It is not news that if we do not actively live our lives, it will be lived for us. Steven Covey designed habit 2 “begin with the end in mind” and habit 3 “put first things first” as a reason for us to stop and actually design our life. If we understand where we would like to end up we can set our day-to-day goals accordingly. We will then set our life goals accordingly. But first, imagine and decide what you want your life to be like. What values do you believe in and will agree to live by? This focus is why personal, family, company and department mission statements are designed for.
The Leader in Me is a program that teaches elementary student’s all eight habits. In the book, The Leader in Me: How Schools Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time it says “Today’s young people are constantly pressured by media and their peers into becoming something other than what they in their heart of hearts want to be.”
What does that mean? If we let outside influencers take over the lives of our kids and/or ourselves we are no longer actively living our life. Imagine how teaching that to young students can positively affect their lives. They become the maters of their own destiny rather than the TV, friends or even family. Think of the cycle we could stop just by teaching these principles to the next generation. Think of the time, energy, money and emotion they could save.
It can be hard to see straight, life gets hard and people get side tracked. It is during these times we need to have a strong personal mission statement and the resolve to stick by it.
David Grady asks you to examine the way you accept meetings at work. Companies generally have one rule, make money. What that looks like will be different for every company. But there is one challenge most of us face, mindlessly accepting meetings. I look back on meetings I have attended and have wondered how the content discussed in that meeting helped me make more money for my company. Next time a meeting pops up:
- Stop and think about the meeting’s agenda
- Does it bring you closer to your performance goals? If your answer was no, proceed to the next point.
- Did you attend anyway?
If you mindlessly accept and attend enough meetings it changes the way you spend your time. If you end up in too many irrelevant meetings then you lose time and may have to find a way to make it up. Maybe you stay late, come in early or you skip a meeting you really should attend. If you spend more time at the office there is less time for your family.
If we continue to accept meetings how can you expect your children to spend less time mindlessly in front of the TV? If given enough time it begins to dull the senses. Your children look up to you as a leader in the family. Teach them how to become the masters of their own lives and teach them to control their own destiny.
Remember, time management and prioritization are important management skills; vision and the drive to get things done are attributes of a leader.