Step 1 of Leadership: Self Management
- Posted on May 25, 2018
Like the normal laws of growth, the seven habits build on each other to create personal and interpersonal effectiveness. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People are separated into three major categories. The first three habits make up your ‘private victory’. The second group of habits composes your ‘public victory’.
What this means is that you have to master yourself before you can enjoy success outside of yourself and with others. Embedding the seven habits in yourself does not happen by simply reading the book. It’s a process that takes time. There are very specific steps you must take to become a highly effective person. The first two habits are about leadership. The third habit is about management. Specifically, self-management.
Leadership -V- Management
Leadership is about creating a vision based on principles. Leadership is about knowing what the right
thing to do is. Leaders know when to make change. For you to embody the seven habits, you need to determine what changes to make for yourself and when to make those changes. Management is clearly different from leadership. Management is taking the leadership vision and breaking it down into specific steps for implementation. This involves the analysis, the sequencing, the specific application, and the time-bound left-brain aspect of effective self-government.
Leadership is a right-brain activity asking the ultimate questions of life for determining the principles that will guide your life. It’s about making sure you will be doing the correct things in your life. Until you are sure that you have the correct vision of your life, managing it is useless. You’ll only be doing the analysis, the sequencing, and the specific applications of the wrong things. The result will not be what you want.
Once you have the correct vision, management becomes everything. Self-management enables you to effectively create a life harmonious with your vision. Your ability to self-manage the correct things makes all of the difference in whether your vision ever becomes reality and the quality of the implementation of the vision.
The most important aspect of self-managing your mission statement is being deliberate about your plan and executing it with diligence. The first step of managing your vision is creating a step-by-step implementation plan. Don’t be concerned that you might put effort into the plan only to get some parts of it wrong. You almost certainly will. That’s when you move back into your leadership role to know when change is needed.
Effective self-management is about putting first things first. While leadership is about determining what the first thing is, management is about having the discipline to create a plan and to carry it out in the correct sequence. It’s about being able to stay focused on the ‘important and urgent’ and the ‘important but not urgent’ things and ignoring the ‘urgent but not important’ and ‘not urgent and not important’activities in our lives.
Getting Started With Self-Management
Begin by making a list of everything that currently takes up your day-to-day life. In the beginning, don’t be concerned about how important anything is to you or others. Think out a month or a couple of months, even over the course of an entire year. Maybe you snow ski in the winter and do yard work in the summer. You want to capture everything.
Next, assign each activity a value of importance as it’s measured against your lifetime goals. A scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 can be used depending how fine-tuned you want to make the list. Only after the importance is assigned, do you assign urgency. Use the same 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 scale you used for the importance.
With the importance and urgency assigned, you next plot each activity on the matrix on the right. Activities with a high urgency score but low importance score go in the top left box. Those with both a high urgency and importance score go in the top right box. Activities with a low urgency score and low importance score go in the lower left box. Finally, those with a low urgency score and high importance score go in the lower right.
You now have an effective way of knowing what you should be working on. The vast amount of your time should be allocated to the activities in the two right hand boxes. That’s your next step in self-management, properly allocating your time. Be sure to allocate enough time to the lower right box. The difference between somewhat effective people and highly effective people is their ability to work on what’s not urgent but is important.
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