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

Author: maxbinkley

Creator of Leadership to the Max My experience in the military helped set the career path for me in human resources. After the military I worked for The Dow Chemical Company and left there in 1993 to venture out on my own. I purchased a small business, then a franchise then started another business in semi-retirement.

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