For those wishing to step up in terms of personal and professional effectiveness, here is the start of a pathway and the first two insights that have stood the test of time. The first step is to do what Covey describes as “Start with the end in mind.” That is, I suggest you take the time to step back from the hectic hustle and bustle of day-to-day existence and ask, “Where do I want to end up? What do I want to be the legacy of my having lived and been on this planet?” For me, the most powerful way to get this sense of “end in mind” is to craft a Core Purpose Statement. This can be understood in the following powerful way: Imagine you are in spirit at your own funeral at some point down the line and someone really close to you was delivering your eulogy, but they could only say it in one short sentence. What would you most want to hear them say? That is your core purpose statement. It is the “end” you are aiming for – the elegant summation of what your life has been about.
Taking that first step is very powerful and there is a reason it come first. Without that clarity and focus, it is very easy to get lost in the day to day transactions of the work-a-day world and our busy home lives. By getting this step handled, taking the time to clarity your core purpose, you center yourself and your life in what matters most to you. That makes you more effective since you are now being guided and informed by what is most important not what is most expedient or urgent. This one step alone tends to make those I coach and work with become even more effective and powerful in their personal and professional lives.
The 2nd step to take is to keep in mind the injunction that “what you sow is what you reap.” In other words, a process does not lead to a dissimilar process. For example, if you want strawberries, you plant strawberry plants not cabbage plants. This biblical insight actually works like “spiritual law” in terms of this is how things really work in this world of ours. If we want respect then we need to be showing respect to others. If we want love then we need to be expressing love. Anger will only lead to more anger and not love. Vengeful thoughts only lead to experiencing more emotional pain and suffering. The key question then becomes, “What are you putting out into the world as an individual, as a leader, as a family member and/or as part of on organization?”
So here are two powerful foundational steps to becoming more effective and a “force of nature” in your relationships and interactions. First, take the time to clarity your core purpose and then reflect on it every day at the beginning and ending, upon awakening and before going to sleep. Second, in all of your interactions be mindful of treating others with respect, dignity, compassion and caring. What you are putting out there to others ultimately comes back to you as the current saying goes, “What goes around comes around.” All of the other steps that follow are merely tools then to leveraging these two critical fist steps.
Next Blog: Steps 3-5 in Creating Greater Effectiveness