6 Classic Lessons: From the writer of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”

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From: Stephen Covey

The 7 Habits has a way of seeping you in, with several life lessons touching on almost every aspect of life from marriage to parenting to leadership.

1. Putting First Things First

“Easy leadership is putting first things first”.

In order to be a great leader, one has to prioritize the most important things before others, and has to distinguish the most critical from the insignificant and place the critical first.

First in order, then first in priority and first in rank. If the critical is placed first, and given the critical focus and attention, there is certainly effectiveness in leadership with soar.

2. Begin With The End In Mind

It is important in everything that we do, we ask ourselves what we are trying to accomplish. It is more adept at answering this question for the short and medium term goals. You will realize, you can get better at beginning with the end in mind for longer term goals but you my still have to put in more effort to get there.

3. Think Of Win-Win Situations

“This is a frame of the heart and mind that always seeks mutual benefit in all interactions of humans”

According to Covey, Win-Win means agreements are mutually satisfying and beneficial. He says that the way people think in terms of dichotomies; win or lose, hardball or softball, strong or weak is fundamentally flawed.

4. Stick To Your Main End Goal

“The main goal is to keep the main goal the main goal”

It is important that you never lose sight of the big picture and always be determined by keeping the main thing the main thing.

Failure is hugely contributed to by losing focus. Even though you have a good start, it is essential that you avoid all sorts of distractions and attractions you may experience in life that may sidetrack you. Be focused on the main thing, and keep it the main thing!

5. Your Character Is Critical

Stephen Covey teaches us that our character is a composite of our habits, and therefore, we should know that character is very critical. Watch your habits because they determine your character and it is your character that defines your life. It is difficult to rise higher than your character’s fortitude. Your character forms the foundation for your life and for you to change your life, you have to change your character.

6. Be Good At Listening

Lastly, we first need to understand, to be understood. Listen to what other people have to say and try to understand them. Equally, they will grant you the same courtesy and respect your opinions just as you have shown them. Stephen writes,

“We have a tendency to rush things, and fix them up with good advice”

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For Entrepreneurs: 22 highly effective questions to ask yourself..?

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From: Web

1.      How committed am I?
2.      What’s my value proposition?
3.       Am I clearly communicating my value proposition?
4.      Is my product/service a real business?
5.      What differentiates my product from the competition?
6.      How much power do my customers have?
7.      How much power do my suppliers have?
8.      Does my business have a moat around it?
9.      What’s my appetite for risk?
10.   Am I outsourcing the right tasks?
11.  Who is my role model?
12.  Am I measuring the right things?
13.  Do I have the right people?
14.   Are incentives aligned with business goals?
15.  Do I have the right customers?
16.  Are my assumptions still reasonable?
17.  Do I have a good lawyer?
18.  Am I truly harnessing technology?
19.  Am I thinking big enough?
20.  Can the business function day-to-day without me?
21.   Am I avoiding the tough decisions?

22.  Am I burned out?

How to Keep a Life Changing Resolution for 2014

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From wiki- Edited by Abin c Pascal

At the beginning of each year, many people make a decision to seek a fresh start. The new year is a great time to commit to a life changing resolution, such as becoming healthier, finding a new career, paying more heed to your close relationships, and so forth. Yet, making the resolution is one thing––sticking to it is quite another and many people fail to follow through to the commitment’s end. To increase your chances of keeping your life changing resolution, here are some simple ways to increase your chances.

1- Rekindle your inner imp. Who says the “better” you is your stuffy self all prim and proper? With so many edicts to behave yourself, sometimes there’s a risk you’ll equate being better with conforming to some highly unrealistic standard planted in your head by confused media messages. Yes, it is important to eat healthily, exercise and quit “bad” habits. But equally, moderation requires that you accept yourself and let go of any scolding approach to self-improvement. When you let out the silly, sassy, playfully mischievous, and audacious person within, you reveal your true colors. You can accomplish anything––as long as you drop the fault finding and look for all that’s right with you.

2- Be non-committal. Play with marvelous ideas for a bit. Half of the stuff we say we will do, we never actually plan on really doing. All the promises you feel obligated to do will be completely trashed within the first week because you resent them. Rather than treating your resolutions as absolute commitments, try something novel––consider them as trials. Try them on for size to see if they fit. You may find that the harsh exercise regime is actually wrong for your body type, while forgoing those chocolates is a sure way to end up eating more of them. Give yourself the wriggle room to ease into change, bit by bit. Gradual change is likely to last long term because you’re buying into it. And remember––you can do anything set your mind to once you really want to––meanwhile, play until you feel the time is right.

