Before the author, Stephen Covey, explains what “beginning with the end in mind” means, he urges his reader to visualize their own end. By doing this, the reader self-evaluates their own life thus far. The end all judgment is death. In death, your life will be paraphrased and condensed into a manageable story—will that story reflect the person you anticipated?
To ensure that when you die you have accomplished your goals while maintaining and fostering positive relationships, you must live every day with the end in mind. This means “to begin today with the image, picture, or paradigm of the end of your life as your frame of reference or the criterion by which everything else is examined. Each part of your life…can be examined in the context of the whole, of what really matters most to you” (Covey 98). To begin with the end in mind means to identify your first concerns or priorities and visualize them as your destination so that every action you make takes your closer to accomplishing what is most important to you.
What is important to us and what we construe as characteristics of a successful life both must be our first objective in any type of achievement. We may be successfully accomplishing our task, but is that task taking us closer to our endgame? “We may be very busy, we may be very efficient, but we will also be truly effective only when we begin with the end in mind” (Covey 98). This is the difference between accomplishment something well, and accomplishing the right thing well.
Management is being efficient, to make sure that you are accomplishing the given task properly. Leadership is being effective, to make sure that you are accomplishing the task that you want to accomplish. Leadership and management are the two creations. “The Two Creations” refer to the idea that “all things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation [leadership], and a physical or second creation [management]” (Covey 99). Leading is planning and visualizing a clear sense of what you want, drafting the “blueprint” of your goal. Managing is actually carrying out the operation; it is making that blueprint materialize.
A lack of leading does not create a lack of creation, rather a default creation. By design or by default means we as creators, as the shapers of our future, must consciously design our future or let that future be designed by default. By default is allowing external influences to decide the outcome of something you could have made. An effective person designs and plans in the first creation, leadership; then manages the development and progress in the second creation.
An effective leader is self-aware, mindful of their environment, actions, and values, and applies the attributes used to lead a company to their own life. Personal leadership is proactivity within us. Two aspects of effective personal leadership—imagination, recognizing our potential in the mind’s eye, and conscience, using our self-guidance to develop our potential—make it...