Stephen Covey

Begin with the end in mindYou can relate that constancy of purpose to the essential idea expressed by Stephen Covey in his 1990 best selling book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: “Begin with the end in mind.” In other words, know where you are going before you start the journey or process. It is all too obvious that you can’t hit a target if you aren’t taking aim! And, even if you did accidentally hit the target, how would you know?

This is similar to knowing where you are heading before you embark on a cross-country journey. Can you imagine boarding an airplane to hear the pilot say, “Buckle up, we will be in the air before you know it, and eventually landing somewhere; we just aren’t quite sure where.” You probably had a definite destination in mind when you bought your ticket, and would like to know that the pilot shared your vision of that destination.

Athletic teams have an easy challenge in defining their purpose; win the game and, ultimately, the championship. Exceptional athletic coaches have a better, more-focused perspective. The legendary John Wooden never set a goal of building a sports dynasty; his constancy of purpose was to teach his players to become the best they could be, individually and as a team. The championships and adulation were not the goal, but the result.

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