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Shared By CEO

Written especially for an accountability-minded reader, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Covey, 1989) provides a practical foundation on which to build successful recruiting, retention, completion, and placement strategies. We will leave some of Covey's concepts-such as the "circle of concern, circle of influence" and the "emotional bank account-for you to explore (which you can do by reading the book or by listening to one of the many audiotapes related to it), but we will look closely at the seven habits themselves.

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Traditionally, professors have built relationships with students slowly-often not until the students' senior year or entry into graduate school. One could logically surmise that in the meantime, many other students had left school because of poor academic performance, family or other personal reasons, or the need or desire to accept full-time employment. Our experience is that many of these challenges can be overcome when a professor provides wise counsel during the student's crisis. Proponents of the accountability movement believe that the retention of students through graduation is in the best interests of students, the employment market, and our larger society. Therefore, it is incumbent on professors to play a more active role in students' success. To be proactive, professors should:

  • Anticipate challenges students are likely to face and plan for their solution.
  • Initiate a dialogue with as many students as possible, early in the term.
  • Gather sufficient information from students in order to meet their needs.
  • Orchestrate a rich initial class meeting that achieves multiple objectives.
  • Follow up promptly on student inquiries for information and on absenteeism.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Many in higher education have long believed that the richness of a liberal arts classroom combined with a comprehensive campus experience was sufficient in and of itself to produce an educated person. While there is unquestionably much to value in that paradigm, the student population has changed significantly since that belief was formulated. As we will discuss in more detail in Chapter 3, today's college and university students are far more likely than yesterday's to attend classes part-time while working full-time. They are also more likely to be older and to have family responsibilities (whether in child-rearing or caring for aging parents). These factors, along with the expectations of the stakeholders enumerated in Chapter 1, have heralded a call for more measurable educational outcomes than were common during the height of traditional liberal art education.

To begin with the end in mind, professors should integrate the following tactics into their teaching:

  • Identify specific, up-to-date learning objectives for each course that reflect the consideration of multiple stakeholders.
  • Develop richer assignments that lead to the achievement of these objectives that are relevant to students' lives.
  • Provide detailed, eye-appealing syllabi that clearly explain course objectives, strategies, and guidelines.
  • Develop exams and other assessment tools before course material is addressed. Clarify throughout the term the objectives communicated in the course syllabus.

Habit 3: Put First Things First

When students were housed in dormitories, sorority and fraternity houses, and other on-campus housing, and when they focused their energies entirely on their college experience, management of class time was not as major an issue as it has now become. Both commuting students and on-campus residents with wide access to support resources (e.g., computer access at home or in the dorm rooms) expect a highly focused and rich course experience. Effective professors manage their class meeting time not only to address the most critical concepts when students are physiologically receptive but also to regularly connect activities and assignments to the core content of the course.To put first things first, the most successful professors will learn to employ the following tactics:

  • Develop a detailed agenda for each class meeting that includes time parameters.
  • Address critical learning objectives early in the class meeting while students are most fresh and receptive.
  • Develop assignments and exams that foster students' mastery of the most critical content of the course.
  • Dedicate class time to content on which students will be evaluated.
  • Provide an overview of the following class meeting that enables students to organize their thinking in advance of new instruction.
  • Communicate regularly with students via e-mail to provide reinforcement and clarification of upcoming classroom events.

Habit 4: Think Win/Win

In his book, Covey presents "six paradigms of human interactions"-(I) lose/(you wine, lose/lose, win, win/lose, win/win, and win/win or no deal-and states that most highly effective people employ the latter two regularly. Often professors are perceived by students to employ win and win/lose strategies in their interactions. Such interactions commonly lead to outcomes that are increasingly undesirable in today's higher education environment. For example, has any professor ever really won an argument with a student? Using a win/win approach will allow professors and students to achieve shared instructional success. Students who see the professor as a caring human being truly invested in their well-being will not only extend themselves to meet higher expectations but also internalize high standards for subsequent performance.

Sensitized professors who think win/win will regularly employ the following tactics:

  • Provide positive feedback to students in front of their peers.
  • Encourage flexibility on assignments to enhance students' mastery of course learning objectives.
  • Prepare students thoroughly for exams-especially the first on in the course.
  • Foster students' performance by providing and reviewing the scoring rubric for each assignment as it is being made.
  • Provide prompt, individualized feedback on scored exams and assignments.
  • Talk regularly with students-before and after class meetings and via e-mail between classes-about their progress toward their personal learning goals.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

The mind that articulated the instructional phrase "Look to your left, now look to your rightŠ" seemed to expect listeners to understand the subject material instantly. Being the exploring, experimenting beings they are, however, students seldom grasp complex ideas by hearing a professor talk at them. In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey eloquently explains the folly of such an approach to achieve effectiveness within any relationship. When we reflect on it, most of us would admit that those who have had the greatest impact on our lives first listened to us unconditionally or, to use Covey's word, empathically. They took the initiative to truly understand us, before expecting us to embrace their view of the world. Effective professors have learned that they do not "teach a discipline" so much as they teach students-students who have the potential to grow well beyond the multiple challenges they bring with them to the classroom. Such professors will say that the most rewarding aspect of their profession is to see the lights come on ion the eyes of their students. It will always be so.

