7 Habits, 8 to 80

11 Apr

My eight year old daughter overhears me discussing a laundry list of things I need to do, some important and some not. She can obviously sense my frustration, because when I get off the phone she says to me, “First things first mom.”

I look at her, wondering if I heard right.

She says, “It is one of Covey’s seven habits. My new principal at school has made them part of our education.”

The next time I saw her principal I thanked her. She explained she had been teaching Covey’s habits for years at other schools. Every time a student comes back to visit her, they thank her for introducing them to the book – “It is the one thing they remember most about their time with me” she said.

We recently covered Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Successful People during the Housley Principled Leadership Program. Each time I review these concepts, they mean something new to me. I was advised to revisit the book every 6 months to remind myself and reapply. Each time there is a different habit that is pertinent to what I am working on or struggling with at that time – one that I had forgotten about helps me find the answers.

When I asked my daughter what first things first meant to her she replied, “It means do the important stuff first even if you don’t want to, like doing your homework before playing.” Not a bad interpretation for a third grader.

It doesn’t matter if you are eight or eighty; the information is powerful, timeless and can be applied to your life. If you are like me, you read the book for the first time when you were much younger and applied the concepts to your career. If you are now a parent, dust off your old copy and give it new life by sharing it with your children. You will both benefit.  Stephen Covey’s book has sold over 25 million copies and is still relevant after 23 years in publication.

This is why we teach it throughout the Housley Principled Leadership Program. We believe helping student leaders put first things first is one of the ways we can empower them to reach their potential.

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Habit 3: Put First Things First

Habit 4: Think Win-Win

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

Habit 6: Synergize

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Melinda is a 24/7 Mom. From 8a to 5p, Monday through Friday (and some weekends) she cares for the Stelos Alliance and all its scholarships and programs. Additionally, she makes sure the Kalypso family gets together to catch-up and have fun a few times throughout the year. With what is left, she does the same for her own family which includes a husband, two very active daughters Madison (13) and Reese (8) and Marcie (dog).


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