Covey’s 8th Habit

So, with Covey’s help, we’ve found our voice and we know how to express it…and some new folks came in.

Now what?

Covey’s book, The 8th Habit, did to leave me hanging, and I won’t leave you hanging.

Everybody knows the work begins after getting them in.  Your ‘voice’ and how to ‘express’ it is a lot but it isn’t enough.

We’ve got to be sensitive and knowledgeable about both the challenges new people face and what to do about them.

Hitting the Sweet Spot

In sports…golf, baseball, etc., there is an expression – “The Sweet Spot.”  It’s when you hit the ball perfectly…just nail it.  It’s a wonderful feeling.  It travels far and when you hit it, it’s effortless and you’ve hit it so perfectly that you don’t feel any vibration…none.  Superb.

The same is true about a group.  Once you hit the ‘sweet spot’ with your teams, it feels effortless and man-o-man does it travel far.  It duplicates.

To hit that spot with people is special.  It affects lives.  Is there anything better than people making changes and reaching greatness within their potential?  And if it is done right, they stretch their potential because they want to.  Imagine a group that motivates you instead of you trying to motivate them?

Why did they join?

It is the ‘why’…important.  But the reason they joined is bigger.

They want change.

Change is difficult because under stress, and anything new is stressful, people tend to fall back on what is familiar.  The very behaviors that got them into a position they wanted to change.  You gotta love irony.

We must know these six things are “there” and deal with them before they become issues.  Most people who can sponsor people don’t know these 6 things so they keep sponsoring new people, thinking the ones they sponsored just did not want it bad enough.  A huge mistake that duplicates with other leaders.

Remember Coach Wooden’s famous leadership statement…”We manage things, we work with people.”  And my experience is most people who start to grow a group do exactly the opposite…and it never really takes off.

Here are the 6 things you, as a leader, must help new people manage.  You help them manage these 6 things and your teams will hit the sweet spot.

6 Things

1. Clarity

They do not have a clue as to what your organizations goals are.  We let them pick what they want, their ‘why’ but we never are clear about what we want from ourselves and the team.  It has to be clear…so clear that they can communicate it.  “We want to build an organization where everyone hits their personal goals and runs so effectively that not only do they have the money they want, they have the time to enjoy it.  We want and need you to be a part of that.”

2. Commitment

Organizations sputter because people do not buy into the goals of your team, your vision.  Passion goes a long way but 3-ways to people that you have bought in…and making it a part of every meeting and branding the team adds significantly.  The two things that pushed commitment over the top is other people talking to them about their goals once you’ve got them in writing AND the time you and other’s invest in them on point 3: Translation.

3. Translation

When people join they do not know what is expected of them, what to do or how to do it.  We’ve got…we must teach them some skills and link the execution of those skills to the vision they have for themselves and the team.

4. Enabling

Not all enabling is bad.  In this case, as Covey points out it is essential yet something very few organizations do.  This is structure.  In networking, I like to call it ‘structured flexibility.

What does that mean?

  • Never get off the phone with a rep without the next goal advancing or income-producing activity scheduled.  Schedule 2 things with them.
  • Teach them that we never get off the phone without scheduling the next activity.
  • Since you’ve scheduled 2, they will ALWAYS have 2.  That is the structure part.
  • Let them pick the times that are good for them, that’s the flexibility part.

You’ve got to have a system and nothing is better than the 3 Deep Pattern so 3 competent people are working with them…2x a week.  Now you’ve got them doing income-producing tasks with 3 people who know how to produce.

5. Synergy

Groups fail over tiny, petty things…always ego-based.  Stay out of politics and practice this easy method I learned years ago.  You want the reputation this will give, guaranteed.

When someone wants to tell you about a problem with someone else…from important to petty…stop them dead in their tracks.

“Stop right there John.  Look, not everyone is going to get along all the time but I have a policy.  I simply will not talk about other people who are not present.  So we can 3 way them in and work this out.  Here is what you can count on.   I never talk about others.  Glad to mediate and work things out…and you can count on me doing the same for you.  I do it for everyone.”

Word spreads quickly that you simply do not talk about others.

KEY: Do not slip, even if the person they want to talk about is a jerk.  Keep your guard up and everyone likes this so much, once they see you will not budge, that they emulate it.  That creates synergy even with difficult folks.

6. Accountability

People don’t regularly hold themselves accountable.  We’ll discuss this further in the next post, but let’s begin with you.  I cannot tell you how many leaders I know who moan and whine about ‘no accountability’ but when I ask them…’ who are you accountable with every day?’, there is always a whole lot of stuttering and stammering going on.

For some reason, earners never want to be held accountable.  They just want to hold others accountable.

Do you have an accountability partner? A daily partner?

You focus on these 6 things for your group hitting the Sweet Spot is easy and fun.


mark januszewski

world’s laziest networker

See you in a couple days with the last installment of The 8th Habit.

About the Author

  • Great article Mark. Matter of fact, I used parts of it as a broadcast to my opt-ins to urge them on to action BEFORE the holidays!



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