Without a doubt, one of the best books that I ever read and completely bought into was Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
I like to think that it helped me become as organized and focused as I could with the end goal being success.
I stumbled into it by accident. There isn’t anyone in business who hasn’t at least heard about Covey’s work. Education, less so. But as a Business Educator, it was part of the unit that was taught about management, leadership, and leadership styles. Plus, if you had ever driven the 401 by Cambridge, you would have noticed their former building alongside.
The accident part?
I was having a discussion with a friend of mine who had just participated in one of the courses. I liked everything that I heard and applied to take a course. I think that everyone in education knows that there are some professional learning events that are always a “go” and others that aren’t because of “budget problems”. I was in the latter.
But, there was a self-paced course that you could purchase from FranklinCovey. I took it and found that it matched my needs immediately. The planner that came with the course changed the way that I organized my life and learning. Over the years, I’ve always purchased the refills and have upgraded that planner a couple of times.
Time and technology moves on. I do things more electronically now that I have a device with me all the time. I’ll be honest though; I don’t have the same amount of success and organization this way. Perhaps there are just too many more distractions to there’s a desire to multi-task more than I would otherwise.
A former superintendent liked the way I had things organized and planned and he took the course. A Filemaker Pro followist; he turned his learning into that format. He said it worked for him; it didn’t work for me. That’s OK – we don’t need to be apologetic that one particular approach doesn’t fit all.
Covey’s seven habits though, are as good today as they always were.
- Be Proactive
- Begin with the End in Mind
- Put First Things First
- Think Win-Win
- Seek First to Understand; Then to Be Understood
- Sharpen the Saw
Covey’s work has spawned all kinds of others who would have you improve your life. And, if that’s true, what a legacy!
Turn to education now. Here’s an opportunity for your own legacy building. What things happen in your classroom that are enduring and will live on long past your engagement with your students?
Do Covey’s seven habits make sense? If so, there are lots of posters and Covey quotes available on the internet via a simple search. Living in an age and with students who need video? Check things out here.