Our team recently participated in a training on Covey’s 7 Habits for Managers. While most of the content was familiar, it is always good to have a refresher on material that is as fundamentally important to being a good leader (and a good human being).
The lesson that stuck with me from this training was Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind. If you read our blog often, you will know that Patrick frequently quotes Covey on this Habit. In fact, it has shaped a lot of the tools and best practices we recommend for our Rhythm clients and internally:
- Internally, we use a tool called the Objective Statement. Prior to beginning a new project, re-evaluating existing processes, having an important meeting, or testing a new product, the key players involved complete this exercise. Writing an Objective Statement involves filling in the blanks to complete the sentence “To… (what we’re going to do) In a Way that…(how we will go about doing it) So that… (why we are doing it).” An example of an objective statement could look like this:
- Makes them experts for answering client questions
- Provides them with the right information at the right time so they are not surprised by new features
- Allows enough time for the R&D team to make adjustments based on the team’s feedback, if needed
- One of our more popular people tools is the Job Scorecard. This tool is a way to “Begin with the end in mind” when it comes to hiring for a new position. It allows the hiring team to be completely clear about what they are looking for in a hire, and it gives the new hires the gift of clarity around expectations and desired results in their new role.
- For every meeting and every coaching call, we recommend starting by completing the statement, “We will be successful if….” This way, everyone involved in the meeting or coaching call is aligned around a common purpose. This helps us make sure we honor what the client wants to achieve on the coaching call (even if it differs from the agenda we had in our heads) and it helps everyone involved in the meeting hold each other accountable to the most important outcome.
- Similarly, we coach clients to complete the statement “Next week will be successful if…” in their Weekly Meeting With Myself reflection time. This helps us to begin the week with the end in mind and ensure we are putting the most important priorities first.
An exercise we completed as part of the training was to consider our Contribution Statement: a statement that “sums up the significant contribution you want to make in your work.” Our trainer challenged us to think about how we uniquely do what we do and to write the statement in a way that our team members would be able to read it and instantly know whose it was.
In the spirit of “Begin with the End in Mind,” I invite you to take this challenge with our team. What is your Contribution Statement? What do you want to ultimately accomplish through your work? You might just tap into some motivation and excitement that you didn’t know you had.