Years ago I learned a very powerful lesson from Stephen Covey. In his book entitiled “The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” he explains the concept of principle based leadership.
The message will help you to respond to the important and not the urgent. Now that you have more time and leading your life based on your priorities I want to give you the next tool that will make you the author of your relationships.
Today I am going to share with you an exercise that involves you being at your funeral right now, today. Imagine all your loved ones, spouses, kids, family members, friends, team mates and business contacts standing up at the podium and reflecting on their relationship with you. I know this may be difficult and you may not like what you discover but there a reason so I encourage you to carefully examine what you think each person would say about your relationship with them as it is right now.
Would they say you were kind and loving, always there for them or that they wish they had spent more time with you etc. Would your team mates say that you were a great leader, fair and honest or would they say that you were always stressed out and unavailable?
Now, imagine you are standing at your funeral again and you get to choose what each person would say about you. Repeat the process by above but this time write out what you would like that person to say about you.
For example; in the first part of this exercise you think your spouse would say that you were a very hard worker and gave a lot to your company but wished they had spent more time with you. You now get to rewrite the script. You could imagine them saying that you had always put your relationship with them first, they felt loved and knew because you always made time for them.
The script that you wrote is your agenda to create the relationships you desire. Because this is about your business and we are referring to leadership, take this opportunity to evaluate your relationships with your team. You can choose to be the leader you want to be with action and intent.
I wish I could make it as simple as putting this task in your day timer but to develop new attributes is an internal process, a shift in behaviors. What I can tell you is to make it a priority by scheduling the time in your agenda to research and commit to getting involved with leadership groups, taking classes and seek coaching.
I was very fortunate to have found this exercise when I was a salon owner and as a result of it I am able to say that I have remained in good standing with every person who had worked in my company. I’m not saying they all liked me but I do know they would all say I was honest, respectful, approachable and dedicated to helping them succeed. Even those I had to let go still felt comfortable coming into the salon for their services when they no longer were employed there. That is the gift of writing your own scripts as to how you choose to impact the relationships in your life.
Credit: Stephen Covey