Really, could we ask for a better PM-oriented habit? Successful project managers are well tuned to the fact that much of the project management effort associated with executing successful projects is expended during the planning phase of the project. This aligns well with Covey’s second habit which exhalts the virtue of planning and then building.

Habit 2 is grounded in the thinking that all things are created twice. First, it is created mentally. Second, it is created physically. For example, a blueprint is created prior to building a house; a recipe is consulted prior to the creation of a casserole; a project plan is defined prior to creating deliverables.

Covey conveys that Habit 2 is the habit of vision and personal leadership. In Habit 1: Be Proactive, we are the programmer. We are response-able for our actions. In Habit 2, we start writing the program. The program which guides our decisions. A program centered on correct principles as discussed in Habit 1. The program that Covey suggests we write manifests in the form of a Personal Mission statement.

I struggled when tasked with creating my own Personal Mission statement. I looked to the examples in Covey’s book. I googled the topic. I referenced material I got at a 7 Habits workshop I attended. I used the Personal Mission Statement Builder on the FranklinCovey website. After multiple revisions I was able to create a personal mission statement that I connected with and that I could live. Here’s what I came up with:

  • I will keep love in my heart knowing that all things are connected and related somehow.
  • I will respect, love, honor and support my marriage.
  • I will strive to be present, supportive, and engaged with my children.
  • I will live in the present with an understanding on how my actions impact the future.
  • I will act in a manner consistent with my values and to preserve my self worth and respect.
  • I will act in a respectful manner no matter the situation.
  • I will maintain a positive attitude.
  • I understand I can control what I can control.
  • I will strive to be an effective student and coach

My approach was consistent with Covey’s instruction in that I reviewed each role I have in my life – husband, father, member of society, employee, etc. I keep this posted on my iGoogle homepage and review it daily to ground and focus myself for the day. Do I live this 100% every day? No. Not even close. Is this my map to where I am going? Yes. Definitely.