Introduction This week we start with a riddle. What’s the di! erence between George Washington and Adolf Hitler? Give up? Well you have to keep listening for the answer, but ﬁrst, a few things before we jump into the show this week. Number one, a big Thank You to Blair Goldberg for recommending this week’s book the 8th Habit. Blair’s a marketing strategist in DC, he’s for hire and you can reach him a couple of ways. On linkedin his name is Blair Goldberg and on twitter his name is lamabfg, that’s l-a-m-a-b-f-g Number two, you can now ﬁnd this show on iTunes, go to the iTunes store and search for readitfor.me and there are two options there, you can get the audio, or you can get the video. Number three, if you’ve used the principles and ideas in this book in your life or if this show sparks some creative ideas for you. Or even if you just need to get something o! your chest, please stop by the blog and leave a comment. I’d love to continue the conversation there.
Okay, time to get on with the show.
7 Habits Gandhi once said that the di ! erence between what we are doing and what we’re capable of would solve most of the world’s problems. This is a book about truly learning what you’re capable of and turning it into action. The 8th habit of highly e! ective people, Covey says, is this. Find your voice, and inspire others to do likewise. You probably have noticed that this is the 8th habit. So for those of you who haven’t read Stephen Covey’s best selling 7 Habits of Highly E ! ective People. Here they are. 1. Be proactive. 2. Begin with the end in mind. 3. Put ﬁrst things ﬁrst. 4. Think, win, win. 5. Seek ﬁrst to understand, than to be understood. 6. Synergize.
7. Sharpen the saw.
8th Habit The 8th habit is essentially taking those ﬁrst 7 habits and putting them in to overdrive because you’ll know what you want to do with your life and you’re going to be helping others ﬁgure it out as well. It’s the seven habits on steroids, if you will. So, according to Covey, here’s the path you need to take. The ﬁrst thing we need to do is to understand that when we came ﬂying out into this amazing world of ours, we were given some pretty special gifts. And here’s a couple of them. One of the most important gifts that we have is the freedom and power to choose. Covey says, that no matter what happens in your life, there’s a place between stimulus and response. It’s summed up by a great quote by Dwight D. Eisenhower, who said this, “the history of free men is never written by chance but by choice, their choice.” We’ve also been given the gift of what Covey calls the four intelligences, mental, physical,
emotional, and spiritual intelligence. Likewise there are four areas of our life that we need to take care of and that we have that choice to take care of. Here’s how we suggest we take care of them. Number one for the body, assume you’ve had a heart attack, now live accordingly. For the mind, assume that the half life of your profession is two years, now prepare accordingly. For the heart, assume everything you say about another, they can overhear. Now speak accordingly. And lastly for the spirit, assume that you’re going to have a one on one visit with your creator every quarter, now live accordingly. The main point of all of this is that you were born with some amazing gifts, but its how you are going to use them.
Find your voice It makes sense that if you’re in control of every aspect of your life that you also get to decide what your voice is. Right? Here’s where Covey says you’ll ﬁnd your voice. When you engage in work that taps your talent and feels your passion,that rises out of a great need in the world that you feel drawn by conscience to meet, there in lies your voice, your calling, your soul’s code. It’s such a simple formula but it’s so very profound. You certainly aren’t going to ﬁgure it out today or may be not even this year. But that’s the formula. So struggle with it, debate with yourself, ask others for help, do whatever you need to do to ﬁnd that magic sweet spot that’s the intersection of your talent, passion, conscience, and a need in the world. And for those of you who are thinking, awww, I’m too old for this stu ! , everything is changing, the worlds going to pass me by so I’m pretty much done. I got two words for you. Colonel Sanders. The Colonel didn’t ﬁnd his voice until he was sixty ﬁve years old. So, suck it up and get to work.
Let’s assume that in the last two minutes you found your voice. Here’s what you do next, we’re going to talk about expressing your voice. Because if you have your voice, it’s not going to do you much good trapped inside. Here’s how Covey says, you need to get it out.
First First, you need to continue to be driven by passion. We’re governed by some natural laws in this world and one of those laws is that you’re going to have to put in the time if you want to make a di! erence. Malcolm Gladwell will tell you that is takes at least 10,000 hours to truly become an expert at something. Have you ever seen anybody invest 10,000 hours in something they aren’t passionate about? It’s not a pretty site.
Second Second, you need to have a vision. All things are created twice in this world. First in your mind and then out in the physical world. So, you need to have a vision of how your personal voice is going to e! ect change in the world and how it’s going to be brought to life.