  • Much advice on making resolutions suggest you commit publicly. While this may shame you into making changes, that’s really not a good basis for making a change. You must want to shift your old self into a new self and revealing your intentions to other people can open you up to naysayers, getting picked on when your progress seems slower than expected or having people give a ton of unwanted advice. The better approach is to zip it, show an enigmatic smile if anyone questions your intentions and simply let the internal commitment motivate you in its own way instead.

3- Acknowledge that you’re complex. There is a tendency to feel that the old you has to be shown the door and the new you will miraculously be much better. Yet, it’s both unrealistic to expect such a dramatic transformation and it’s a denial of the reality that you’re already a complex being with many facets. Which part of yourself are you challenging to change? You’ll need to think of the trigger situations or people who bring out the facets of yourself that you’re not so proud of, rather than assuming a one-size-solution will create change. Hence, a renowned diet may sound great but unless you face the reason why you overeat, eat the wrong sorts of foods or fail to exercise, that diet resolution is doomed. Only you know yourself well enough to face the deeper truths.

4- Live in a land of conundrums. Many resolutions tend to be all or nothing, black and white. And this tends to be why they’re set to fail. So, rather than stating “I intend to stop eating fried food forever” and assuming you will stick to this strict finality, give yourself the freedom to mix and match solutions that even each other out and restore the fun in life. Slow down and pick up the pace. Try yoga and drink triple lattes. Let your childlike wisdom shine. Try “modern urban rustic” decor. Be a modern minimalist multi-tasker. Drink nonalcoholic beer. Experiment with the extremes and see what marvelous moments you come up with.

5- Be unrealistic. Being realistic limits your options and tends to keep you in the zone of “that’ll never work”, a place most people stay in. You won’t change when you’re too invested in worrying about what might go wrong or what might hurt you. To get beyond this impasse, think bigger about the world than you ever have before. Go outside your comfort zone. Dream beyond your expectations. You have miraculous abilities to accomplish all you desire so passionately dream and dream some more––in vivid technicolor if possible. Keep dreaming until you have considered every imaginable possibility that thrills you. Some of it may well be too fantastical but within your dreaming, solid and workable ideas and plans will form. Finally, you’ll feel empowered by the process.

6- Steal resources. Why recreate the wheel? Just find all the people around you who have achieved the same or similar goals. Find out what worked for them––and what didn’t. Try their solutions on for size. Add plenty of personal modifications so the color, style, and habits fit you like a glove. Following in the footsteps of others is a tremendous way of enhancing your own talents and ideas, to reinvent and to make new discoveries from your own perspective. Knowing what others know is an investment in yourself.

  • Never before have so many people had so many opportunities to learn from skillful, inspiring, intelligent, interesting and innovative people than in our era of the internet. You can find out about almost any public figure you admire through video lectures, websites and other online resources. What are you waiting for?

7- Get busy. Resolutions lack spine if you fail to act. They’ll flop about in your gray matter, turning into sources of resentment when you ignore the work needed to implement them. Make the effort in small ways––getting started gives your resolution life and gives you motivation. And be very careful not to let resolutions turn into vague affirmations––sitting around all day telling yourself that things are going to change and get better won’t bring the universe to you. Get up, get going and something will happen in the doing.

8- Throw your arms up. Give in and give up. It’s the stress and strain that’s got your panties in a bunch. Without the worry and sense of urgency that comes from impatience, perfectionism and over attachment to single issues, you can do some pretty fierce stuff. You always got great results in the past when you were free flowing, energized and in the moment. Let go now and see what happens.

Be selfish. Give yourself unadulterated permission to think about you and only you! Be incredibly opinionated and resolute about what feels wonderful––then go for what you want. Allow yourself to connect with your true desires, wants, and needs. Toss out societal expectations and indulge in what makes you smile!

12 Rules for Startups by Mark Cuban

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Anyone who has started a business has his or her own rules and guidelines, so I thought I would add to the memo with my own. My “rules” below aren’t just for those founding the companies, but for those who are considering going to work for them, as well.

Mark Cuban's 12 Rules for Startups