How to Survive Sudden Leadership Challenges - Covey Has Some Clues
I have decided to start with this text as simply far too many people have said to me I should - it clearly has an enormous following of people who found the message rang true for them.
In the introduction to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Covey talks about how we perceive reality based on certain beliefs or paradigm.
As an example, he tells the story of a ship in a fog, apparently on a collision course with another craft. The captain, having become quite agitated at the other crafts refusal to alter course, experienced a significant paradigm shift when it was realised that the other craft was a lighthouse. The captain then faced a situation in a new light(no pun intended). His reality and behaviour altered by the new understanding. The message is that often we forget that what we think is reality, is only what we see. Just ask any magician!!
A strong thread through this first section is that people don't do things to you. They are acting on their reality in the same way as you are seeing motives behind their actions based on what you can see. When the feeling of being "done to" rises we too often look to blame something external. What Covey is saying, is that only by understanding the perceived reality of the do'er, can we find the common reality necessary to both appreciate the true middle ground.
This is not easy. When I have been in the position where I was sure someone was doing something just to get back at me, I struggle to even consider their position in any unfiltered light. I have needed someone I trust to take me aside and say "Listen Steve, no matter what you think, this person is doing this because they truly believe it for the good of the group". This was something I would not even had heard from the person in question, and frankly was not that easy to hear from my then trusted coach. Covey has a great quote "What you are shouts so loudly in my ears I cannot her what you say" -how many times has that been the case?
He speaks of an "inside-out" approach to problems, that means to start with ourselves and what?s happening on the inside. As an example this approach says that private victories precede public ones, that keeping promises to ourselves precedes keeping promises to others.
"Character is a composite of our habits"
"habits are the intersection of Knowledge, Skill and Desire."
These statements under pin the rest of the book.
Covey talks about three levels of maturity. Dependence where everything is about "you"(someone else) that we are dependent upon. Independence, where its all about I - I am responsible and I can do it. This is where I feel many leaders stop. With the confidence of only themselves they try to drive others to their dreams.
Interdependence is where its all about we. Being a natural introvert, this is something I have to learn. I am far more comfortable doing my stuff on my own. The thought of having to rely on others for part of my dreams does not feel natural. That may be a bit harsh, in fact there are a few individuals I have worked with where is has not been an issue of leadership, more of partnership. My issue is to expand these to a wider number of people.
Covey talks about how interdependence can feel like dependence and therefore not a step forward. Often phrased as "doing their own thing" or being liberated people move back from potential interdependence to independence.
The rest of the book is divided into three main parts. The first three chapters deal with taking people from dependence to independence. Now if you are like me, you think this is a step you have already taken. This maybe so, but these chapters are going to heighten our self awareness and cement us at or above the level of independence. Covey describes these as "Private Victories".
Habits four to seven are the "Public Victories" that will move us from independence to interdependence, and the last habit is about continuous improvement.
Covey then talks about efficiency as the necessary balance between return and investment. Or as he calls it Production and production Capacity (P/PC). An interesting quote here for me was "..always treat your employees as you would have them treat your best customers." He speaks of how you can employ people but the extra special part of the individual has to be won, passionate employees are there for more than the money, is the way I see it. This is where the interdependence and trusting those you work with all starts to come together.
The final message of the introduction is:
"No one can persuade another to change. Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside".
For me this is a moment of commitment. I feel that I have a choice here and now. I can leave the gate closed and go on as before, or open it and dive into the rest of this text... "and see how deep the rabbit hole goes" as Morpheus said.
Be brave, be famous.
Come with me as I discover the keys to surviving sudden leadership... 2leadership.com">http://2leadership.com
Signature (a Random House website) looks at the many 2018 Golden Globes nominees based on books:
It is officially that time of the year awards season is upon us. As usual, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has kicked things off with the announcement of the 2018 Golden Globe Awards nominees. The literary world is represented in this year's lineup with a smattering of great adaptations leading the charge in both film and TV. While the slate of nominees is populated with a few of the marquee titles you'd expect "Game of Thrones" got it's annual nod, for instance a few surprises cracked the surface as well. It looks to be another interesting year at the Golden Globes. Let's have a look.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year for 2017 is feminism. The word was a top lookup throughout the year, with several spikes that corresponded to various news reports and events.
In an opinion piece in the Irish Times, John Boyne writes:
So I'm going to make a claim now that will probably get me kicked out of the Fraternity of Underappreciated Male Authors (FUMA) and blacklisted from the annual Christmas football game. Here goes:
I think women are better novelists than men.
There, I've said it. While it's obviously an enormous generalisation, it's no more ludicrous than some half-wit proudly claiming never to read books by women. For the record, purporting to love literature while dismissing the work of female writers is like claiming to be passionate about music while refusing to listen to anything but Ed Sheeran. However, I'm going to try to back up my sweeping statement...
The great Simeon Booker, one of the bravest journalists of our time, faced dangers far worse than a petulant president's social media feed. Booker refused to be cowed--and ultimately helped change the nation. His life's work should be a lesson to us all about the power of truth to vanquish evil.
Booker died Sunday at 99. At the height of his career, few could have imagined he would live so long.
As Washington bureau chief for Chicago-based Johnson Publications, publisher of the newsweekly Jet and the monthly magazine Ebony, Booker went to the Deep South to cover the most tumultuous events of the civil rights movement--life-threatening work for an African American journalist.
William H. Gass, a proudly postmodern author who valued form and language more than literary conventions like plot and character and who had a broad influence on other experimental writers of the 1960s, '70s and beyond, died on Wednesday in St. Louis. He was 93.
Mr. Gass was widely credited with coining the term "metafiction" to describe writing in which the author is part of the story. He himself was one of the form's foremost practitioners.
Barnes & Noble, which posted a wider loss last quarter and sent its shares tumbling, is scaling back ambitions to become more than a bookseller.
The retailer had hoped that toys, games and other items would shore up its results, especially as Amazon ate away at its traditional business. But its non-book sales have flagged the past two quarters, and now the company is putting its focus back firmly on reading.
Shelf Awareness reports on the growing "Cider Monday" movement by indie booksellers in response to the big online shopping day known as Cyber Monday. In this low key but fun event stores offer their customers "a warm welcome and a cup of delicious cider" to thank them for shopping local.
Dictionary.com's choice for its Word of the Year is "complicit." It says online searches for the word spiked three times this year...
On Saturday, hundreds of booksellers across the USA took part in Indies First and Small Business Saturday, organizing all kinds of in-store activities, offering a range of deals, hosting parties and engaging in the staple of Indies First since the event was founded by Sherman Alexie in 2013: having authors work in their favorite indies as booksellers. Shelf Awareness reports on some of the events.
Meanwhile, in the UK, bookstores celebrated the first inaugural Saturday Sanctuary
to "celebrate bookshops as a place of calm and respite from our hectic daily lives."
A New York Times opinion piece by Daniel T. Willingham lays out the argument that American's poor reading skills cannot be blamed on modern technology but on a misunderstanding of how the mind reads - that functional literary is grounded not just in the ability to read words but in having the factual knowledge to put what one is reading into context.