“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven R. Covey is one of the first books I picked up when I started my professional career. To be honest, I’m not even sure why I started with this book, but in hindsight, it turned out to be a great choice to build a solid leadership development foundation.
If you’ve traveled with any regularity, you can likely repeat this airline safety instruction:
“In the event of a sudden drop in pressure, an oxygen mask will drop from above. Secure your own mask first before assisting others.”
For those with a serving heart, this instruction can seem almost counterintuitive at first. However, when you read the FAA’s documented “time of useful consciousness (TUC)” at 40,000 ft, it makes a bit more sense. If cabin pressure drops at that altitude, without the assistance of our favorite little yellow masks, most of us will lose consciousness in less than 10 seconds.
At times leading others can be incredibly taxing. In those times it’s critical that leaders are practicing personal habits that fill themselves before pouring into others.
Leaders add value when we are practicing habits that energize us before attempting to assist others. The 7 Habits are a great place to start.