Thursday, October 21, 2010


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dear Mentee.

I’m sure you’ve read Covey’s 7 Habits. In that book Covey divides the habits into two main categories. The first category is called Personal Victories and the second is called Public Victories. The basic idea is that you must first have some victories with yourself before you can worry about having victories with the others.
The Habits:
• Habit 1: Be Proactive: Principles of Personal Vision
• Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind: Principles of Personal Leadership
• Habit 3: Put First Things First: Principles of Personal Management
• Habit 4: Think Win/Win: Principles of Interpersonal Leadership
• Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: Principles of Empathetic Communication
• Habit 6: Synergize: Principles of Creative Communication
• Habit 7: Sharpen your Saw: Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal
As you can see Covey just reiterates what the ancient Greek knew and tried to teach the world some 3,000 ago: KNOW YOUR SELF! One must have won a victory over one’s own SELF by having clear (a) Personal Vision, (b) Personal Leadership and (c) Personal Management. How does one know if one has won that personal victory? By introspection: by looking INTO one’s own self.


I’d advise you to take a day or two and do a “life review.” Sit in front of your computer or a recording device and start typing or talking like you are talking to somebody who would do a book on you. Try to highlight some “Critical Incidents,” i.e, occasions that changed your life for better or for worse. Get a flip chart and write the answers to the following questions:
(1) What things will you do again if you had the chance to relive the situation?
(2) What things will you definitely NOT do?
(3) What things will you do differently and how?
Then after looking over these things and do some honest introspection try to formulate the lessons you had learned.
Do these things chronologically and create a table for each time period and/or jobs.

This brief life review will give you an idea about
(1) What things you did over which YOU had relatively HIGH control and how they turned out and
(2) What things you did over which you had relatively LITTLE control and how they turned out.

After you’ve studied these things for a while you will know a few things about yourself that you didn’t know before. In addition indirectly you’ll know some things about the organizations or companies you worked with and their corporate cultures.

Now that you know your PAST turn your attention to the FUTURE.

Your New Job

Before starting to do your 2011 planning make sure you
(1) Know as much about your organization as possible by looking at its
(a) history
(b) financial performance
(c) customer base
(d) customer satisfaction
(e) hierarchy
(f) corporate culture
(g) surveys on employee satisfaction
(h) surveys on corporate climate
[If you haven’t ANY surveys then do them ASAP]

(2) Now that you know your organization, set down and describe to yourself the TASK for which you’ve been selected or hired.
(3) Describe the TASK to a third party and make sure he or she understands what is that you are supposed to do.
(4) After you’ve formulated a good description of your task set three priorities and three short term goals that reflect the deliverables as you understand them and choose the appropriate metrics that indicate the degree of accomplishment.
(5) Finally ask for a meeting with your partner or your board and present your UNDERSTANDING of the task that you are about to begin. Ask for an agreement so that BOTH of you will be on the same page.

I know it’s difficult to do what I’m asking you to do. I do think however it is necessary.

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