Seeking first to understand and then to be understood is facilitated by employing the following tactics:

  • Use a student profile form, such as the one in Appendix 5.1. of Chapter 5, to gather useful information on each student.
  • Employ the form throughout the term to note key points that surface in conferences with students and related critical events.
  • View students' various characteristics, experiences, and attitudes as potential enriching elements of the classroom environment.
  • Use vocabulary and examples to which your students can relate.
  • Solicit "informal" feedback from students throughout the term.


Habit 6: Synergize

Synergy is typically defined as "an interaction or situation in which the whole is more than the sum of its individual parts." Covey refers to synergy as "creative cooperation." A professor who works toward synergy believes that a particular course should be more than the sum of its assignments, exam results, and classroom dynamics. Each course should truly enrich the lives of students by giving them a foundation on which to build an understanding of subsequent classes, life experiences, and personal insights. As former (and current) students ourselves, we have taken many courses, some of which achieved great synergy and others that did not. Achieving synergy requires embracing the first five habits to draw students in and to make the course an individualized learning event.

To synergize, professors can employ the following tactics:

  • Draw out students' experiences that relate to classroom topics.
  • Link assignments and discussions to students' real-world lives.
  • Employ small groups of students to focus on learning goals.
  • Encourage out-of-class study groups.
  • Create a community that celebrates the unique nature of learning.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Covey relays a number of parables, including one about watching a man working to saw down a tree. The man admits to being at the task for more than five hours. When asked why he didn't stop to sharpen the saw, he exhaustedly exclaims, "I don't have time. I'm too busy sawing." Many professors become frustrated when their once-successful techniques fail with a particular group of students or, even worse, with all of their students. But, like the sawing man, they do not take the time to sharpen their tools. They do not realize that their results will not change until they change the way they approach the work.

In the last few years, truly fascinating research has been conducted on human learning. As professionals, we should invest the time to become familiar with at least some of this research and assess its ramifications on teaching and learning methodologies.Continuously developing educators can employ the following tactics to "sharpen the saw":

  • Establish mentoring relationships with effective veteran instructors.
  • Mentor a novice professor, regularly discussing effective teaching strategies (Zachary, 2000).
  • Annually extend beyond a single discipline to read a well-received book on teaching and learning practices.
  • Make use of on-campus workshops, discussion groups, and related resources-which are often sponsored by one of the growing number of teaching and learning centers.
  • Access online resources (e.g., www.developfaculty.com).


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a comprehensive vehicle for facilitating the integration of accountability principles into your teaching. While we recommend this particular book for its proven track record in our, and others', professional lives, there are unquestionably additional resources available that might help you achieve similar success in yours. Why not invest a small amount of time to develop the foundation that will enable you to achieve greater accountability with you various stakeholders for the remainder of your teaching career?

Leadership - Some Attributes

Shared by Bilal Rana

Leadership is an enigma.

History has witnessed so many facets of leadership that it sometimes baffles human imagination. We have our Gandhis, Mandelas, Maos, Churchills and Roosevelts, and then we have Mussolini, Hitler and Genghis Khan. What then is leadership all about? Is it inspiring and leading peacefully or does it mean wreaking havoc and leaving a trail of innocent carcasses? Since history is all about objectivity, it leaves the verdict to our ‘collective conscience’ and ‘analytical prowess.’

Humanity has been blessed with leaders who claimed to bring Divine Message for our salvation and eternal bliss. We refer to them as Prophets. They preached oneness of God, explained the infinite attributes of Divine Self, inspired human beings to delve deep into the mysteries of creation, and gave meaning to our ephemeral existence. Philosophers, sages, scientists and reformers, throughout human history, have brooded, reflected, explored and promulgated the wisdom behind these eternal principles, and seldom has been the outcome short of hope and promise.

Leadership is all about noble and pristine intentions. Ends justify means. But then how do we account for those savages masquerading as lions in wolves’ attire. One finds some plausible answers in world literature.

T.S.Eliot’s ‘Waste Land’ mourns the soulless modern times. Hemingway’s ‘The Sun Also Rises’ indicts post world war frigidity.

