Tag Archives: Stephen Covey

Leadership, Where do I start?

When it comes to the subject of leadership it can be hard to figure out where to start, especially if you’re new to the subject.

Resolved-Book

One of the best books I’ve ever read on the subject of leadership is RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE By Inc. Magazine’s top 20 leadership expert Orrin Woodward! In his book, Orrin discusses leadership through 13 resolutions divided into three phases.  The three phases of leadership build on each other; first, through private achievements then moving into public achievements and finally culminating with leadership achievements. In this post I’d like to discuss the first resolution as a foundation for the rest;  Resolution 1: Purpose.  Before I continue I want to inform you, the reader that I am not writing this as a person who has this totally figured out.  Rather, I am writing this because I am in the process of figuring these things out just like you.

Resolution 1: I resolve to discover my God-given purpose.  I know that when my potential, Passions, and Profits intersect, my purpose is revealed.

“Sadly, many will live their entire life without purpose, allowing life to lead them rather than leading their lives.” –Orrin Woodward  We must first find the place where potential and passions intersect with profits in order to find our purpose. God has placed within each person specific passions and potential to use those passions. When you can find or create an income (profits) to be able to do the things you’re passionate about; That is where your purpose can be found and accomplished.

WHY?  Why work on improving in my leadership skills.  Why go through all the tough trials to get better?  Why put myself (and potentially others) through the hardships I know I will face?   These are important questions that must be answered before one can move forward in his/her leadership journey.   These are foundational questions.

Without a purpose, a dream, a bigger driving force, there will be no reason to make the tough or even the small, daily decisions ahead.  There will be no overarching, higher purpose to propel you forward. Stephen Covey called it the “big rocks first” principle. Steve Jobs called it a “hedgehog” purpose/principle.  By aligning your decisions with your purpose you can make better decisions to propel you toward your purpose faster.  This also makes decision making much easier.  Orrin quotes Steven Covey in this chapter on purpose; “…If something is important, it contributes to your mission, your values, your high priority goals.”

Time Management is made easier by clearly understanding your own mission, values, and high priority goals.  One of the best time management tools I’ve ever used is described through a conversation between Charles Schwab of the Bethlehem Steel Company and Mr. Ivy Lee who is considered by most to be corporate America’s first public relations man in the early twentieth century.  Ivy Lee called on Schwab and through a 25 minute conversation tells him to write down at the end of every day the top five things that need to be done tomorrow, giving each a numbered priority.  Lee then tells Schwab to work on the most important thing on that list untill it is finished or nothing else can be done toward it.  Schwab is told to complete this pattern for each of the top 5 most important things each and every day.  Lee’s parting words to Schwab were “spend the last 5 minutes of every working day making out a “must-do” list for thge next day’s tasks. After you’ve convinced yourself of the worth of this method, have your people try it. Try it out as long as you wish and then send me a check for what YOU think it’s worth”  After 2 weeks of implementing this “top 5 to-do list” method, Schwab send Lee a check for $25, 000!  At $1,000 per hour, that’s a 25 minutes well invested, don’t you think?

Understanding your God-given purpose, your values, and your high priority goals will help you say “no” to the good so that you can say “yes” to the great.  It will help you replace the urgent with the important.  It will guide you through each and every day to help you live the life you’ve always wanted!

So begin today, take the next week if you must, and start asking yourself the important questions.  Figure out where your passion and potential intersect with profits and you will be well on your way toward living your life intentionally for excellence!

I hope and pray that what I’m learning can also help you on your leadership journey,

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Philip Brittain
PBO at LIFE Leadaership
Philip@life-leadershift.com
http://www.life-leadershift.com
 

If you’d like to purchase a copy of Orrin’s book, RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, You can do so easily by visiting my online store.

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The story of the LIFE Business

Please enjoy this great post by Orrin Woodward.

LIFE Business Story

The LIFE Business is an ongoing story. Each person who joins the LIFE community chooses which part, whether large or small, he or she will play. What happens when a world-renowned best-selling author is introduced to LIFE and begins studying the history of this movement? The short answer is a compelling story of hopes, dreams, struggles, failures, perseverance, and finally victory. Thankfully, he has decided to write up the story of LIFE. In my opinion, it is great timing because never before has a LeaderShift been more needed than now. Indeed, this is exactly what the LIFE community intends to do – create a leadershift! Here is a portion of the introduction in his upcoming book about LIFE. What part will you play in the story?

