06/26/2014 09:09 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Recruit Your Stakeholders (Principle No. 4 of the 7 Principles of Personal Effectiveness)

This blog is about Principle #4 on your way to better personal effectiveness, 'Recruit Your Stakeholders' originally introduced in the blog 'The 7 Principles of Personal Effectiveness'. It is important that you are working through each of the 7 Principles, and highlighting any point that represents a gap for you, or challenges your current beliefs or practices.

Think about your journey to increased personal effectiveness like a set of Russian Dolls that fit neatly together. The goal is to align your journey (doll) with those of your key stakeholders above and below you.

I. Engage your boss in the key shifts you are trying to make, why these are good for the business, and good for you personally. If your boss is sceptical, obtain commitment to a trial period with clear measures of success. Once your boss experiences your increased effectiveness and productivity, you will become a role model for what's possible, and a source of insight for others.
II. Engage your subordinates in the key shifts you are trying to make, and why these are important. Be specific about changes that directly affect them (e.g. no longer attending weekly marketing meeting, no longer taking meetings before 10am, etc). Encourage them to implement some of the same principles into their workday.
III. If you have an executive assistant, ensure they understand your key roles, ideal week and most important priorities. Enlist them to help you build and maintain your system. Agree clear parameters about what you want to decide and what they can decide on your behalf. You will be a bit clunky at first, so run a few real scenarios to test the theory in practice. In the early days, check in regularly with each other. It will take a little while to find your groove, but once you do, you will empower your executive assistant to enable your ideal week; week in and week out.

How did you go with this activity? If you have been able to successfully 'Recruit Your Stakeholders', my following blog will help you take the next step with the fifth principle of personal effectiveness; 'Embed Routines and Rituals'.

For those of you who are interested in some further reading in this field of personal effectiveness, here are the key books and authors that have inspired me;

  • First Things First by Stephen R. Covey

  • Getting Things Done by David Allen

  • Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

  • Man's Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frankl

  • The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey