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Monday, 13 October 2008

Now Playing: True power, humility, respect, leadership--An Interview from Quest for Success


RICHARD BRANSON: I think that’s an important attribute, is being a good listener.

DESMOND: The world is beginning to realize more and more that spiritual values, which used to be pooh-poohed, actually what make the world go around.

STEPHEN COVEY: Moral authority’s the essence of true leadership, not formal authority. I think our conscience is like a divine voice and if we educate it by studying the great wisdom literature so that we understand the principles that are truly universal and timeless, and if we follow it we haven an internal source of integrity and security.

LILI FOURNIER: In your view, what do you think it takes to achieve success in our society?

STEPHEN COVEY: I think it takes a combination of humility and strength. Humility because you believe that principals ultimately govern the consequences, not you. And strength and courage because you need to be an advocate of powerful principals that do change lives. And I think if you lack one or the other, humility or strength, you run into problems.

Humility teaches you to be reverent toward people, to be deeply respectful, to listen with empathy. Strength teaches you, make your point, have your convictions, share your convictions.

LILI FOURNIER: You know when I look at the 7 habits, I can’t think of any response…perhaps you can tell us how to use the 7 habits in our personal lives or in business.

STEPHEN COVEY: I think the reason why 7 Habits pertain to whatever situation or context there is because they’re based upon principals, and the principals are very simple.

1 Take initiative and responsibility
2 Have purpose and values
3. Have integrity
4. Mutual Respect
5. Mutual Understanding
6. Co-operation
7. Self-Renewal

Habit 1 is the principal of initiative and responsibility.
Habit 2 the principal of purpose, having values.
Habit 3 is the integrity principal.
Habit 4 is the mutual benefit, mutual respect principal.
Habit 5 is mutual understanding.
Habit 6 is creative cooperation.
Habit 7 is the renewal habit, I sometimes call it sharpen the saw.
Habit 8 - Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.

These are principals that are universal. They belong to all cultures, all religions, these principals that are timeless, they never change.

For instance, you can never have trust without trustworthiness, trust is the fruit of trustworthiness, that is a self evident principal. If you know that I’m a person that is a straight shooter and you know where you stand, you trust me. When you trust me, we can do all kinds of things together.

DESMOND TUTU: Well it’s amazing what a good person is able to do. When Nelson Mandela was in jail, he was vilified by the white community as a terrorist, almost the devil incarnate. He came out and they in many ways were expecting him to be spouting revenge and hatred and retribution. And he did none of these things

STEPHEN COVEY: I think that true power usually comes to someone that has moral authority, and then formal authority is thrust upon, perhaps like a Mandela, who was the father of the new South Africa. But where’d that come from? 27 years of prison. He comes out and his spirit is full of love, forgiveness and reconciliation

RICHARD BRANSON: I just got lucky and fortunate enough to spend enough time with him and he’s one of the most respectable men in the world, very credible, very respectful to his enemies which then united that country.

STEPHEN COVEY: In other words, out of this kind of decades of sacrifice is the moral authority that models for us to forgive, to not be offended, to not take offence, to make reconciliation, to be a peacemaker. Blessed are the peacemakers. For they shall be called the children of God.

DESMOND TUTU: He was just making people feel in a way special. He see’s himself as being in a position, but not for self-aggrandizement, for power. For service. and if I were to be this absolute monarch of the world, I hope I would be able to make people feel special by being one who was available to serve them.

RICHARD: I think one of the other important things about being a really good leader is being a good listener. And I think a lot of leaders are not good listeners. They—you learn so much from listening to other people and not imposing your own views all the time.

STEPHEN COVEY: We haven’t been trained in how to listen. But I think it’s more than just training and skill and technique. It takes a lot of courage to listen because you’re vulnerable. If down deep you’re threatened, you don’t have the security and sense of self and your own worth, for me to listen, I’m vulnerable. I can’t risk that. Takes tremendous courage.

…/but that is the key to bonding because when you’re vulnerable and you really listen, and both are vulnerable and those vulnerabilities overlap, that’s where the bonding takes place.

LILI FOURNIER: Would you have dreamt that you would achieve the kind of influence and impact that you have had in communities and cities and corporations..

STEPHEN COVEY: I have a sense of calling about what I do. That’s the basis of it. I feel the same with most people. If they would learn to listen and to live true to their consciences, they’d have a sense of calling about what their life is and what their unique gifts are. They’re unique voice. It’s won’t come from the social mirror. It’ll come deep within your own sense of identity.

LILI FOURNIER: How can you help people find that calling because I encounter an awful lot of people that don’t who what their passion is and how to find it.

STEPHEN COVEY: I would encourage two things. Listen a lot to them. And teach them to be true to the light they’re now given them.

The more you listen to your conscience, the more demands your conscience will make of you. Just keep following the demands of your conscience. And downstream you’ll have a sense of your voice, of your calling. Don’t worry about it now. Begin the process.


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Posted by joyceanthony at 2:45 AM EDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink

Monday, 13 October 2008 - 8:45 AM EDT

Name: "Ron Berry"
Home Page:

I like those seven habits. It gives me something to work towards. Thank you for telling me to focus on what I'm good at because that indeed is my passion and now I see how that will lead me to a more secure, more helpful, future. I won't get rich but by following the seven habits and practicing what I'm good at, maybe I can make the world just a tad bit better. I have my voice and I know how to use it.

 This is a very good post.

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