Habit 4, Think Win-Win, Paradigms Of Interdependence

Author’s quotes:

“We should remember that effective interdependence can only be built on a foundation of true independence.

We’re dealing with a very dramatic and very fundamental paradigm shift here. You may try to lubricate your social interactions with personality techniques and skills, but in the process, you may truncate the vital character base. You can’t have the fruits without the roots. It’s the principle of sequencing: Self-mastery and self-discipline are the foundation of good relationships with others.

Some people say that you have to like yourself before you can like others. I think that idea has merit, but if you don’t know yourself, if you don’t control yourself, if you don’t have mastery over yourself, it’s very hard to like yourself, except in some short-term, psych-up, superficial way.

Real self-respect comes from dominion over self, from true independence. And that’s the focus of Habits 1, 2, and 3. Independence is an achievement. Interdependence is a choice only independent people can make. Unless we are willing to achieve real independence, it’s foolish to try to develop human relations skills. We might try. We might even have some degree of success when the sun is shining. But when the difficult times come—and they will—we won’t have the foundation to keep things together.

The most important ingredient we put into any relationship is not what we say or what we do, but what we are. And if our words and our actions come from superficial human relations techniques (the Personality Ethic) rather than from our own inner core (the Character Ethic), others will sense that duplicity. We simply won’t be able to create and sustain the foundation necessary for effective interdependence.

The techniques and skills that really make a difference in human interaction are the ones that almost naturally flow from a truly independent character. So the place to begin building any relationship is inside ourselves, inside our Circle of Influence, our own character. As we become independent—proactive, centered in correct principles, value driven and able to organize and execute around the priorities in our life with integrity—we then can choose to become interdependent—capable of building rich, enduring, high productive relationships with other people.”

Personal comments:

Two examples of those who had not developed their independence:

One boss demonstrated his failure to develop his independence with his public/private outbursts about disloyal, lazy, incapable employees then, at times, would endure a public tongue-lashing from a subordinate, without consequence. Interdependence efforts were a façade used to win favors.

Another was a staff member, involved with setting employee pay ranges (with other staff members), was unable to explain to his employees why pay ranges existed. When they complained, he would stop by my office, and asked that the staff meet to redo the pay ranges. Didn’t matter that the staff had done that many times. His independence had not developed, and being liked was his first concern.

Effective independence, and effective interpersonal skill hinges on self-principles, and self-discipline.

Next: Habit 4
Think Win-Win
The Emotional Bank Account

Habit 3, Put First Things First, Principles Of Personal Management, Becoming A Quadrant II Self-Manager

Personal comments:

This will be my last post concerning Quadrant II, and Habit 3. We need to move on to new “fertile” ground.

Author’s quotes:

“Quadrant II organizing involves four key activities.

IDENTIFYING ROLES. The first task is to write down your key roles. If you haven’t really given seriously thought to the roles in your life, you can write down what immediately comes to mind (family member, work, church, community affairs, etc.).

You don’t need to worry about defining the roles in a way that you will live with for the rest of your life—just consider the week and write down the areas you see your self spending time in during seven days.

SELECTING GOALS. The next step is to think of two or three important results you feel you should accomplish in each role during the next seven days.

SCHEDULING. Now you can look at the week ahead with your goals in mind and schedule time to achieve them (blocks of time).

DAILY ADAPTING. With Quadrant II weekly organizing, daily planning becomes more a function of daily adapting, of prioritizing activities and responding to unanticipated events, relationships, and experiences in a meaningful way.

Taking a few minutes each morning to review your schedule can put you in touch with the value-based decisions you made as you organized the week as well as unanticipated factors that may have come up.

Personal comments:

Covey has much more to say about Quadrant II self-managing so, if interested, the book is still available.

Quadrant II organizing is a fundamental need for helping a leader understand the people dimension which in turn, if understood, increases the potential for growth, success, happiness, and TRUST. How many people, in your daily interactions, do you trust? Most of us would say that, at one time, we had a high level of trust, but not now.

Covey says to, “think of two or three important results in each role we play”, but my feeling is quality is much more important than numbers. A high quality goal is better than 2, 3, or 4 lower quality goals.

Next: Habit 4
Think Win-Win
Paradigms Of Interdependence

Habit 3, Put First Things First, Principles Of Personal Management, The Quadrant II Tool

Author’s quotes:

“The objective of Quadrant II management is to manage our lives effectively—from a center of sound principles, from a knowledge of our personal mission, with a focus on the important as well as the urgent, and within the framework of maintaining a balance between increasing our production and increasing our production capability.

A Quadrant II organizer will need to meet six important criteria.

COHERENCE. Coherence suggests that there is a harmony, unity, and integrity between your vision and mission, your roles and goals, your priorities and plans, and your desires and discipline. In your planner, there should be a place for you personal mission statement so that you can constantly refer to it. There also needs to be a place for your roles and for both short- and long-term goals.

BALANCE. Your tool should help you to keep balance in your life, to identify your various roles and keep them right in front of you, so that you don’t neglect important areas such as your health, your family, professional preparation, or personal development.

QUADRANT II FOCUS. You need a tool that encourages you, motivates you, actually helps you spend the time you need in Quadrant II, to that you’re dealing with the prevention rather than prioritizing crises. In my opinion, the best way to so this is to organize your life on a weekly basis. You can still adapt and prioritize on a daily basis, but the fundamental thrust is organizing the week.

Organizing on a weekly basis provides much greater balance and context than daily planning.

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

A ‘PEOPLE’ DIMENSION. You also need a tool that deals with people, not just schedules. While you can think in terms of efficiency in dealing with time, a principle-centered person thinks in terms of effectiveness in dealing with people. There are times when principle-centered Quadrant II living requires the subordination of schedules to people. Your tool needs to reflect that value, to facilitate implementation rather than create guilt when a schedule is not followed.

