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Begin With The End In Mind
Personal Leadership

Habit 2


When we begin with the end in mind, we have a personal direction to guide our daily activities, without which we will accomplish little toward our own goals. Beginning with the end in mind is part of the process of personal leadership, taking control of our own lives.

All things are created twice. We create them first in our minds, and then we work to bring them into physical existence. By taking control of our own first creation, we can write or re-write our own scripts, thus taking some control and responsibility for the outcome. We write or re-write our scripts using our imagination and conscience.

There are three major aspects of our personal and business management. First is leadership - what do I/we want to accomplish? Second is management - how can I best accomplish it? Third is productivity - doing it. According to Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis, "Management is doing things right; Leadership is doing the right things."

A starting point in beginning with the end in mind is to develop a personal mission statement, philosophy or credo. It will help you focus on what you want to be (character), do (contributions and achievements) and on the values and principles upon which your being and doing are based. The personal mission statement gives us a changeless core from which we can deal with external change.

Viktor Frankel developed a philosophy called "Logotherapy". Logotherapy helps an individual detect his unique meaning or mission in life by reexamining his personal vision and values to assure they are based on principles and reality.

We must reexamine the center of our life. Our center is the source of our security, guidance, wisdom and power. Making people or things outside ourselves important places ourselves at the mercy of mood swings, inconsistent behavior and uncontrollable changes of fortune. Being self-centered is too limiting - people develop poor mental health in isolation.

By centering our lives on correct principles, we create a stable, solid foundation for the development of our life support factors and embrace and encompass the truly important areas of our lives. Successful relationships, achievement and financial security will radiate from the principle center.

The principles we base our lives on should be deep, fundamental truths, classic truths, or generic common denominators. They will become tightly interwoven themes running with exactness, consistency, beauty and strength through the fabric of our lives.

In developing your personal mission statement, you can use your creative ability to imagine life milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries, retirement and funerals. What accomplishments would you like to celebrate? Visualize them in rich detail.

You can make your mission statement balanced and easier to work with by breaking it down into the specific role areas of your life and the goals you want to accomplish in each area.

If you find your actions aren't congruent with your mission statement, you can create affirmations to improve. An affirmation should have five ingredients: it should be personal, positive, present tense, visual and emotional.

You can also use visualization techniques.

Affirmation and visualization are both self programming techniques that should be used in harmony with correct principles.

Mission statements can also be made for families, service groups and organizations of all kinds.

A family mission statement is an expression of its true foundation, its shared vision and values.

Organizational mission statements should be developed by everyone in the organization. If there is no involvement in the process, there will be no commitment to the statement. The reward system must compliment and strengthen the stated value systems.

An organization may have an all-encompassing mission statement, and each location, or even each team, may have their own. However, they should all dovetail with each other.

If the mission statements of your family and organization dovetail with your personal mission statement, and you use those statements to keep your end in mind, you will accomplish your goals more quickly and easily.

For our new reviews of business and self-improvement books, subscribe to our newsletter, Michael Gray, CPA's Tax & Business Insight!

If you begin tasks with the end result in mind, you will be more productive. A chapter summary of Steven Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.


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Michael Gray, CPA
2190 Stokes St., Suite 102
San Jose, California 95128
(408) 918-3162
Fax (408) 998-2766
email: info@profitadvisors.com
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