Habit 1 Be Proactive
“The difference between people who exercise initiative and those who don’t is literally the difference between night and day. I’m not talking about a 25 to 50 percent difference in effectiveness; I’m talking about a 5000-PLUS percent difference, particularly if they are smart, aware, and sensitive to others.
It takes initiative to create the P/PC Balance of effectiveness in your life. It takes initiative to develop the Seven Habits. As you study the other six habits, you will see that each depends on the development of your proactive muscles. Each puts the responsibility on you to act. If you wait to be acted upon, you WILL be acted upon. And growth and opportunity consequences attend either road.
Businesses, community groups, organization of every kind—including families—can be proactive. They can combine the creativity and resourcefulness of proactive individuals to create a proactive culture with the organization. The organization does not have to be at the mercy of the environment; it can take the initiative to accomplish the shared values and purposes of the individuals involved.”
The difference between my government experiences compared to my business experiences is quite striking.
Proactivity, as Covey defines it is absent in my local government. There are several reasons for that, but most striking is lack of leadership, and a vision. It seems as though there is the feeling of lets “go along to get along”. Having said that there are those on the periphery. One being an individual who is a change-agent working to eliminate that mentality, and make a positive difference. Then there is the obstructionist “one” who believes threatening others, and disagreeing in general, will increase their influence and power.
Other than lack of leadership, and vision, there are behaviors (huge egos, personal agendas, witch-hunts, detest change) that cause un-needed strife, low morale among government employees, and angry citizens.
Without leadership, and an accompanying vision, this area will lose its appeal.
Compare these behaviors to my experiences in business. Strong leadership existed, there was a vision, employees were productive, enjoyed their work and their bosses. Yes, there were exceptions, but the overall sense was that work was meaningful, and rewarding.
“Leaders are like eagles; they don’t flock; you find them one at a time”
Next: Be Proactive
Principles Of Personal Vision
Listening To Our Language