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Winston Harris, Senior Consultant 

Here’s a suggestion for your reading list - The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It’s a good read. I recommend you set aside some quiet time, preferably without interruption. I particularly liked the second habit – begin with the end in mind. Aside from this being a worthy principle by which to live, it can be applied to so many of life’s situations.

Beginning with the end in mind invites you to imagine your funeral - to think how you would like your loved ones to remember you, what you would like them to acknowledge as your achievements, and to consider what a difference you made in their lives. 

For me, this habit is also a great reminder that, in our busy lives, we should stop and reflect and see if we are on track towards our destination. For me it’s not so much about what people say about me or how I will be remembered at the end. It’s a principle that helps me professionally, particularly when I am working on complex issues or applying it to client relationships where you want so much to deliver the desired outcome.

During a recent workshop with two associations who were discussing a possible merger and potential merger completion time frame, the second habit was a great guide for the participants. To begin with the end in mind is to start with a clear destination of where you want to be, so you can make sure the steps you are taking will be in the right direction.

Seeing the “end goal’’ or the outcome you are seeking helps navigate the pathway.

Beginning with the end in mind takes imagination. You need to be able to picture in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes. It is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There is a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation. The physical creation follows the mental, just as a building follows a blueprint.

As a consultant for the SAS Group, I am here to help you “see’’ this pathway clearly.

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