04/29/2014 05:21 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The 7 Principles of Personal Effectiveness

In my previous group of blogs, I addressed the idea that we are leading in an increasingly volatile and chaotic business world ("The Gap: How to Unintentionally Destroy Value and Exhaust Yourself in the Process"). The resulting chaos means it's never been more difficult to lead. It's also never been easier to blame external forces for under-performance in our organizations, and disorder in our personal lives.

All of us must lead amid the chaos, yet some succeed and others fail. The first step in our path to increased leadership effectiveness is greater personal effectiveness. In our research and practice over the past 15 years, we have identified many symptoms and habits that tend to inhibit personal effectiveness, captured in the list below.

You might like to work your way through the Symptoms and Habits of Personal Ineffectiveness list, and check every box that feels familiar to you (You may like to print off the image). This exercise will provide clues on the opportunities to create greater value in your organization, and get back more of your most precious leadership asset: discretionary time.

In addition to your own perspective, you may also like to involve loved ones or trusted colleagues to understand how many of these symptoms and habits they habitually observe in you (or at least think about what they might say as you work through the list).

There are seven principles on the path to personal effectiveness captured by the acronym A-D-D-R-E-S-S, presented on the right.

Over the coming weeks I will dive deeper into each of these principles and help you overcome the symptoms and habits you have identified above.

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