“To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground.”
–Stephen R. Covey, 1932-2012
We usually discuss matters of personal finance here at Partners for Prosperity, Inc, but this week we tackle a topic no less important to our prosperity than your investment choices or your tax strategy:
Nobody succeeds alone, any more than a child can grow and learn in isolation, or an acorn can become an oak tree without water, soil, and sunshine. Financial wealth is rarely merely a personal accomplishment. Without advisors, coaches, luminaries and strategists to mentor us, our success would be limited.
Mentors point the way, raise the bar, and expand our understanding of what is possible. They articulate new possibilities, then proceed to model those possibilities.
Who inspires you? Who are your role models? Whose ideas have transformed your thinking, your habits, your life?
With the recent passing of a man who has been a mentor to many, whose books have coined paradigm-changing phrases and influenced millions, we honor the mentors among us and celebrate their contributions.
Stephen R. Covey was an author, educator, motivational speaker, and founder of the Covey Leadership Center, which later became Franklin Covey in a merger with Franklin Quest. A leader of leaders, Covey is perhaps best known for his mega-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In it, Covey identified and seven principles of personal change and professional success:
Habit 1: Be Proactive. Take the initiative. Make and keep commitments. Expand your circle of influence. Use proactive language.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind. Vision is everything. Design your life by developing and using a personal mission statement.
Habit 3: Put First Things First. Covey’s Time Management Matrix demonstrated the vast difference between “urgent” and “important” with elegant simplicity. And who can forget a demonstration of how the “big rocks” must go in the container before the gravel, sand, and water?
Habit 4: Think Win/Win. This principle is especially dear to us at Partners for Prosperity, Inc., because it is the antidote to scarcity thinking, and a formula that works on a personal, professional, and macro-level. When applied to economics, “win-win” is the very foundation of Prosperity. By refusing to practice “win-lose” economics, everybody wins.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
Habit 6: Synergize. We are more together than we are alone. Creative cooperation creates synergy.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. Personal development and self-renewal are the keys to personal and professional success.
“Live, love, laugh, leave a legacy.”
-Stephen R. Covey.
One of the signs of a true mentor is that they leave a legacy. Stephen Covey succeeded in spades by this measure, as did another man we have lost in the past year, Steve Jobs. Both known as influential leaders, Jobs was a leader in technology, innovation, and imagination. His passion and even his perfectionism birthed (and later resurrected) a company that has influenced and changed an entire culture as well as multiple industries.
(Thanks to Steve Jobs, we even used a “smartphone” as an metaphor for how dollars can “multiply” by doing more than one job. Remember when phones were just for phone calls!?)
What legacy do you wish to leave?
Many of our mentors are fortunately alive and well, still building their legacies, such as Dan Sullivan, co-founder of Strategic Coach. In one form or another, Sullivan has coached entrepreneurs for nearly 40 years. Partner for Prosperity, Inc.’s own Kim Butler has been a coaching client and a coach herself with Strategic Coach.
Sullivan helps entrepreneurs think exponentially bigger and leverage their Unique Abilities to expand their ability to serve others as well as be profitable. And like Covey, Dan is also known for his work in personal development, understanding the strong link between personal and professional success.
In the financial world, our mentors include forward thinkers such as Robert Kiyosaki, whose book Rich Dad, Poor Dad provided a paradigm shift for many readers. (“What do you mean, my home isn’t an asset!?”) Kiyosaki brought the economics of the business world into our personal economies to demonstrate that the strategies that work in the corporate world also apply to our personal finances – and those strategies are more effective than those assumed in typical financial planning models.
Barry Dyke is a thought-leader in our field as well. Dyke’s books and his research on how life insurance is used by the banks and corporations has been enlightening (and sometimes frightening!) such as how there is a “do what we say, not what we do” message taught by our institutions of investment.
And Tom Wheelwright shaped our thinking about “the velocity of money” and introduced a more entrepreneurial way to think about the tax system and legal deductions that could be taken, with a bit of planning, education and awareness.
Who are YOUR mentors? We’d love to hear – leave a comment below.
And please accept a gift from one of our mentors, Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach: a free digital book called The 10x Thinker(tm).
In this book and audio, Dan Sullivan introduces two tools and 12 distinctions to help entrepreneurs think about their businesses and the world from an understanding of abundance rather than scarcity. Download the ebook and the accompanying audio HERE.
Dan is a model for us of how to be a 10x Thinker, a man who has helped thousands upon thousands of people expand their thinking, their businesses, and their lives.
And maybe that is the real legacy of our mentors – it’s not simply the companies they build or the success they achieve, it’s who they are, and who they teach us to become.
“ In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.”