The 8th Habit

The 8th Habit is about both discovering your talents, and helping others discover their own, in order to thrive at work in the Information Age–where interdependence is more important than independence.

Dr. Covey once said, “People simply feel better about themselves when they’re good at something.”

A couple of weeks ago I unpacked habit number six (Synergize), from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In today’s day and age, working together is critical in a world where competition is fierce.

During the industrial age, most work was physical and differences in production was minimal. One spinner could not spin more than 100 meters of yarn per day compared to another. The information age, where big data is power, a great accountant can indeed be 1000X more valuable than an average one.

To setup our tribe for success, we need to cultivate the 8th Habit: Finding your Voice and Inspiring Others to find Theirs.

So let’s unpack some more:

βœ… There is no greater gift than free-will;

βœ… Trust is earned, be generous and deliver on your promises;

βœ… Empower others by handing them responsibility.

There is no short cut to finding your voice. How quickly we discover it, all depends on how well we utilise the talents that each of us have been blessed with. But Dr. Covey explains that the most basic gift that we as humans have been blessed with is the power of choice.

For me, Charles R Swindoll explained it the best: Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

Our house plants can’t move, our dogs operate on instinct, but we as humans have the power to decide how to react. Whether you take a step up or down, it’s totally up to you.

It doesn’t matter if you’re struggling with:

πŸ”₯ 3rd world WIFI;

πŸ”₯ Somebody treating you badly (it can be your boss or BFF);

πŸ”₯ Someone cutting you off in traffic.

It’s up to you to give in to it, deal with it, or just simply walk away.

But wait… There is more…

Dr. Covey mentioned that free-will isn’t the only aspect we need to consider, in fact there are four kinds of intelligence:

βœ… Physical Intelligence – Which is your body’s background processes i.e respiratory, circulatory, nervous, and other vital systems.

βœ… Mental Intelligence – What we call IQ; that is, our ability to analyze, reason, think abstractly, use language, visualize, and comprehend.

βœ… Emotional Intelligence – one’s self-knowledge, self- awareness, social sensitivity, empathy, and ability to communicate successfully with others.

βœ… Spiritual Intelligence – Your moral compass and True North Star. That which gives your life meaning. Spiritual intelligence is the central and most fundamental of all the intelligences

because it becomes the source of guidance for the other three.

Recognizing your strengths and weaknesses for each of these intelligence, as well as experimenting with each of them is the first step in identifying and capitalizing on your unique talents. Then it’s all about communicating them to your tribe.

I have covered these four attributes in depth in my article about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Read it Here.

Trust is built when we simply do what we say we’re going to do, therefore communicating well with our tribe will come easiest when the trust has already been built. Knowing that your tribe has got your back will give you the freedom to talk about anything, think about what was said and be more likely to accept it.

Trust is critical ingedient in the foundation of my marriage. At the office it’s one of the most important things I work on, on a daily basis. It determines the speed at which the team executes tasks and therefore the department’s success.

Dr. Covey says there are three ways in which trust is built:

βœ… Promises make debt. Follow through with what you say.

βœ… Meekness is not weekness. Be gentle, be nice. Simple but powerful – Just be friendly.

βœ… When a mistake was made, put up your hand and say “Sorry!”

Keep in mind that trust is reciprocal. It isn’t enough just to be trustworthy. You have to hand out trust as well.

One of the most compelling ways to empower your tribe is to give the power to them – Literally!

This implies that we need to extend the responsibility and control our tribe members have over their daily doings. Andrea and I each have our preferences for the products and equipment we use in our life together.

In our finance team we have the freedom to decide how to schedule our tasks, what stationery / suppliers we want to use, and how we go about solving a problem.

Giving the team the freedom to take part in important decisions not only motivates them, but helps them trust me in future decisions.

It’s not always as easy as it sounds, but encourage your tribe to take ownership, be accountable, think through problems, and to seek outside education to develop them into future leaders.

When problems arise – and I’m sure they will. It’s okay – don’t have a knee-jerk reaction to criticize and pull the task away. Ask the team to assess and report on what went wrong as well as what they’re going to do about it.

I can’t emphasize this enough – Resist the temptation to step in and take over.

Let the teams do their thing and work on a solution. Yes, be there to give advice if asked, but do not micromanage.

It can be scary to let go, but if you believe you’ve hired good people, trust the process.

Tag, you’re it! πŸ––πŸ»

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