Wednesday, June 16, 2010


This is an adaptation of Stephen Covey's celebrated book, “7 Habits Of Highly Effective People.” As an employee too, purging on the field, I just happened to see people as employees and these employees are people themselves – just the malleability of terms.

The Way We See the Problem Is the Problem... If you have a problem, the actual problem is that you are looking at it as a problem. It could be something else, such as an opportunity. When it rains lemons, make lemonade.

When we lose our job, we almost all of us see it as a disgrace – a problem – as we do. Only few handfuls realize that it's an opportunity. I myself passed through that certain circumstance of losing a job. When I lose my job, of course I was so downhearted thinking back of the time when I have pounded much effort, time and money just to avail that job. Nevertheless, I believe we do have a choice. That loss did never nailed me on the corner, still counting few calories more and a best foot forward, I found myself scribbling few words here...

One of the indications of a highly effective employee is when “he sees things that is suppose to be done, and then did it.” This rings a bell more on initiative. But it is more than just that. Seeing the thing that is suppose to be done and then doing it takes the language of your being, it doesn't happen just a reflex of your limbs. It takes a choice, a decision a preponderance of the values you've grown with. Take this, just a simple picking up of a piece of candy wrapper on your stairway back to work is a simple but deep resemblance of the perennial values you've been thought since you were in grade one – besides that you care about your workplace.

Being proactive is being responsible – “response – able.” Able to response and being responsible for what you do. This contrasts with reactive individual or employee. Proactive employee acts based on principles and acts on the circumstance and thinks fast on a solution. While reactive employee reacts and blames on people and what's going around them and panics inordinately every time he meets one.

As an employee, I do have my Job Description. For what, well as a rough estimate of the scope and limitations of my workloads. On the other way around it's like quoting you to focus on the area or your influence and control rather than something outside the arrest of your creative tentacles. Nevertheless, in the work arena if you see your plain a little bit further and want to walk an extra mile, then dare it! Being proactive means a lot to a proactive warrior, not just being responsive but being extensive in his coordinates in giving a hand.

Perusing the book up to this point, you'll be invited for a night of wake in a funeral only to find yourself lying straight on a casket face-to-face with yourself. And the eulogy goes about you while you lie awake with them unattended. Your friends, relatives, wife and other loved ones has taken their part in the eulogy. Ironically, you've heard them and heard those words wherein you can do nothing about them now. It could be bad or good or just nothing.

Nonetheless, in our corporate workspace, it doesn't work in this fashion. Suppose you're about to leave the company for any reason there is and won't mind anyway of what they have to say since you won't be coming back on such premises again. But if you do, what kind of “eulogy” would you like to hear from them? Obviously, you wouldn't want to hear the other way around. And the things you want exactly to hear are those you have to work it out. But more than just a stuff on their imagining and much ado on what they'll have to say, for me, it's all about doing the right things that is suppose to be done and doing the things that is expected of you.

To begin with an end in the mind is an introspection of the future you virtually accomplish here and now. When an employee first seriously applied for a job, he actually prepared twice more than he may have been answering his employer's query, thinking at the back of his mind, that he's actually on for a job the next day. Thus, the the carpenter's adage, “measure twice, cut once.” Prepare and plan as much as you can, before executing an action.


Sounds more of time management and priorities, but again it's more than just that. When set to your life more than just an employee or worker on the field, this third shot is a corollary of the first and the second habits. First, being you as the engineer, second being you as the planner or architect with hands on the blueprint and this one being the execution of it all.

Now, since you have made up your mind and you have with you the plan, it's another stance to put first things first in the list – priorities after priorities. To an employee working in an environment full of schedules and activities queuing up the line, it's not so unusual. In a one fell swoop, an executive can mentally tally all those activities of the day – as pushed on him by the management. While other employees would rather cram and start the day like hell. If you are clear about your work dimensions then you'll have a clear view of what you are going to do and kick ass on a Gofer's Credo: “Just tell me what to do and I'll do it.”

Instead, practice a Stewardship Delegation. Stewardship delegation may remind you of one of an employer's requirements “can work with less supervision...” This delegation delves deep down within you where the steward became his own boss and posits in you those creative energy in harmony with those principles for a desired result. Accomplishing something with less supervision indicates an employee's maturity in his job. He can handle more results with less supervision, while the other, more guidelines or supervision, fewer results.


This habit invites us to a more interpersonal effectiveness. It says, “think win/win,” not “win/lose” or “lose/win.” A workplace is a very competitive environment if not cooperative or both. In a competitive environment we are preconditioned to understand things in polarities, that is a win/lose environment. “My winning would mean your losing, my losing would mean your winning.” This is based on power or brute, and the fittest will survive! Nevertheless, in a cooperative environment it doesn't work like that. It's like a link in a chain, everybody holds and important role that nexus them to the end of the chain – a goal. Everybody agrees mutually and feels good about it and mutually enjoys the fruition of the desired results.

This may also be reflected to a leader who knows how to recognize and reward a win/win behavior on his subordinates.

This is what Covey said, “high emotional bank account.” This is where emotional quotient takes the lead. This is where almost everybody gets poorer – listening. And this, like any other worth praising skill, is a skill itself. In a workplace where different individual shares same time and space, save individual character, conflict would most likely to arise. When conflict arises, it's because one character projects against another character and sword fighting tolls like clash of the empires. Unless, one retracts his paradigm projection(character you have grown with) and put one's feet into another's shoes, only then should conflict lies at ebb and individual differences brought as one. This is I guess is the toughest of all the habits. It takes a lot of your ego!

It is during this habit that you have to give what Covey says “psychological air” to somebody or to your fellow employee. He has a lot of things to say perhaps about himself, about you, your fellow workers or just anything else.

Bear these three things in mind before you step into the line of giving your “prescription” or advise, listen, listen and listen...Things could be so delicate. 'Cause you might actually be giving your prescription based on your own paradigm not on how they have walked on them. While opening himself towards you is much more dangerous, since he might be opening himself like an unguarded wound open for attacks, he becomes vulnerable, frail and mimed.

Just remember, next to physical security is psychological security. No matter how deserving or undeserving you are, being understood, being affirmed, being validated and being appreciated is readily accepted by you.

After we've reconciled individual differences, synergy is the oneness out of the many. As real friendship means for Aristotle, “friends are one soul in two bodies,” so does synergy. It brings us closer to one another in total confidence, if understood and followed the right way. If on habit five you've placed yourself into another's being and invested on individual differences, then marriage of individual characters and personalities do happen. Reaching a goal through communion of individuals in a synergistic fashion is more smooth and fulfilling. Synergy means that the act of the whole is greater than its part. Nonetheless, what is a whole without it's parts? And that's what we're done with the previous habits.

If you as part and parcel of the whole do matter in the making of these habits, how much more is the whole. This works well in brainstorming a solution for a problem. Obviously, two or more brains are better than one.

It's time to take a break! Reward yourself for what you have done and is still been doing. Remember the old adage, “all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy.” Take time to sit back and relax. Sharpen the saw means improving the well-being of your physical, mental, spiritual, and social/emotional faculties. For without this, none of the above habits will do either. These faculties are your saw they also get torn-out and dull ripping your goals. So be gentle with yourself.

Coupled with consoling or prizing yourself for what you have done is the improvements you are going to do with these faculties. It must evolve.

For your mental faculty, learn something new; read books, attend yoga exercises – get informed!

Physically, you can actually jog, get a gym habit, eat balanced meal, get a doc and so on.

For spiritual, well as a professed Catholic, I have this spiritual obligation knocking on my door every end of the week.

And emotionally, hanging up with friends that makes sense makes a difference on your emotional as well as social well-being. These faculties are complementary. What happens to the other do happens to the rest.

Having a good night rest defines how you will start another day of work after this, for while you live, what is a soul without a body?

Suggested reading: 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

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