Home > 7 habits, Leadership > What you don’t evolve is being terminated

What you don’t evolve is being terminated

The quotation is better in Swedish, “Det som inte är under utveckling är under avveckling”, but still. Christer Olsson lectures in management and spread his idea that if you don’t evolve, you are becoming extinct. You cannot keep status quo without improvement. You can see the world as ever moving and if you stop still, you will not stay in your place but you will loose your position.

This is obvious to everyone who is struggling with agile or lean values, with the rule of constraint or Kotter’s sense of urgency. Evolve or die! But at the same time, it is easy to slip.

Some weeks have passed since my first 7 habits class, and during the first two weeks, I worked the habits, went through them in my head. But then they became mainstream in my head. I started taking them for granted. It is almost scary how little time it took. I came to a stand still. And I didn’t even notice it.

But one of the strengths of our 7 habits program is the learn through teaching part. As a part of our own training, we’re training others. I’ve picked two really talented developers with whom I’ve previously worked with and who are interested in management and leadership. And I know they are not just interested in a superfluous manor, they want to evolve in this area. This, alongside us sharing some experience around leadership in different flavors has made them interesting partners in this project.

I think I’ve tripled the gain of the class by having these discussions. Having worked with training for most of my professional career, this should have been obvious, but now it’s staring me in the face. I’ve covered all the habits with one of these guys but yesterday, I started with the first habits with the second guy. So, I had to turn back all those pages. Go back to the first habit. And I saw that I’d lost it. I’d let habit 1 go. By simply taking for granted that I’d already worked with that habit, I didn’t work as hard with it. I was not back on the level I was on when I started taking the class, but I was not as strong in this area as I was two weeks ago.

If I hadn’t looked back, reflected and understood that I was not evolving, I would soon have been back there again. This is a lesson I must not forget. And today I could again see the difference in my handling of a specific situation. My soon got too much vaccine when he got his flu shot today. I directly saw this as something I couldn’t do anything about. So, instead of badgering the staff, I instead kept calm, focused on Peter and awaited the information from the Swedish authorities. As I kept calm, I could see that the woman who gave the shot was not feeling well. She felt terrible about what happened and I could place myself in her situation. I tried to calm her by thanking her that she told me and I later called and confirmed that Peter didn’t seem affected. I did what I could about things I could affect and left the other things in the bin. Screaming about it would not have made the thing undone.

Categories: 7 habits, Leadership
  1. davidwharper
    2009/11/12 at 1:55 am


    I have just happened on to your 7 Habits post thru Word Press. I am in Canada working for a small enterprise. We trained about 35 people in our company. One of the sustainability things we have been doing is Monthly lunch sessions. We have had 4 and 7 or 8 people come out regularly. It has formed a cohesive group and we are experiencing what Stephen Covey calls the “upward spiral” It is slow as each person gets thru the 7 habits and then we start again.

    I would be intereted in any other small tips you have for sustaining both the private success and public of moving towards interdependence.


    David Harper

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