The 7 Habits Recap

We are speeding toward the fourth quarter and managers at all levels are wondering if the company will reach its 2015 goals.

To better understand where you are—and what you need to do in the fourth quarter—ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the year-to-date numbers and what is in the funnel for the last part of 2015?
  • Will you reach your sales goals?
  • What projects did you commit to finishing in 2015 that might slip into 2016?
  • What relationships did you commit to develop that have been put on the back-burner?
  • What strategic initiatives have you committed to starting that are still in the concept phase?
  • If you have already met your goals, did you reset a new stretch-goal?
  • If you are in management, what do you need to do to help your team reach their goals and thereby reach the company goals?
  • Who is going to President’s Club and who is on the cusp of qualifying that could use a little nudge?

All of us have unfinished business for 2015 because, as is typical, the initiative of the new year faded into the cadence of everyday work and we lost track of our goals.

It is time to reset and re-calibrate with a quick recap of the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and see where we can adjust our work to align better with our goals.

The 7 HabitsSeven Habits Recap

Remember the 7 Habits Series I wrote last year? Here is a refresher course.

Habit 1 – Be Proactive in UC Strategy

  • Eighty percent of enterprise investments in UC projects will not be guided by a governing UC strategy and roadmap because we spend more time putting out more fires than we do being proactive.
  • Your time and your network bandwidth are two of your most precious commodities.
  • You have to be proactive to protect end-user quality of experience.

Habit #2, Begin with the End in Mind

  • Where you are headed will either be dictated by you or by the most pressing issue of the day, if you only do what comes up you will not get where you want to go.
  • Strategy should consume 15-25 percent of a good executive’s time . That equates to at least one day per week on strategy.
  • Culture happens when we deliberately apply our mission, values, and strategy toward a pre-determined outcome.
  • You need to move the Should Do Items on your list to Must Do Items, or they will never get done; we never do what we should do, we always do what we must do.

HABIT #3 – Putting First Things First and Prioritize Tasks

  • Each task that comes to our desk needs to be triaged and inserted deliberately into our day’s plan.
  • When we triage well and prioritize our tasks, we can be sure we are doing the most important thing right now.
  • The idea of “Mind Like Water” means we give each task exactly the amount of time and energy it deserves and no more or no less so we are the most productive and efficient each day.
  • By assessing the size, effect, and value of each task, interruption, distraction, project, disappointment, and success we can rank them and react in perfect proportion.

Habit #4 – Think Win-Win

  • Think win-win is a change in philosophy; it is amazing what can be done when we don’t worry about who gets credit for the success.
  • Win-Win for the end-users in a UC environment means the technology works and makes their lives easier.
  • End-users don’t care about the technological miracle it took to make UC function so we should stop worrying that they don’t understand how hard our jobs are and just focus on their experience.
  • Make the technology so simple to use that adoption levels are high. This is how we get the ROI we want on our projects.
  • Once users can’t live without the technology, they also can’t live without the technologist.

HABIT #5 – Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

  • Ask more questions and listen to the answers.
  • You have to understand the answer to one question: How do your customer’s use technology to make more money? Remember your customers can be internal or external.
  • Miscommunication happens all the time, expect it, plan for it, and mitigate it.

HABIT 6 Synergize

  • The whole is greater than the sum of the parts when you have real synergy.
  • A championship team is more than just great players.
  • Synergy requires shared goals, single-minded focus, and a large degree of unselfishness.
  • Positive energy is the key to creating and maintaining synergy.

Habit #7 Sharpen the Saw

  • Sharpen the saw by finding some measure of balance in your life.
  • Continuous improvement, the “upward spiral,” as Stephen Covey calls it, comes by relaxing and taking some time away from our work to help us work better.
  • There are four primary areas for personal renewal: Physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual renewal.

Habit #7 Sharpen the Saw – part 2

  • Steve Jobs said “And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
  • Physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual renewal makes our work and personal lives richer and more fulfilling.
  • Sharpening the saw is vital in becoming highly effective leaders.

It is never too late to do the right things to become highly effective. If you have stayed the course in 2015, congratulations!

Now ask yourself how you can help other members of your team become more effective. If you have fallen short, start today with the processes the 7 habits:

  1. Be proactive;
  2. Begin with the end in mind;
  3. Put first things first;
  4. Think win-win;
  5. Seek to first understand and the be understood;
  6. Synergize; and
  7. Sharpen the saw.

If you do these seven things, you will find the self-actualized fulfillment all leaders crave.
Good luck and keep improving!

Doug Tolley (15 Blog Posts)

Doug Tolley is the Business Development Director for LVM, Inc. He has 20 years of experience in Business Development, Sales and Consulting, and Project Management in a wide variety of businesses with a primary emphasis on IT.

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