FLEXIBILITY. Your planning tool should be your servant, never your master. Since it has to work for you, it should be tailored to your style, your needs, your particular ways.

PORTABILITY. Your tool should also be portable, so that you carry it with you most of the time. You may want to review your personal mission statement while riding the bus. If your organizer is portable, you will keep it with you so that important data is always within reach.”

Personal comments:

As a human resource guy, I’ve focused on PEOPLE DIMENSION, the most rewarding part of my work.

For those who experience rewards in other aspects of work there needs to be a strong effort to ensure the use of the PEOPLE DIMENSION tool. My experience found this dimension sorely lacking in management types. The results were obvious; lower trust, lower productivity, less communication, more finger pointing, more CYA…

Next: Habit 3
Put First Things First,
Principles Of Personal Management
Becoming A Quadrant II Self-Manager

Habit 3, Put First Things First, Principles Of Personal Management, Moving Into Quadrant II

Personal comments:

I’m reading, “A Perfect Gift” by Ted Gup (a wonderful book that every generation should read) that tells the story, via letters, of the suffering that occurred during the Great Depression. In the book Ted quoted poet Edmund Vance Cook’s poem entitled, “How Did You Die?” It applies to the message I’m attempting to convey about leadership, so I quote it here:

“Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute and cheerful heart?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it.
And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts.
But only how did you take it?”

So what’s the connection? True leadership is a lonely place to be, and how we respond to this loneliness, and to the role of a true leader, is the essence of it.

“Leaders are like eagles; they don’t flock; you find them one at a time”

Author’ quotes:

“If Quadrant II activities are clearly the heart of effective personal management—the ‘first things’ we need to put first—then how do we organize and execute around those things?

First generation of time management does not even recognize the concept of priority. It gives us notes and ‘to do’ lists that we can cross off, and we feel a temporary sense of accomplishment every time we check something off, but no priority is attached to items on the list.

But first-generation managers, by definition, are not effective people. They produce very little, and their life-style does nothing to build their production capability.

Second-generation managers assume a little more control. They plan and schedule in advance and generally are seen as more responsible because they ‘show up’ when they’re supposed to.

But again, the activities they schedule have no priority or recognized correlation to deeper values and goals.

Third-generation managers take a significant step forward. They clarify their values and set goals. They plan each day and prioritize their activities.

But this third generation has some critical limitations. First it limits vision—daily planning often misses important things that can only be seen from a larger perspective. While third generation prioritization provides order to activity, it doesn’t question the essential importance of the activity in the first place—it doesn’t place the activity in the context of principles, personal mission, roles and goals.

While each of the three generations has recognized the value of some kind of management tool, none has produced a tool that empowers a person to live a principle-centered, Quadrant II life-style.”

Next: Habit 3
Put First Things First,
Principles Of Personal Management
The Quadrant II Tool

Habit 3, Put First Things First, Principles Of Personal Management, What It Takes To Say “NO”

Author’s quotes:

“The only place to get time for Quadrant II in the beginning is from Quadrant III and IV. You can’t ignore the urgent and important activities of Quadrant I, although it will shrink in size as you spend more time with prevention and preparation in Quadrant II.

You have to be proactive to work on Quadrant II because Quadrants I and III work on you. To say ‘yes’ to important Quadrant II priorities, you have to learn to say “no” to other activities, sometimes apparently urgent things.

We say “yes” or “no” to things daily, usually many times a day. A center of correct principles and a focus on our personal mission empowers us with wisdom to make those judgments effectively.

As I work with different groups, I tell them that the essence of effective time and life management is to organize and execute around balanced priorities. Then I ask this question: if you were to fault yourself in one of three areas, which would it be: (1) the inability to prioritize; (2) the inability or desire to organize around those priorities; or (3) the lack of discipline to execute around them, to stay with your priorities and organization?

Most people say their main fault is a lack of discipline. On deeper thought, I believe that is not the case. The basic problem is that their priorities have not become deeply planted in their hearts and minds. They haven’t really internalized Habit 2.

There are many people who recognize the value of Quadrant II activities in their lives, whether they identify them as such or not. And they attempt to give priority to those activities and integrate them into their lives through self-discipline alone. But without a principle center and a personal mission statement, then don’t have the necessary foundation to sustain their efforts.

A Quadrant II focus is a paradigm that grows out of a principle center. If you are centered on your spouse, your money, your friends, your pleasure, or any extrinsic factor, you will keep getting thrown back into Quadrants I, and III reacting to the outside forces your life is centered on.

In the words of the architectural maxim, form follows function. Likewise, management follows leadership. The way you spend time is a result of the way you see your time and the way you really see your priorities. If your priorities grow out of a principle center and a personal mission, if they are deeply planted in your heart and in your mind, you will see Quadrant II as a natural, exciting place to invest your time.

It’s as almost impossible to say “no” to the popularity of Quadrant III or to the pleasure of escape to Quadrant IV if you don’t have a bigger “yes” burning inside. Only when you have the self-awareness to examine your program—and the imagination and conscience to create a new, unique, principle-centered program to which you can say “yes”—only then will you have sufficient independent will power to say “no,” with a genuine smile, to the unimportant.”

Personal comments:

Briefly, many manager-types think a title gives them special privileges, and they turn from human to sub-human. Instead of being self-aware enough to use their imagination and conscience to create a principle-centered program, they become highly ineffective.

As Covey states it, “Management follows LEADERSHIP.”

“Leaders are like eagles; they don’t flock; you find them one at a time”

Next: Habit 3
Put First Things First,
Principles Of Personal Management
Moving Into Quadrant II