June 16, 2020 – 7 Habits Sean Covey and Secure Anchor Dr. Eric Cole

June 16, 2020 – 7 Habits Sean Covey and Secure Anchor Dr. Eric Cole

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Sean Covey – Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and President of FranklinCovey Education – Read interview highlights here

I want both of us to succeed! It comes from feeling of abundance.
There is more than enough success to go around. Life is not a competition! We both can have an all-you-can-eat-buffet! 

Sean Covey, President of FranklinCovey Education, is a business executive, best-selling author, speaker, and innovator. Sean is devoted to transforming education throughout the world through a principle-centered leadership approach. Sean directs FranklinCovey’s whole school transformation process, called Leader in Me®, which is now in more than 5,000 schools and 50 countries throughout the world. Sean is New York Times bestselling author and has authored or co-authored several books, including The Wall Street Journal’s #1 Business Bestseller with more than 500,000 copies sold, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, which has been translated into 30 languages and sold more than eight million copies worldwide. He is a versatile keynoter who regularly speaks to students and adults within schools and organizations and has appeared on numerous radio and TV shows and in print media. Franklin Covey Co today announced the release of a new special 30th anniversary edition of Stephen Covey’s (1932-2012) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which commemorates the timeless wisdom of The 7 Habits for a new generation with the book’s original content along with personal insights at the end of each chapter by Covey’s son, Sean Covey.

Eric Cole – Founder and CEO Secure Anchor Consulting

Cyber adversaries prey when we are the weakest. They love when
we are emotional. Just in the last 90 days, the number of cyber
attacks against individuals has increased by 300%.

Eric Cole, PhD, an Industry-Renowned Cybersecurity Expert with more than 30 years of network security experience, is the founder and CEO of Secure Anchor Consulting; where he offers expertise across the whole spectrum of cyber security. In addition, he is a sought-after expert witness for government agencies and commercial companies. He was a 2014 inductee to the InfoSecurity Hall of Fame and has been awarded the Cyber Wingman Award from the US Air Force. Dr. Cole started in the cyber world as an analyst with the CIA when computer security was in its infancy. Now, his teaching, research, and the constant learning demanded by rapidly changing technology all merge to create an incomparable skill set. Prior to founding Secure Anchor, Dr. Cole was dean of faculty and a leading instructor and course developer at SANS Institute, where he remains a faculty fellow. His career has spanned industry and government roles including CTO at McAfee, Chief Scientist for Lockheed Martin, and member of the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th President, Barack Obama. Dr. Cole is the author of several books, including Advanced Persistent Threat: Understanding the Danger and How to Protect Your Organization, Hackers Beware: The Ultimate Guide to Network Security, Insider Threat, and Hiding in Plain Sight.

Highlights from Sean’s Interview

Well, we’re releasing a special 30th anniversary edition of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. It’s been out 30 years. It’s one of the best-selling business books ever and sold 40 million copies, which is unbelievable. It’s been a global phenomenon, it’s popular in every language and country. So when the publisher came to me and said, “Hey, for the 30th anniversary edition, we want you to add insights to it.” I said, “No way! I’m not touching this book, it’s like the Bible. It’s such a powerful book, I’m not going to do anything with it.” They kept pushing on me and after six months, they persuaded me. But in the end, I saw that 7 Habits had such an impact on so many, I’d love to share some of the modern applications and insights. So I haven’t touched my father’s words because he’d haunt from his grave, but at the end of each chapter, I’ve added some insights. Like on Habit 3: Put First Things First, which is all around managing your time well, I’ve added some insights and applications and stories of impacted people. So that’s basically what it is. It’s a new version, but the newness is just some insights at the end of each chapter. Then the front matter and the back matter is a little bit different, we’ve got a new Q&A in there, some classic Stephen R. Covey responses to some really cool questions. So that’s what it’s all about, it just came out.

