The next article in the series is by Steve Morley who describes the two Covey habits that he believes have clear value in every business:

Dear to my heart is Habit 3: Put first things first. Focussing on other people’s ‘most important priorities,’ can not only be an inefficient use of time, but can also be highly destructive to a business, particularly in a large corporate environment. Think of the number of times you have come across folks in the business who spend their life writing reports that nobody reads, regurgitating management information into pretty pictures and meaningless graphs and generally ‘swaying’ in whatever direction is dictated by the latest world view.

Being true to your team through providing a clear vision and direction, backed up by direct and robust action, allows the team to at least get a head start and build momentum.

The other habit that I believe is fundamental to a good business is Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood®

There are not too many leaders I have come across that have the ability to generate that ‘perfect’ working environment – where you feel like you are valued, ‘free-wheeling’ in your work and have no fear of failure. It’s probably because the person wearing the leadership hat doesn’t choose to, or isn’t afforded, the time to truly understand the environment they are in and the people who work in it. Where this is the case (which is often the norm) it’s the perfect recipe for poor communication and little understanding up and down the organisation.

I have no doubt that as you grow older (and hopefully wiser) the ability to communicate effectively at all levels does become easier for a number of reasons, not least because you are able to draw on the ‘bank of poor examples’ and learn.

Steve Morley