Home

Unleashing our Family Culture

May 4, 2010

My review and implementation (at home) of The Leader in Me continues.

by Laughing Squid

Some nice surprises have resulted since beginning our journey to teach our children the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Here are a few:

  • My son organized his desk (see before photo in my last post) on his own with no pushing! This is a quantum leap! (See After photo below).
  • He has begun to accomplish his goal of practicing golf 3-4 times per week.
  • In addition to being the “leader of his room”,  he, on his own, requested to do additional chores around the house, including walking the dog, helping with laundry, dusting his room, and keeping our windows clean. YAY!!
  • My daughter and I sing the kindergarten “Proactive Song” (see my last post), and she just loves it! We’ve invented some other cute songs relating to being proactive as well.
  • You’ll often hear her telling all of us spontaneously, “You’re not being proactive!” She gets it.

Jake's Desk - After

Gotta love it. The best part is that we haven’t even gotten that deep into the Habits. Up until this point, we’ve only covered Habits 1-4 lightly.  However, as the book warns , this process does not happen overnight. In fact, A.B. Combs’ success came about over time. As Stephen Covey tells us,

“A.B. Combs is nearly a decade into the leadership theme, and much of what appears (in these chapters) came about piece by piece, gradually emerging over time.”

It has been interesting, especially, to observe my son over these few weeks. I’m perceiving that he’s feeling a sense of empowerment through the Habits. It seems logical that he would prefer to feel he has the power to choose how to lead (versus being told what to do and why) as well as knowing that we are placing our trust in him to make decisions which are best for him. Either way, he better understands that his actions, regardless, will lead to consequences–positive or negative.

I can see how it would be important to weave the Habits into all that we do so that they simply become a part of us. The children are more inclined to let me speak about the Habits as we are experiencing (in the moment) great ways of using them,  as opposed to sitting down and having a “lesson”.  The language used by the teachers and students as described in the book suggest how they become second nature to them. They say things like, “(this is) The way we do things around here“; “We dwell in possibilities here“; “You did such a marvelous job with your responsibilities“, etc.  When I refer to the Habits and my children give me push back, I simply say, “This is the way we do things around here,” and that’s the end of the conversation. The process is respected. I am also making sure to celebrate their successes.

What’s next? Well, my plans are to continue working in the Habits over time. Because I’ve practiced the Habits myself, I already know that it is important to master the first three, which deal with self-mastery, before moving ahead into the next three, which focus on collaboration. But, mostly, what excites me is the process of unleashing our family’s leadership culture. What A.B. Combs has mastered is to create a unique and deep leadership culture. And, according to The Leader in Me, these are the factors that helped them create this culture:

  • Behaviors (i.e., leadership roles, data notebooks, classroom mission statements, etc.)
  • Language (i.e., “We focus on the positive”; “We are all leaders”; “We honor the greatness in you”.)
  • Artifacts (i.e., murals, posters and artwork expressing the Habits)
  • Traditions/Rituals (i.e., Leadership Day, Celebrate Success Hour, service projects, etc.)
  • Folklore (stories that have arisen since day 1 of implementation and continue to be shared year after year)

I remember attending a Franklin Covey workshop on the 7 Habits, where everyone in the room represented the business community except for three individuals. When it came time for them to introduce themselves they shared how they were a family (mother and two daughters) who had begun practicing the Habits as a family and recently developed their Family Mission Statement. I was in awe. I remember telling myself,

“Now that is one empowered family! I will do that one day.”

Well, that day has arrived.

If I ask myself what our family culture is, I am not sure I have a clear answer. Using the factors listed above, I plan to move us into the direction of establishing clear examples of how we will bring about this 7 Habits culture in an authentic way; in a way that will make us all proud. After all, wouldn’t it be just as important for families to have a strong, effective culture as it is for companies?

by O ox X

In closing, I’ll share with you A.B. Combs’ Mission and Vision for a bit of inspiration:

MISSION

To Develop Leaders One Child at a Time.

VISION

To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy.

We Live by striving to be the best we can be.

We Love by caring for others.

We Learn by working hard in the school and always doing our best.

We Leave a Legacy by sharing our school with others and trying to make a difference in the world.

Have a great week,

Monique

My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: