Looking Back. Looking Forward. Part I

By: Glenda Lofton, Ph.D.

Jan 15, 2019

Traditionally, the New Year is a time for looking back and looking forward.  It’s a time earmarked for making resolutions to address our faults and bad habits, to aim for improving ourselves and the new year. In his #1 national best seller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989), Stephen Covey emphasizes that habits are powerful factors in our lives.  He concurs with Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) who stated, “We are what we repeatedly do,” meaning that our character is a composite of our habits. Our habits can make us effective or ineffective at work, at home, in life. The good news is that habits are learned and can be changed.  The bad news is that change is a process that requires time and commitment. 

According to Covey, changing your habits requires three things: (1) knowledge - what we want to do and why; (2) skill - how to do; and (3) desire - the want to do. In becoming more effective, we progress through three stages:


Dependence means you need others to get what you want.  In this stage, we rely on others and blame them if we do not get what we want.  It’s all about the “you” attitude - You take care of me and if you don’t I blame you for the result.


Independence is the stage of personal responsibility.  It is the stage of “I” - I choose and the results and I am solely responsible for the results.  This may seem like the ultimate achievement, but according to Covey there is a higher goal in living effectively.


Interdependence should be the aim of all good leaders and effective team players.  This is the stage of “we” - We combine our talents and abilities and together we achieve greater results.

In a personal note at the end of his book, Covey shares his belief that as human beings, we cannot perfect ourselves.  Some parts of human nature require the power and assistance of God.  He contends that improvement comes as we align our lives with God’s principles.  In 2019, take time to look back and look forward, and together, we will achieve more.

About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Celebrating 40 years in staffing excellence! Contact us today

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