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The Teachings of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Habit 2 – Begin With the End in Mind (Part 2)

November 30, 2023
The Teachings of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Habit 2 - Begin With the End in Mind (Part 2)

Previous articles for this series can be found here.

What will my business be remembered for? What is its revenue goal? What is its social impact goal? If I know those things, and my team is on board, where do we begin the process? And what are the daily steps to take to get there?

The Right Call

If your business has a Sales department, ask yourself, “What is the end goal of our sales calls?” Remembering that there are several paths a given call could take, you will want to outline a path for returning the conversation to the sale itself. While being nice and polite is always a professional characteristic, being nice by itself does not keep the business afloat. Knowing the sale is the end goal is crucial to the call itself, while being nice is a by-product of your professionalism. Politeness should be on 100% of your calls, but it doesn’t actually make the sale. It may help get you there, but the destination requires that you steer someone towards the transaction.

With that in mind, your training should help your employees know what to do during a call. The training should entail things like how to recover if a call goes sideways. Or how to recover if the caller can’t remain on topic. And this training should be developed with the end in mind – the sale – and will cover all manner of calls. What to do when someone wants a discount beyond what you can approve, what to do when someone wants to speak with the manager, what to do to change an on-the-fence caller into a loyal customer who now sings your praises to friends and family.

If your team is on board with where you’re going as a business, and the team has been properly trained, and you’ve considered contingencies for issues that come up, there’s really no stopping you. You’ve laid out the road map, and you’ll make adjustments along the way when needed. But only because you’ve begun with the end in mind. And that can be summed up in your mission statement.

80 Worthwhile Candles

Dr. Covey used to compare a mission statement to an 80th birthday celebration. He said to picture the faces of your friends and family as they come to wish you well on your big day. All these people have come to honor you, to express their feelings, to toast a life well spent.

Imagine what words would be spoken about you. What would you like the speaker to say about you and your life? What would you like them to say about your character and contributions?

“John is the most honest man I’ve ever known. He’s been a great colleague and a wonderful friend. Happy birthday, Frank.” “I don’t know where I’d be in life if it weren’t for John. I could speak for three straight days about his impact on me. Cheers, John.” “John gave me a break when no one else would, and his gamble paid off. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, John.”

Which achievements would you want them to remember? What impact would you have liked to have made in their lives? This is a special day for you if you’ve managed to fulfill your mission.

The goal is to start living today with that picture of your own 80th birthday party clearly in mind. In that picture, you will find your definition of true success. And now take that same idea and apply it to your business as if it were living and breathing. And then make sure the mission statement reflects all of that.

It doesn’t need to be complicated or some long Magnum Opus. In fact, Dr. Covey mentioned his personal mission statement was just three words. One day I asked him what the three words were.

No empty chairs.

He went on to explain that on his 80th birthday, he’d like there to be no empty chairs. That means all of his kids and grandkids were still alive and together and thriving. And that he would’ve helped enough people to fill those chairs at his celebration. Or even his funeral. Those three words helped him start each day with an end goal in mind, as focused as can be.

Mission Possible

So, when you think about this for your company, you simply think about what you’re trying to accomplish. Think about the people involved. What type of environment do you want to create for your employees?

At my company, we have a very simple management philosophy with respect to retaining people and attracting new hires. We want to have the best culture and the best compensation in the industry. That’s it. And we want that to align with the mission statement, which is this:

I inspire, and I teach organizations and individuals how to thrive in the face of adversity.

Here are some others that are very interesting:

Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day. I shall not fear anyone on earth. I shall fear only God. I shall not bear ill will towards anyone. I shall not submit to injustice from anyone. I shall conquer untruth by truth, and in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering. — Mahatma Gandhi

To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the approbation of honest critics, to endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give oneself, to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition, to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exaltation, to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. That is to have succeeded. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our mission is to produce the finest expert website designs through constant innovation and inspiration. For us, nothing is more important than delighting our clients to deliver exceptional website and design solutions. We seek to serve the client, create inspired design, research, and apply and develop expert web technology. — a web design firm

To be humble, to say thanks to God in some way every day, to never react to abuse by passing it on, to find the self within that does and can look at all sides without loss. — unknown

One of the things Dr. Covey talks about overall in the Seven Habits is if you have this system of principles that you live by and if you solve all of your problems within the scope of those parameters, then you’ll always make the right decision.