Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The 8th habit - a reflection

Learn to do what you love and love what you do

Recently Stephen Covey a renowned writer and speaker on leadership was in Delhi and I was lucky one to attend to his one day seminar on his new book The Eight Habit. I was bit unsure before going but nevertheless it was an opportunity I did not wanted to miss, hence was on trip to Delhi. I must confess I was moved, probably that is the reason I am writing this feature for the blog and would like to acknowledge his book in this feature as text here is from his book, probably sharing what he wants to say to readers of this blog.

Let me start with his introduction, though many of us may know him, just to reiterate he is a world famous author of several acclaimed books, and has received numerous honors and awards, including being named one of Time magazine's twenty-five most influential Americans. One of his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was a real popular one and had crossed a figure of over fifteen million copies in its sales. I would like to share this opportunity to share few words on his new book, the eighth habit and the seminar.

He is his book takes us through the changes that has affected us in today’s new world. It says that this new world has turned from information and knowledge to wisdom. It is a vastly changed place. The challenges and complexity all of us face in our relationships, families, professional lives, and communities are of an entirely new order of magnitude.

Being effective as individuals and organizations is no longer merely an option -- survival in today's new world requires it. Stephan Covey adds that in this new Knowledge Worker Age, in order to thrive, innovate, excel, and lead we must build on and move beyond effectiveness. The call of this new era in human history is for greatness; it's for fulfillment, passionate execution, and significant contribution.

Accessing the higher levels of human genius and motivation in today's new reality requires a sea change in thinking: a new mind-set, a new skill-set, a new tool-set -- in short, a whole new habit. The crucial challenge of our world today is this: to find our voice and inspire others to find theirs. It is what Covey calls the 8th Habit.

The Eight Habit is not about ‘being effective’, but about fully expressing one’s own potential. It is in the real on being, not doing. The opposite of being fulfilled and fully expressing ourselves, is a feeling of psychological emptiness, the knowingness that ‘something’ is missing. We often try to fill that emptiness with things like being very busy, watching television, etc. The Eight Habit implies a fully conscious choice to live from our unknown potential rather than from our known past. It is also about, as a leader, a parent, a teacher, helping others to reach their full potential. In organizational life, it comes down to finding the entrepreneurial spirit in our associates, the same passion and urge to create, that is found in those who start companies and organisations.

He in his seminar of the books says that Information Age is going over into the Creation Age, the Consciousness Age. This change implies that we need to get access to something deeper and greater than just information i.e. our deeper being. Only there will we find wisdom.

We could call wisdom the child of integrity built on principles. Integrity implies being humble, humble enough to realise that we are part of something greater than our limited selves. Humility is the mother of wisdom and courage the father. To live a life of principles takes courage. It is not very common…

Accessing the higher levels of human genius and motivation in today's new reality requires a sea change in thinking: a new mind-set, a new skill-set, a new tool-set -- in short, a whole new habit. The crucial challenge of our world today is this: to find our voice and inspire others to find theirs. It is what Covey calls the 8th Habit. So many people feel frustrated, discouraged, unappreciated, and undervalued -- with little or no sense of voice or unique contribution.

The 8th Habit is the answer to the soul's yearning for greatness, the organization's imperative for significance and superior results, and humanity's search for its "voice." Profound, compelling, and stunningly timely, this groundbreaking new book of next-level thinking gives a clear way to finally tap the limitless value-creation promise of the Knowledge Worker Age. The 8th Habit book how to solve such common dilemmas as:

- People want peace of mind and good relationships, but also want to keep their lifestyle and habits.
- Relationships are built on trust, but most people think more in terms of "me" -- my wants, my needs, my rights.
- Management wants more for less; employees want more of "what's in it for me" for less time and effort.
- Businesses are run by the economic rules of the marketplace; organizations are run by the cultural rules of the workplace.
- Society operates by its dominant social values, but must live with the consequences of the inviolable operation of natural laws and principles.

Covey's new book is a real great effort on this direction and may help you to transform the ways we think about ourselves and our purpose in life, about our organizations, and about humankind. The seminar was basic introduction to that process.


- Anil Gulati

1 comment:

stephan darling said...

am stephan too but not covey !!! any way he is nice old guy but is it practical.