The Seven Habits - Stephen R. Covey’s classic - has timeless principles that should be a part of every 'highly effective Jewish leader's' toolbox.
Here are the key insights to guide you to be your most effective leadership self.
Proactivity - Covey's first habit - is to ‘recognize your responsibility to make things happen’. It’s what leadership is about.
Examine your own level of proactivity. Do you spend more valuable energy being reactive or making things happen?
In fundraising, the efforts you make to move new or existing opportunities forward will be a key indicator to your future fundraising success.
What's getting in the way - that you have the ability to fix - of your being as proactive as you'd like?
Begin with the End in Mind
Covey’s second habit requires you to know the outcomes you want - from any task or project - before you begin.
In fundraising, ask yourself, ‘What outcome do I want from this meeting or interaction?”
Push to get clarity. Once you have it, it will be a game changer to the outcomes you see.
First Things First
Covey’s third habit - 'First Things First' - is the ability to take action.
When you know the outcomes you want, ask yourself, 'what do I need to do next to get there?'
In fundraising, inertia so often gets in the way of taking the next step. Practice asking yourself when you're stuck, “What should I do next?”
Even without a clarity of what to do next, doing something - anything - is so often key to getting there.
Covey’s fourth habit 'Win-win comes from an abundance mentality. Win-win grows out of high trust relationships.'
In fundraising, Win-win is about wanting the best, not only for your organization, but also for your donors. (See Michtav Me'Eliyahu vol. 3 pg. 91)
Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
When you aim to influence someone to your way of thinking or your idea - don't simply dive in and tell them what you think.
First, put in the effort to understand them as a person. Understand their values and what drives their thinking.
Listen and empathize. Then you’ll nurture open and trusting relationships. This will lead to great outcomes.
In fundraising, first, understand your donors’ values and what drives their thinking. Let them do most of the talking. Show empathy. Create resonance.
Only then should you ask them for their support.
Covey's sixth habit, 'Synergize' will unleash the greatest powers within people.'
When a leader is truly open to what could be - when they step out of their self-imposed restrictions - to effectively work with others, then the sum total of one plus one, equals much more than two.
Nurture collaborative relationships when they allow for greater outcomes than if you’d not taken the vulnerable position of opening yourself up to these relationships.
Sharpen the Saw
Covey's seventh habit 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.'
As a leader - whether you're fresh in the game or have years of experience - investing in yourself has so much benefit, above and beyond the monetary cost.
See yourself as a lifelong learner. Find a mentor. Read more. Build it into your day and life. You'll see the benefit.
What will you do this week to ‘sharpen your saw’?
Have a great fundraising week.