people who are absent is the highest test of character and the depth of bonding that has taken place in a relationship.
(8) Apologising - this involves learning to say, "I was wrong, I'm sorry".
(9) Giving and receiving feedback - both negative and positive feedback is helpful when we describe our feelings and concerns rather than accusing, judging or labelling the person.
(10) Practising forgiveness - true forgiveness involves forgetting, letting go and moving on.

D. Search for the Third Alternative
There are two steps to find a third alternative: (a) Would you be willing to search for a solution that is better than what either one of you (us) has proposed? (b) Would you agree to a simple ground rule: no one can make their point until they have restated the other person's point to his or her satisfaction.

2. The Pathfinding Tools

A. The Mission Statement
Pathfinding is about deciding what to focus on as an organisation as you ask values-and-purpose questions. Through an interactive process you create a written mission statement that includes your sense of purpose, your vision and your values, and you then create a strategic plan (see next tool). The mission statement should touch all four dimensions and needs of life (and each has a related motivation): physical (survival or economic prosperity), mental (growth and development), emotional (love and relationships) and spiritual (meaning, integrity and contribution).

B. The Strategic Plan
This is a crisp description of how you will provide value to your customers and stakeholders - it is your value proposition - your focus - or your organisation's voice. While a mission statement involves the WHY and WHO, the strategic plan deals with HOW and WHEN.

The test of a good mission statement and strategic plan is being able to approach anyone at any level of an organisation and have them describe how what they do contributes to the strategic plan and is in harmony with governing values.

8. The Aligning Tools
We need to create using feedback systems to align goals and systems for results. One example is the Balanced Scorecard. The people who are involved must jointly create a compelling performance scoreboard that reflects the mission, values and strategy of the organisation so they can stay aligned with the process and be responsible and accountable. A scoreboard makes three things clear: From what? To what? By when? The key is to identify the top priorities or "wildly important goals" and then create a scoreboard for each with the following elements: (1) the current results - where we are now, (2) the target results - where we need to be, and (3) the deadline - by when. It can take the form of a bar graph, a trend line or a pie chart - either way it must be visible, dynamic and accessible. Then post the scoreboard and ask people to review it every day and every week as appropriate - then meet over it, discuss it and resolve issues as they come up.

9. The Empowering Tools
The Win-Win agreement process - this not is a formal job description, neither is it a legal contract. It is an open-ended, psychological/social contract that is explicitly defines expectations. It is first written in hearts and minds of people and then put on paper. Responsibilities are clarified, mutual expectations are articulated and accountability to these expectations using a balanced scoreboard is established.

A best boss is a humble servant leader who runs alongside asking questions like:
* How is it going?
* What are you learning?
* What are your goals? What are you trying to accomplish?
* How can I help you?

Modeling Is Living The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People embody the essence of becoming a balanced, integrated, powerful person and creating a complementary team based on mutual respect. They are the principles of personal character. The Habits cannot be adequately covered here in a way that truly impacts - that is best experienced in the book. But below you'll find a brief summary of the 7 Habits:

Habit 1 - Be Proactive
Being proactive is more than taking initiative. It is recognizing that we are responsible for our own choices and have the freedom to choose based on principles and values rather than on moods or conditions. Proactive people are agents of change and choose not to be victims, to be reactive, or to blame others.

Habit 2 - Begin with the End in Mind
Individuals, families, teams and organizations shape their own future by first creating a mental vision for any project, large or small, personal or interpersonal. They don't just live day-to-day with no clear purpose in mind. They identify and commit themselves to the principles, relationships and purposes that matter most to them.

Habit 3 - Put First Things First
Putting first things first means organizing and executing around your most important priorities. Whatever the circumstance, it is living and being driven by the principles you value most, not by the urgent agendas and forces surrounding you.

Habit 4 - Think Win-Win
Thinking win-win is a frame of mind and heart that seeks mutual benefit and mutual respect in all interactions. It's thinking in terms of abundance and opportunity rather than scarcity and adversarial competition. It's not thinking selfishly (win-lose) or like a martyr (lose-win). It's thinking in terms of "we," not "me."

Habit 5 - Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
When we listen with the intent to understand others, rather than with the intent to reply, we begin true communication and relationship building. Opportunities to then speak openly and to be understood come much more naturally and easily. Seeking to understand takes consideration; seeking to be understood takes courage. Effectiveness lies in balancing or blending the two.

Habit 6 - Synergize
Synergy is the third alternative-not my way, not your way, but a third way that is better than either of us would come up with individually. It's the fruit of respecting, valuing, and even celebrating one another's differences. It's about solving problems, seizing opportunities, and working out differences. It's the kind of creative cooperation of 1+1=3, 11, 111 ...or more. Synergy is also the key to any effective team or relationship. A synergistic team is a complementary team - where the team is organized so that the strengths of some compensate for the weaknesses of others. In this way you optimize and run with strengths and make individual weaknesses irrelevant.

Habit 7 - Sharpen the Saw
Sharpening the saw is about constantly renewing ourselves in the four basic areas of life: physical, social, emotional, mental and spiritual. It's the habit that increases our capacity to live all other habits of effectiveness.

All that has been covered in The 8th Habit can be summarised in two words: Focus and Execution. Focus deals with what matters most and execution deals with making it happen. The first two roles of leadership (modelling and pathfinding) are about focus while the second two roles (aligning and empowering) are about execution. Pathfinding is strategic wok - it's deciding what the higher-priority goals are - what values are to serve as guidelines in accomplishing and sustaining those goals. But this requires a clear understanding and a commitment in the culture towards these goals. This commitment is based on trust, trustworthiness and synergy, the essence of modelling. Next comes execution that involves creating structures, systems and processes (aligning) that intentionally enable individuals and teams to translate the organisations goals or priorities (pathfinding) into their actual day-to-day work and team goals. In other words, people are empowered to get the job done.

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