One feels that all history is leading humanity to a higher consciousness, an elevated state of being capable of harnessing the true potential of ‘nature’ and ‘self’. That seems to be the ultimate design of creation. All warrior kings, ruthless dictators and demagogues in democratic garb, are ‘antithetical paradigms’ in this grand creative design. But they are all leading us to a synthesis, the very thesis of making the best of ourselves and the world around us. So in each epoch everyone who left his imprints on history, whether tainted or soiled, or celestial and divine, has contributed to the march of human thought process.

Our present is but building upon our past experiences and furnishing in us a resolve to build a vibrant tomorrow. Today ‘ground realities’ around us defy this logic. With all this hatred, economic exploitation, neo colonialism and resource wars, the world seems to be heading towards a disaster, a failure of the ‘grand cosmic design’.

Is there any ray of hope then? ‘Back to Basics’ is the mantra.

Literature is a reflection of reality. We live as men in world, and scattered as characters in literature. Whether it is Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Lear, Macbeth, or Hamlet, all these are prototypes of worldly kings, princes, statesmen, dictators, and leaders.

That brings us yet again to the same puzzling query!

Sir Winston Spencer Churchill once remarked that it was not him but the people of Britain who won the Second World War. That he was someone destined to ‘roar’ on their behalf. So humble and yet so right. This was Churchill- a true visionary and a leader par excellence.

Take the example of Roosevelt- a half crippled man- steering United States of America through economic depression and the Second World War, with triumph.

About the same time Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Quaid of South Asian Muslims, was waging a legal and constitutional battle of independent nationhood for his coreligionists. Little is known of him in the West. Professor Stanley Wolpert remarks in his book ‘Jinnah of Pakistan’:

‘Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammed Ali Jinnah did all three.’

True leadership is nothing but leading by example, in thought, vision, and action. The private and public character of an individual determines sustained following.

The ‘founding fathers’ of United States of America drafted a written Constitution that proclaimed in its preamble: ‘We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.’

The vision behind these noble sentiments still inspires us as a clarion call for a free world.

Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and others poured their heart, soul and intellect to draft a blessed future for their nation. Abraham Lincoln stood firm for these principles when America faced its gravest domestic challenge in the civil war between the industrial bourgeoisie north and agriculture based landed aristocracy of the south. Martin Luther King Jr. protested for the same rights in the latter half of the 20th century. The true realization of the vision may still be distant but all these leaders contributed their best to make it happen in their times.

Leadership is thus the art of weighing options and possibilities and forging ahead with ‘rugged determination’ and ‘unflinching optimism.’ Leadership is serving people, not ruling them. It is about inspiring masses towards higher ideals.

‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’, the slogan of French Revolution, got muddled in the hands of bigots and orators. Chairman Mao of China was once asked about the effects of ‘French Revolution’. He replied that it was ‘too early to say something’. This may sound intriguing. However it reflects upon the sagacity of the ‘old comrade’. Perhaps he wanted to say that revolutions are not merely meant to attain aims, they provide stimulus to chart our way through stormy seas.

Peace, prosperity and social welfare are noble ends. Society strives to attain these. Yet, till human race survives, this ongoing quest for a ‘better world’ would continue. Humanity might never fully realize these ends; still these are worth striving for. Visionary leadership makes its adherents follow these stepping stones and leave the world a more comfortable place to live for succeeding generations.

If leaders fail to stamp significant imprints on the sand of time they may be lacking somewhere. If their followers do not adhere to their policies and philosophy, there may be some loose ends. Who is to blame? An absolute answer is hard to find. Life is a continuum. It flows incessantly. Men come and go. The only lasting virtue is memory of those who acted beyond narrow, parochial concerns. They are our shared legacy.

We are not garbage, waiting to be recycled by nature into some useful form of fuel, again to be consumed, yet again to be recycled. We are the choicest of creation. We are meant to lead. We are designed and programmed to excel. Divine creation is waiting for our response, a human and humane response that takes us forward. We are in this journey together- all of us. And we can come out of the dark, murky woods together. All we desire is peace, within and without.

Rudyard Kipling offers a panacea for our thirsty souls:


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Let us resolve to fill those ‘sixty seconds’ of life with 'life' itself.


                      30 second speech by Bryan Dyson- former CEO of Coca cola

Shared By Habiba Javed

imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. they are work, family, health , friends and spirit and you are keeping all of them in the air.

you will soon understand that work is the rubber ball. if you drop it, it will bounce back. but the other four balls; family,health, friends and spirit are made up of glass. if you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. they will never be the same. you must understand that and strive for it.

work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. give the required time to your family and friends and have proper rest

value has a value only if its value is valued


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