Sincerely

Orrin Woodward

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LIFE Business Major Convention

LIFE Business Introduction

The fate of free enterprise is very much in doubt. By the first decade of the 21st Century, critics of free enterprise and modern democratic freedom had convinced many people that free enterprise is an outdated system, one that cares more about corporate profits than economic opportunity for everyone.

This problem was the result of a split between two approaches to free enterprise, the traditional type of freedom based on the cooperation of idealists and realists to share profits so everyone has the chance to succeed financially, versus a more cutthroat corporatist emphasis on what we might call “Skeptical Pragmatism,” or doing whatever is deemed most profitable regardless of who it hurts, and keeping most of the profits for a few elites.

In the midst of this growing divide, it was perhaps inevitable that new companies would arise to challenge the shift toward corporatism, and to once again champion traditional free enterprise. It is against this backdrop that the story of the LIFE business began.

It is a story set in a business world created by the likes of Jack Welch, Sam Walton, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. I will state my almost preposterous thesis here and now, as controversial as it may seem: Had history developed just slightly differently, the other names on this list would be those who created and expanded network marketing.

Indeed, network marketing should have been as big as WalMart. It would have been, except too many people at the top asked themselves, “Why would we only take a 10% profit when we could take 30%?”

The story of the LIFE business is the exact opposite. The top leaders asked, “Why would we take 30% of the profit when we could earn 10% and pass the rest to others in the business?”

Why would anyone do this? Did they miss the memo? Did they skip the unofficial lessons of many prestigious business schools?

Did they misunderstand capitalism? Or were they just less experienced, ambitious or visionary than their competitors on Wall Street?

This is the story of a company that dared to do it differently, to apply Sam Walton-like thinking to network marketing. Moreover, instead of soap, health drinks or other typical network marketing products, this is the story of a company that chose to build its central product line around the most American of exports—leadership.

This is not a story of perfect men or women, or a feel-good tale of continual success without major difficulties. Far from it. This is a story of men and women, ordinary individuals who faced extraordinary challenges with hard work, resilience, and, above all, persistence.

It is a story of people who believed in an idea, and who refused to let it go—even when it almost cost them everything. It is a story of a few men and women who would not bend to the “normal” business trends that created elitism and corporatism in the modern economy. Some may say it is a story of courage, while others might argue that more “sophisticated” businessmen wouldn’t have so stubbornly held to their ideals and risked it all.

But whatever else it is, this is a story about families, friendships, and principles. In a way, it would more naturally fit into the storylines of past centuries, where leaders were expected to stand up, stand out, take on the establishment and blaze new trails based on firmly-held beliefs. In our modern world of political correctness, group therapy, management by committee, and the drive to “fit in” and pursue popularity at all costs, the concept of standing up against the system because “it’s the right thing to do” may seem amusingly archaic to some people.

Yet that is exactly how LIFE came about. This is the story of a leader, indeed of a team of leaders, who set out to build a widespread community of leaders. And while such a story may feel anachronistic in the 21st Century, it may just be the type of story that will redeem this generation.

Could it be that the “success bias” of our modern world is desperately in need of what Stephen Covey called “the character ethic?” Do we live in a world where the most important leadership principle is a desperately-needed acknowledgement that character counts? If so, the story of the LIFE business is a story for our times.

It is a story unfinished, however. The more time I spent interviewing the main characters, researching and studying the events, documents and details of this story, the more I felt that writing this story was like writing about Sam Walton in the 1960s, before WalMart was a worldwide phenomenon. While the future of LIFE remains to be seen, the unique beginning of this business is a story worth telling in its own right. To paraphrase Santayana, the future remains in the future, and the best we can do is learn (hopefully) from the past.

Whatever your business or career, your level of education or status in society, the story of the LIFE business is a case study of what can happen when an ancient set of leadership principles (based on idealism, frugality, hard work and integrity) are applied in a modern business environment dominated by pragmatism. Every modern leader struggles with this very challenge, and this story is therefore deeply relevant for today’s leaders in every sector and field.

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Expanding the Leadership Culture

As a starting point for this blog I thought it would be fitting to share something that Stephen R. Covey said in his book The 8th Habit

“It will be those organizations that reach a critical mass of people and teams expressing their full voice that will achieve next-level breakthrough in productivity, innovation and leadership in the marketplace and society.”

This is precisely what the LIFE Business is doing.  Thanks to Orrin Woodward and the other founders of LIFE who have paved the way for the rest of us, we now have a systematic, franchise style business that is producing the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs that will be the catalyst for restoring the values in our culture that have been ripped away and lost over the last several decades!

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