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Stephen Covey died on July 16, 2012. He was an educator, author, businessman and motivational speaker. You probably know him by his most popular book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I never read the book but have probably learned more about it from others who have used it in their writings and speaking.

Of all his stories, the one that sticks out the most is his Big Rocks. If you are not familiar with it, read the post immediately before this one and watch the video.

In the last post I mentioned that I saw the presentation on Big Rocks presented by the Scoutmaster of my Wood Badge course, Mr. P. North as he was called. He told the story about being a scout leader when his youngest son was a Cub Scout. Mr. P. North was an active leader at the pack, district and council levels. He also enjoyed helping with courses such as Wood Badge and Trainers Edge. If I asked him today I am sure he would say he got a lot of satisfaction out of helping others become better Scouters.

One day his son came into his bedroom and laid all his uniforms on the bed. