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As I See It

Six or seven years ago I read Stephen Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

The book had such a profound effect on me that I have read it several more times. I also attended one of the Covey seminars which teaches the principles inculcated in the book and demonstrates how to integrate those principles into your life by using the FranklinCovey time and task organizer.

I continue to use the system today.

The theory is fairly simple to explain and fairly difficult to live by, but the result is worth the effort. In essence, Covey teaches living life in priority order and stresses the importance of relationships in our lives. Rather than being short-term, task-driven, the Covey ideology encourages taking a longer term, goal-driven approach to sorting out what we are going to do and what is not going to get done.

Studying Covey’s writing encourages us to come to terms with our mission in life and challenges us to set our priorities consistent with that mission.

The work week is lengthening, both parents are working outside the home and consumer debt is escalating. It is easier today to get caught up in the activity trap than ever before. The danger is that we do everything that is “demanded” of us and realize that we haven’t visited Mom since ‘87. Further, after doing everything that we feel obligated to do, we realize that our life has not been what we wanted it to be and our personal priorities have been shelved in favor of someone else’s priorities. This doesn’t have to happen.

By taking control of our lives, we can negotiate with others so that our responsibilities are satisfied but we can still move along toward accomplishing our personal mission in life. Everyone has more control over life than we sometimes think. Since we can’t change yesterday, maybe today is a good day to begin.

We are happy to be affiliated with the FranklinCovey organization. Several MBJ staff members have attended their seminars, and they came away with a new perspective on and heightened enthusiasm for life and work. We heartily endorse their programs and encourage businesses to consider sending staff members to FranklinCovey training sessions as a part of any internal continuing education program.

On May 15th, there will be an executive-level forum in Jackson sponsored by FranklinCovey — Leading Organizational Change. This is the second year for this forum to be presented in Jackson and the second year for the Mississippi Business Journal to be co-sponsor. The purpose of the one-day program is to train executives to survive and grow in today’s changing marketplace by overcoming the challenges of growth, shifting markets, mergers, cost containment and more.

Forum attendees should serve in a leadership capacity in organizations having at least 100 employees. The program size will be limited to 30 participants and the cost is nothing. As in free! If you are interested in attending and meet the 100 employee qualifications, contact Janet Kabeary at 1-800-827-1776 ext. 75187 or e-mail jfkabe@franklincovey.com.

A good time is sure to be had by all.

Thought for the Moment – The secret to getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. – Mark Twain

Joe D. Jones, CPA, is publisher of the Mississippi Business Journal. Contact him at cpajones@msbusiness.com.

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