By Rich Weissman
Stephen Covey has died. The author of the highly successful book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey died this week as the result of a bicycle accident last spring. A prolific author on many topics related to organizational behavior, he was also quite the entrepreneur, selling books, planners, seminars, and materials to support his writing and teaching. A couple of his books were assigned reading in my graduate program and I’ve also used them in my classes as well. I respected his views and process.
But I really didn’t care for them. I am not a fan of a formulaic approach to anything and these days one only has to click on Yahoo to find a list of just about anything: Eight Ways to Rock Hard Abs, Six Steps to a New You, and the pedestrian Ten Ways to Walk Yourself Thin. These may not be real titles but they sure are representative.
I tend to think all situations are different and we need to analyze and approach each situation differently. I am involved in a 45-hour training session for engineers on skills like leadership, conflict resolution, communication, and teambuilding. One popular request that has been built into the curriculum is the topic of emotional intelligence, or, learning how to control your emotions and those of others. This has been a really popular topic and it has taken a larger role in the training.
I will say that Covey added to the overall discussion and gave us opportunities to discuss how organizations behave and how we behave in them. It also gave us a chance to take a personal inventory from time to time and to see how we relate to ourselves and to others…all in all a good thing. Thanks Dr. Covey.
Endicott College Assistant Professor Rich Weissman teaches management courses for the School of Business and the Van Loan Graduate School. He is also the director of corporate education, which includes the Center for Leadership, Endicott’s management development institute. He is vice chair of the planning committee and also serves on the technology committee and the Institution Review Board. A practitioner turned educator, Weissman has more than 25 years of experience in all facets of procurement and supply chain management. He has held positions with large business units of Fortune 500 companies, medium-sized contract manufacturing companies, small venture-backed Internet startup firms, and third-party procurement, consulting and strategic sourcing firms.
Rich holds an M.S. in Management from Lesley University and a B.A. in Economics from Rutgers University. He is past president of the Purchasing Management Association of Boston and a recipient of the Harry J. Graham Memorial Award, the highest honor bestowed by the association.
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