The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

The chapters are dedicated to each of the habits, which are represented by the following imperatives:

  1. Be Proactive. Here, Covey emphasizes the original sense of the term “proactive” as coined by Victor Frankl. You can either be proactive or reactive when it comes to how you respond to certain things. When you are reactive, you blame other people and circumstances for obstacles or problems. Being proactive means taking responsibility for every aspect of your life. Initiative and taking action will then follow. Covey also shows how man is different from other animals in that he has self-consciousness. He has the ability to detach himself and observe his own self; think about his thoughts. He goes on to say how this attribute enables him: It gives him the power not to be affected by his circumstances. Covey talks about stimulus and response. Between stimulus and response, we have the power of free will to choose our response.
  2. Begin with the End In Mind. This chapter is about setting long-term goals based on “true north” principles. Covey recommends formulating a “personal vision statement” to document one’s perception of one’s own vision in life. He sees visualization as an important tool to develop this. He also deals with organizational vision statements, which he claims to be more effective if developed and supported by all members of an organization rather than prescribed.
  3. Put First Things First . Here, Covey describes a framework for prioritizing work that is aimed at short-term goals, at the expense of tasks that appear not to be urgent, but are in fact very important. Delegation is presented as an important part of time management. Successful delegation, according to Covey, focuses on results and benchmarks that are to be agreed upon in advance, rather than prescribed as detailed work plans.
  4. Think Win/Win describes an attitude whereby mutually beneficial solutions are sought that satisfy the needs of oneself, or, in the case of a conflict, both parties involved.
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. Covey warns that giving out advice before having empathetical understood a person and their situation will likely result in rejection of that advice. Thoroughly reading out your own autobiography will decrease the chance of establishing a working communication.
  6. Synergism describes a way of working in teams. Apply effective problem solving. Apply collaborative decision making. Value differences. Build on divergent strengths. Leverage creative collaboration. Embrace and leverage innovation. It is put forth that when synergy is pursued as a habit, the result of the teamwork will exceed the sum of what each of the members could have achieved on their own. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
  7. Sharpen the saw focuses on balanced self-satisfaction: Regain what Covey calls “production capability” by engaging in carefully selected recreational activities.

Defects and Cost Control

The graphic below tries to show that there is a cost associated with poor quality.

The concept is:

  • If you have poor quality you have to develop processes and systems and expend resources to provide quality control.
  • By reducing the number of defects produced by a process you free up the resources involved in oversight and correction, reducing the cost of control.

Playing to management, basic principles

Some basic reminder for young people:

  1. Never work at risk. First contract approved, then work on it.
  2. Play to defensive management game, it means: plan, assess risks & perform actions.
  3. Do not play gambling with the customer.
  4. Do not commit you, your team or your organization to something you cannot deliver.
  5. You have a team: lead it and make it works.
  6. Does your customer have a good business case? does s/he has budget?
  7. Business requirements are always different to things you can propose: the proposal phase is the place to clarify it.
  8. Manage your priorities, so do a list.
  9. You can’t manage what you can’t measure
  10. Never lose perspective. Almost all problems can be solved gaining perspective.
  11. Discover your management style, work aligned to it and improve it.
  12. Leave it when you stop enjoying it.


Move to Seville

We have been looking for location alternatives for balancing professional and personal live.

There were three options on the paper I did on March with a clear priority. Finally the third option is the only realistic option, and despite it was the third one on the list, I’m more happy to have this one than the other two.

In Seville the balance will be better for the family, the job and myself,


Unrealistic requests

Sometimes I receive weird requests demanding a lot of different information related to something related to my duties, but that are special requests that are out of the standard reporting rules.

These requests have some of these features:

  • They are not linked with any major initiative, program or business standard process.
  • The delivery date is unrealistic: tonight, the end of the week…
  • The goal of the request is not clear.
  • There has not been previous communication related to it.

I have to attend customers, team members, service delivery reporting, financial reporting, audit reporting, local reporting, global reporting, country reporting, specific RFPs references….

We have standard reports, but there are organizations and people who do not know how to fit to them or do not understand the information they are requiring.

So, for these cases I’m sorry but, I always try to be realistic, analyze exactly what they are demanding, and act properly with the principles of the common sense, the least common of all senses.

La Batalla de Somiedo

Primera edición de esta carrera de montaña que transcurrió entre el Alto de la Farrapona y Pola de Somiedo. 22 kms de subidas y muchas bajadas por un lugar increible.

Teniendo en cuenta como he estado estos últimos meses, en los cuales no he podido apenas salir a correr, tuve muy buenas sensaciones, yendo de menos a más y disfrutando mucho del recorrido.

El tiempo espectacular, una brisa suave de montaña y un sol que no pegaba mucho. El tiempo final 2:37:57. Posición 332 de 469 participantes que comenzaron en la salida.