Let’s quickly go through the seven habits. So the 7 Habits, it’s a sequential approach to help you become effective as a person. It starts with becoming effective with yourself or getting your own act together, and then working well with other people. First out, it’s called ‘Be Proactive’. It basically means you take responsibility for your life, you take initiative, and you make it happen. You’re in the driver’s seat of your life, not a passenger. It’s the idea that you’ve got a choice. You can’t control what happens to you, you can’t control the virus, but you can control what you do about it. So it’s the idea that we’ve got to take charge and stop being a victim because it’s so easy to be a victim. I remember my dad always taught me this lesson, a few years ago, before he passed away I was talking to him and he said, “Hey, how’s work coming Sean?” I said, “You know what? Not going that great. I hate my commute, it’s taking me forever to get to work. My boss is driving me crazy, such a micromanager! I feel I’ve got way too much to do, I’m just overwhelmed. I’m just running on a treadmill, it feels like.” I was looking for sympathy, but he came back and said “Geez, you’re such a victim! If you don’t like your commute, then move. Stop fighting your boss and get along with them. You can manage your time, so you’re not so busy. Geez!” Then he walked away. So it was kind of a slap in the face and reminded me that it’s so easy to fall into the victimitis trap of blaming things and other people and your upbringing and your parents and your genes or whatever, and not taking responsibility. That’s the foundational idea. Because you really can’t practice other habits until you say, I’m in charge of my happiness or unhappiness, it’s about me.

Moving on, number two is called ‘Begin With the End in Mind’. So it’s the idea that everything is created twice; a blueprint is created before a building, a recipe before the cake, an outline before the book. It’s called Begin with the End in Mind, and the best way to begin with the end in mind is to have a personal mission statement. It can be done any way you want it to be done. Some people have long mission statements, some are short and some kind of have it in their heads; haven’t really written it down, but we encourage people to write it down, it’s a powerful thing. We hold workshops all over the world where we give people an hour or two to get going on their personal mission statement. But it’s like a constitution, you just write down what your life is about and what’s important to you. It can be a guiding document, just like the Constitution of our country is so important for our country in so many ways. It’s kind of like goal-setting, but just add to it a personal mission, the idea of what you feel you can uniquely contribute to the world; so your big picture.

Then Habit 3 is, ‘First Things First’. It’s the hardest habit, because we’re dominated by urgency. Things get in our way so that our first things or our most important thing don’t get the time and attention they need often; like relationships, and taking care of yourself, and continuous improvement and learning. Because we’re so swamped in tweets and dings and dings and phone calls and texts and on and on. It’s hard, but you’ve got to focus and learn to do it. The key things we’ve learned at FranklinCovey, having trained millions of people in time management, are a couple things; two things that I’d share. One is, learn to focus on things that are important but not urgent necessarily. So preparation, planning, prevention, relationship building goal setting, proactive work; meaning work that is important but it’s not due tomorrow morning, so you’re doing it in advance. That kind of focus, we call it quadrant two, things that are important but not urgent. It’s so key to leveraging your time. We’ve found that it’s a sign of effective people and teams and organizations, that they spend more time doing these types of things. That’d be one thing. Second would be, plan your week. Daily planning is a good thing, a long-term planning is a good thing, but we find the most valuable unit of time is the week. The best way to maintain balance in your life is to plan on a weekly basis. So we recommend that at the end of the week, maybe it’s Sunday night or maybe it’s Monday morning, sit down, take 20 minutes, think through your week, block out time for the most important things in advance before your day gets filled up with urgencies. We teach this again and again to millions of people, 20 or 30 minutes once a week, leverage the other 167 hours in major ways. So between focusing on things like preparation, planning, preventing relationship building, and then weekly planning, those are two things you can do to help you put first things first, to make sure that your top priorities; whatever they might be, get the time and attention they need.

