A simple strategy for effective organizational leadership
In Stephen Covey’s book First Things First the author asserts that, “If we want to create significant change in the results, we can’t just change attitudes and behaviors, methods or techniques; we have to change the basic paradigms out of which they grow.” Wow, that idea is a mouthful! In 1994 after having read Covey’s landmark book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar given by the author on his new book, First Things First. I think it fair to say most of us who signed up for that day thought we were attending a time management exercise … we were wrong. Among Covey’s ideas is that how we SEE the world or situations around us determines what we DO, and what we do determines what we GET, or the outcome. It’s deceptively simple concept and one that I’ve re-learned many times in my career, as an employee, peer and as a leader within an organization.
Regardless of my perspective within a company, whether from my position as an employee, as a leader, or even as a peer within a leadership structure, how I view what’s going on influences what I do. We all have biases and life experiences that color how we see the world, events, and others around us. Recognizing that fact is the first step in realizing that what I’m getting from the world, an activity, or how someone is interacting with me is influencing the outcome, good or bad. I can only hope to influence the world, activity or person. How I see the situation, circumstance or the other person’s point of view has to be the first thing I address. When I change how I SEE what’s going on, amazingly, all kinds of new options for what to DO present themselves. Now the results, or what I GET, change.
Change what we SEE and what we GET will change, too.