Success through career coaching: start with the end in mind

on BLOG, Career Coaching, success 31 Lug, 2012

Il successo ed il career coaching

The late Stephen Covey, in his influential book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective”, proposes seven stages that lead the reader from dependence to independence to interdependence and, from there, to success. The book is classified in the management literature, but in my opinion its message goes well beyond the “work”, being very useful also in private life and in the relationships with others. I recommend it.

The second of Covey’s seven rules is “start with the end in mind – principles of personal leadership”. Through this rule, Covey emphasizes the importance of becoming the creator of our life, which is possible only after having defined the final destination and assumed full responsibility of this path. The destination, however, must not and cannot be dictated by chance, but has to spring from our principles and our skills.

The author, in this regard, introduces and explains two concepts in opposition: the personality ethic and the character ethic.

Doing a research about the success, Covey remarks that, in the nineteenth century and in the early decades of the twentieth century, the success was inextricably linked to the so-called “character ethic”. In other words, economic and professional achievement and a durable inner well-being came from the incarnation of principles as humility, integrity, loyalty, courage, temperance, self-sacrifice, simplicity, sense of reality. On the contrary, the most recent success stories are characterized by the so-called “personality ethic”: the success becomes an emanation of personality, image, external attitudes. This probably gave way for the development and the imposition of both public relations techniques and positive thinking.

The author repeatedly points out that the personality ethic may be useful only in the short term and in superficial interactions. In the long run, it’s exposed, leaving only feelings of manipulation, emptiness and insincerity. On the contrary, only integrity, willpower, courage and energy do bring to true and lasting success. What Thomas Edison said about genius can be paraphrased: success (whatever meaning it has for each of us) is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

Consequently, a destination based on the character ethic and not on personality ethic, on deep values and not on ephemeral outward appearances, that is firmly anchored to our principles can give us an immense force and allow us to fully achieve our success. And, consequently, we can deal with life, choices, changes, relations taking advantage of an internal compass, a stabilizer that will make us stable but flexible, soft but determined, consistent and satisfied.

I'm glad to talk about it because that's the very essence and arena of career coaching, although Stephen Covey never explicitly mentioned my discipline in his book. What makes career coaching so useful, powerful, ethical and satisfying is this shift from outward to inward, from aesthetics to ethics, from superficiality to essence, from transitory to durable, from someone’s else to mine.

Here you are some food for thought:

– qual è il vostro progetto di vita?

– qual è la vostra mission?

– quali valori dovete sempre onorare per sentirvi integri?

– se doveste descrivere la vostra destinazione, come sarebbe?

– come vi sentirete quando l’avrete raggiunta?

– come appare, per voi, il successo?

Your career coach can help you answering all these questions and aligning your life to your principles.






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