So the first three that we just went through, these are habits that deal with you and yourself and trying to get your act together. We call that the Private Victory. The next three are what we call Public Victory Habits, so it’s winning with other people, it’s working well with other people; so a lot about relationships. So Habit 4, it’s called ‘Think Win-Win. It’s the foundation to effective relationships. It’s a paradigm of life and the way you view life, which is, “I want you to do well and I want to win also, I want both of us to succeed.” That comes from a feeling of abundance, that there’s more than enough success to go around. It’s not me or you, it’s not a competition. That means, if you get more, that doesn’t mean I get less, we can both have an all-you-can-eat buffet. So the Think Win-Win, which is the foundation of good relationships, one way to do it is to balance what you want with what other people want. You’re always aware of other people’s needs, but you don’t want to get stepped on either. So lose-win is where you say, “I care about you, but at my expense.” You’re low on courage and it’s kind of like “Step on me, everybody else does.” It’s the doormat syndrome. “Have your way with me. I’m the nice guy, I’m the peacemaker. I never get what I need or want.” That’s called lose-win, not healthy. Win-lose isn’t healthy either. Win-lose is, “I’m going to get ahead, and I’m going to beat you. Life is a matter of scarce resources, I want to get as many as I can. Because if you get a big piece, there’s less for me.” That’s win-lose and that’s not healthy either. Then lose-lose is the worst. You see that oftentimes in relationships or divorces or just bad get-togethers. It’s “I’m going down, and I’m going to take you down with me, sucker!” That’s lose-lose. So Win-Win is a paradigm that says, “I want to succeed, and I want you to as well.” The best way to practice Win-Win is to be high on courage and high on consideration. By courage, I mean you’re willing to step up and talk about and share what’s important to you. You’re high on consideration, so you care about the other person and what’s important to them. You want to be good at both. This is a sign of maturity, if you can be courageous and considerate at the same time. That’s Think Win-Win, and it’s foundational to any good relationship. People that don’t have that, in the end, it’s going to come back to bite you. If you’re win-lose, it’ll come back to bite you at some point. Lose-win, you’ll get stepped on your whole life. So that’s the idea.

Proceeding to Habit 5, it’s called ‘Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood’. You have two ears, one mouth, use them accordingly. It’s the idea of being an effective listener. We’re taught how to speak, how to write, how to think, but we’re never taught how to listen, which is the most important communication skill of all. Listening is two things, you’ve got to have good intent that you want to understand, and it’s a skill. Because most people think they’re good listeners and they stink at it, especially people that get into leadership positions. Oftentimes, because people deferred your authority, you stop listening. To listen well, anytime it’s an emotional issue and emotions are high, it’s an important juggler issue, the best way to listen is to simply follow the formula: reflect back what the other person is saying and feeling in your own words. So the other day, my wife came to me and she said, “My mom’s coming to stay with us over the weekend.” I said, okay. She said you hesitated, and I could tell this is an important issue to her. Then she said, “We spend way too much time with your family, not enough with mine. Your family lives close, that’s not fair.” I just listened, I could tell it was a time to really understand. So I just practiced what I just said, reflect back in your own words what the other person is saying and feeling. So, “Rebecca, you feel like we spend a lot more time with my family than yours and that doesn’t feel right, and that I don’t put the amount of effort I need to into your family. Is that how you feel?” It was really a productive conversation and I got to the deep issue, and it really helped the way we get along and the way we manage our two families. But that’s the idea, it’s empathy. To have influence with other people, you need to first be influenced and you really need to understand people. Just listen with no agenda; not listening to retort, to reply, to judge, to evaluate, to tell your life story back. “When I was your age, I remember I used to walk to school both ways uphill”, but rather, “I just want to really understand you.” That can really impact your relationship in a positive way.

Habit 6 is, ‘Synergize’. I’ll tell you one quick example. The geese flying south for the winter, they fly in a V-formation because together, they can go so much further than they could if they did it alone. They take advantage of the draft. The bird in the front takes the wind, then the bird in the front rotates after 20 minutes and goes to the back. If one bird gets hurt, two go down with it and stay with it till it’s better. They honk to encourage each other. That’s how life is, one plus one can equal more than two. If you work together, the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. It’s valuing differences in each other instead of being threatened by differences, knowing that together you can accomplish a lot more. Simple act of positive teamwork.

Habit 7 is called ‘Sharpen the Saw’, never to be too busy driving to take time to get gas. You have a body, a heart, a mind, and a spirit; by spirit, I mean what motivates you. All four of them need to be nurtured and regenerated and strengthened on a regular basis. So taking care of your body, it’s eating well, sleeping well, nutrition and exercise, taking care of your mind, learning and growing and developing, taking care of your heart, relationships, nurturing them, taking care of your soul, reading inspiring literature, doing things, getting a mission in place, walks in nature, inspiring music; whatever invigorates you. All of those sides can strengthen you, if you will. On a weekly basis, again the week is so good, think through how I am going to sharpen my saw. Because you’re the most important asset that you have to serve others with. If you don’t take care of yourself, eventually catch up with me and you won’t be able to help others as well.

To find out more, you can follow me online. I’ve got a Twitter @Sean_Covey. I’ve also authored a lot of books on the 7 Habits. There’s a new book on 30th anniversary of Stephen R. Covey’s book, it just came out and it’s available everywhere. You can’t go through life and not read the 7 Habits.