Third Third, you need to have discipline. Even though you have a vision that you’re passionate about, there are going to be times when life conspires to suck the life out of you. And those are the times that separate those who can from those who can’t. Albert E.N. Grey boils down success to this very simple point. He says that the successful person has formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do. Remember that. Lastly, although vision, discipline, and passion rule the world. There’s one last piece that separates those who provide a contribution that endures and the one that doesn’t. Consider these two historical ﬁgures both of whom, had vision, discipline and passion. George Washington had the vision of building a new nation united and free from foreign interference. He disciplined himself to learn how to recruit supply and keep people from deserting the revolutionary army. Angered by discrimination against Colonial military o"cers, British land
policies, and restriction on US expansion, Washington was passionate about the cause of liberty. Vision, discipline and passion. Now let’s consider Adolf Hitler. Hitler passionately communicated his vision of a 1000 year reign of the third reich and a superior aryan race. He built one of the most disciplined military industrial machines that the world has ever seen. If you’ve ever seen him speak, you cannot question his passion. So once again, vision, discipline and passion. The di! erence in these two people is simple. Conscience. Vision, discipline and passion, without conscience eventually fails. So remember. In expressing your voice you need to have vision, discipline, passion, and conscience.
How to help your organization We’ve covered how you can ﬁnd your voice and express it. Now let’s turn to how you can help your organization, and the people within it unlock their potential as well. If you’re a leader you’ll know that modeling the behavior you want to see in other people is critical. You’re on a stage, every single day and people take their cues from you. A leader that inspires others to ﬁnd their voice Covey says act with integrity. So how do you act with integrity? Covey says that this is where the ﬁrst seven habits come in and here’s the quick and dirty on those habits. The ﬁrst three habits can be summarized simply as a four word expression. Make and keep promises. The ability to make a promise is being proactive, the content of the promise is beginning with the end in mind and keeping the promise is putting ﬁrst things ﬁrst. The next three habits can be summarized in a short phrase as well. Involve people in the problem and work out the solution together. This
requires mutual respect which is win win, mutual understanding which is seek ﬁrst to understand, than to be understood. And lastly creative cooperation which is synergizing.
Last Habit The last habit sharpening the saw is increasing your competency in the four areas of your life. Your body, mind, heart, and spirit. The other big things you can do to be a role model around you is to build trust. You do that in two simple but very powerful ways. First, you turn trust into a verb. Covey puts it best when he says it like this. “Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly, that they come to see it themselves.” People tend to trust you more when you believe in them. Second, you always search for the third alternative. If you ﬁnd yourself in a situation where you’re in a disagreement with somebody or butting heads on an issue, ask this simple question. Would you be willing to search for a solution that is better than what either of us have proposed? Do all of these things and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a damn good role model and helping others ﬁnd their voice.
Okay. You found your voice, you’re expressing it and you become the condiment role model for your organization, things are cooking. Good for you. But there’s a reality that you can’t escape if you’re running an organization. Money. As Covey says, no margin, no mission. Here the things you need to do in order to get the entire team working towards the same goals. Covey calls the ﬁrst thing Path Finding. I’m going to make it pretty short and quick because I hoping that it’s a self evident thing for you. You need to include your team in creating your shared vision your values and you’re strategy. That’s pretty easy.
Alignment On to the next one, alignment. This is where the hard stu! begins. Great organizations ﬁnd ways to get each and every person pulling in the same direction, from the corner o "ce to the front line as they say. The reality is that you can’t be there to guide everybody through each and every decision that they have to make. Here are four disciplines that can help you close the gap between focus and execution. One, focus on the wildly important. People are naturally wired to be able to do only one thing at a time to a standard of excellence. Therefore, have only a few goals that are critical to your success. Number two, create a compelling score board for these goals so that everybody in your organization always knows the score. A funny thing happens when people know that the score is being kept. They play to win. Three, translate those lofty goals into speciﬁc actions. And four hold each other accountable all the time. Again, what Covey’s done here is boil the formula down to something very simple the very hard to do. Actually
implementing these four suggestions will take every ounce of your will power and discipline. But that’s what it takes. Okay, the last thing we’re going to talk about today is empowerment. We’re in a time and place that people are calling the knowledge age and things are di ! erent. One of the biggest di! erences is how we get the most value out of our work force. In the industrial age, it was all about e"ciency and boiling down a days worth of work into a simple work instruction. However as the work changes our approach has to change too. Covey argues that with knowledge workers we have to let go of control and become a servant leader. It’s holding people accountable for results but not the actions. As a servant leader he says you’d be running along the side your troops and asking the following ﬁve questions. How is it going, meaning what’s the score? What are you learning? What are your goals? How can I help you? And how am I doing as a helper/ leader?
Empowerment Okay, the last thing we’re going to talk about today is empowerment. We’re in a time and place that people are calling the knowledge age and things are di! erent. One of the biggest di! erences is how we get the most value out of our work force. In the industrial age, it was all about e"ciency and boiling down a days worth of work into a simple work instruction. However as the work changes our approach has to change too. Covey argues that with knowledge workers we have to let go of control and become a servant leader. It’s holding people accountable for results but not the actions. As a servant leader he says you’d be running along the side your troops and asking the following ﬁve questions. How is it going, meaning what’s the score? What are you learning? What are your goals? How can I help you? And how am I doing as a helper/ leader? The biggest thing with empowerment is to understand that you don’t have a monopoly on
the best ideas or on the best ways to get something done. You can hold their feet to the ﬁre when it comes to the results but when it comes to how something gets done let them decide their own course of action. And that my friend is how you ﬁnd your voice and inspire others to ﬁnd theirs too.
For more Information about this book and our other book summaries, visit: