Today’s dot is written by Chase Harmon from Hilbert College’s Leadership Applications class:

There are very few people in this world who can walk into any situation and come out on top without any sort of preparation. For example, there are some gifted athletes out there that can get tossed into any sport and be successful. For the rest of us, it takes years and years of practice and preparation to find that success. The same precedent applies for so many other situations besides sports.

After taking multiple courses on leadership, when I think of preparation, the first thing to come to mind is the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The simple seven habits, given to us by Dr. Stephen R. Covey, can be used in almost any context and can be the key for us less fortunate souls to find success.

My college lacrosse team uses these steps, without even realizing it. We start with Being Proactive, as our team collects film and creates a scouting report on our opponents. When we Begin with the End in Mind, everything we do in this preparation stage is to ensure that we have a chance to win the game. Then we Put First Things First. To perform this step we choose things we need to improve on during practice and determine how much time we spend on that aspect.

The next habit is Think Win-Win. As a team, we need to believe we can win the upcoming game; if we do not do this, there is no point to even play the game. Then we Seek First to Understand, then to Be Understood. I believe that this habit is directed towards the player listening to what the coaches have to say when they tell you that an aspect of your game needs to be changed or improved.

To Synergize, if we are going to win any of the games, we have to play as a team. One player is not going to make or break the game for us. We have to play together. Finally, we have to Sharpen the Saw. Once we use all of these steps and find a winning formula, we cannot stop practicing the habits. We have to continue going back to these habits so that we can put together a successful season, not just one game.

Think about how Covey’s Seven Habits could apply to you and whatever you may be trying to accomplish. If you want to find success for yourself, or maybe the group you lead, you cannot just walk in and expect success to fall into your lap. It takes a lot of hard work. Everyone is capable of finding success; how much success depends on how much work you are willing to put in. No one wins championships overnight; it takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to eventually reach your peak of greatness.


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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