(via Timeless Success Recipes From Stephen Covey | Fast Company)
- Encourage critical thinking during meetings. I ask for evidence behind every opportunity or problem. I seldom allow hearsay or gossip to drive my own strategic choices or my clients’. When I stray from this philosophy and make irrational, knee-jerk choices, I lose clients and create unnecessary tension. Covey says in The 8th Habit, “between stimulus and response there is a space where we choose our response.”
- I constantly strive for deeper meaning and purpose. While some of my contemporaries become enamored with the latest marketing automation, performance management, or social media platforms, I strive to stay grounded in my life’s true purpose. Generating more leads or driving higher EBITDA are not examples of a noble purpose. Automated performance management and stack ranking programs have proven to be a hornet’s nest, because they often stray from a company’s purpose and assume that some people will always be worthy of termination. Are these ideas holding your company back from reaching its true potential?
- I strive to eliminate the hourly worker mindset forever. Covey opened my eyes to the foolishness of our Industrial Age thinking. In The 8th Habit, he described the four Industrial Age maladies:
—“The belief that you must control people;
—Our view of accounting (People are an expense; machines are assets);
—The carrot-and-stick motivational philosophy; and
—Centralized budgeting … a reactive approach that produces ‘kiss-up’ cultures bent on ‘spending it so we won’t lose it next year.’”
- I schedule time for self-reflection every day. This may mean a five-minute check in with a colleague or my husband, but it gets done. During my CMO peer meetings, I encourage each member to provide a “check in”: What’s different from our last meeting? What worked in your performance? What didn’t work? What are you celebrating? Self-knowledge must take front and center position to text messaging, email, and tweeting. The majority of senior executives I meet confess that reflection is often rejected in favor of addressing the crisis du jour (the urgent versus the important). Picasso once said that “without great solitude no serious work is possible.” Perhaps he and Covey conspired at some point to help us strike more balance in our lives.