Concluding Covey

So, to cap things off with the Covey seminar, in light of the 4 chronic problems within unhealthy organizations, the four imperatives for leadership to be conducted in a healthy manner are:

  1. Clarified Purpose
  2. Aligned Systems
  3. Unleashed Talent
  4. Inspired Trust
    • NOTE: Inspired Trust sits at the core of these leadership imperatives and surfaces when character and competence of the team are well balanced.

According to Covey, a key and lost leadership skill to accomplish this imperative culture is the ability to listen. Covey asked the group how many people have had more than a week’s worth of training on how to listen (about 3 out of 100 raised their hand). He then compared this to the years of training we have had on how to speak. The imbalance was obvious, which introduced us to the “listening continuum” and where we want to operate as “listeners.”

Within One’s Own Frame of Reference (We tend to operate at one of these levels)

  • Ignoring
  • Pretend Listening (patronizing)
  • Selective Listening
  • Attentive Listening

Within the Other’s Frame of Reference (We want to operate at this higher level)

  • Empathic Listening

(If you read 7 Habits, you would find this to be a reminder of Habits 4-6)

One final note to make is the idea of how well your organization does with its xQ (Execution Quota). When a winning culture (a balance of personal, leadership, & organizational greatness) unleashes its people, things get done with great results (assuming your systems have proper alignment). To find out more about tools to survey your team’s xQ, go


~ by Dave Smith on February 29, 2008.

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