Looking Back. Looking Forward. Part II

By: Glenda Lofton, Ph.D.

Jan 22, 2019

The New Year is a time set aside to look back and look forward.  We resolve to change bad habits and create a more positive impact to the world around us.  Last time we looked at Stephen Covey’s #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. 

As we begin 2019, take a few minutes to check your progress toward effectiveness using the seven habits identified by Covey:

Be proactive, the habit of personal vision. Do I use my freedom to choose and make decisions based on values I hold dear, such as fairness, integrity, honesty? Do I focus on things I can control, my “circle of influence,” and try to expand that influence, or do I react to or worry about things over which I have no control?

Begin with the end in mind, the habit of personal leadership. Do I let other people or circumstances determine my future, or do I plan who I will be and what I want to accomplish? Have I taken the time to consider how I would like to be remembered?

Put first things first, the habit of personal management. Am I spending my time on the things that matter the most? Or, am I focusing only on the urgent activities—crises, pressing problems, deadline-driven projects — and the unimportant?

Think win/win, the habit of interpersonal leadership. Am I applying the “Golden Rule” in my life? Do I conduct my life with integrity, courage, and consideration for the ideas and feelings of others? Do I believe there is plenty for everyone?

Seek first to understand, then to be understood, the habit of communication.  Am I open and trustworthy? Do I listen with the intent to understand or just want to speak myself, “reading what I want into other people’s lives”?

Synergize, the habit of creative cooperation. Do I work with a win/win philosophy and really seek to understand? Do I work along with others to see new possibilities and to accomplish more than I could accomplish alone? Do I value and respect our differences and build on strengths to compensate for weaknesses?

Sharpen the saw, the habit of self-renewal. Just as the saw needs sharpening to be effective, do I take the time to preserve and improve myself, or do I say “I don’t have time to sharpen the saw; I’m too busy sawing?” Do I regularly and consistently take the time to sharpen and balance all four dimensions of my life — physical, social/emotional, spiritual, and mental?

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. The New Year is a time for looking back and looking forward. May you have a blessed, productive and Happy New Year. 

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

←Back to Blog

We Believe...

Relationships are built…one on one.
Know your people - match interest and talents to the tasks.
Don’t manage by numbers. (They just show if we’re on track.) People do the work.
People should feel better when they leave than when they came – and in turn we feel better.
When we help others, we help ourselves.
Great expectations: fair pay, fair treatment, teach me.
Have fun…and be better.
Work at having fun (51% of the time.) If you don’t feel it, fake it. Having fun is not slacking off. Work is more natural than play.