Stephen Covey’s classic, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is a must read for any leader who wants to be more productive and effective.
Today, I'll pinpoint some key ideas from the next four of Covey’s habits.
Covey's 7 Habits are
- Begin with the End in Mind
- First Things First
- Win Win
- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
- Sharpen the Saw
Covey’s Fourth Habit is Win Win.
Covey says 'Win-win is not a personality technique. It’s a total paradigm of human interaction.
It comes from a character of integrity, maturity, and the Abundance Mentality. Win-win grows out of high trust relationships.”
In your fundraising, Win-win is about wanting the best, not just for your organization and the people you serve, but also for your donors.
Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.
In Covey’s Fifth Habit, he explains that when you're interacting with someone and you aim to influence them to your way of thinking or your idea, you cannot simply dive in and tell them what you think.
The first step you'll need to take is to understand them as a person, understand their values, and what drives their thinking.
If you can learn to listen and empathize, you will be able to nurture open and trusting relationships with people that can lead to wonderful outcomes.
In your fundraising, to really succeed, the best leaders seek first to understand their donors’ values and what drives their thinking.
Do you first seek to understand your donors and let them do most of the talking before you ask them for their support?
Do you know what each of your large donors value most and what they care about?
Coveys Sixth Habit is to Synergise.
Coveys says ‘’Synergy catalyses, unifies and unleashes the greatest powers within people.”
What does this mean?
When, as a leader, you're truly open to what could be, when you step out of your self-imposed restrictions to effectively work with others, then the sum total of one plus one equals much more than two.
In your fundraising, it doesn't mean to jump on every opportunity that donors throw us. That can side track us from our purpose. That’s not synergy.
It means to nurture relationships, even when challenging, which allows for greater outcomes than had you not taken the vulnerable position of opening yourself up to these relationships.
Sharpen the Saw
Covey's Seventh Habit, Sharpen the Saw is about "looking after, investing in and improving yourself, after all, you are your greatest asset." He says "This is the single most powerful investment we can ever make in life."
In your fundraising and leadership, whether you're still fresh in the game, have many years of experience, or even serve as a mentor to others, investing in yourself comes with so much benefit, above and beyond the monetary cost of this investment.
Whether it's finding yourself a mentor, taking an online course or hiring a coach for personal productivity or fundraising growth, you will see benefit.
This week, how will you ‘sharpen your saw’?
In the coming 12 months, what will you do weekly, to keep yourself on top of your game?
B'Hatzlacha Raba Raba and a Frelichen Chanukah,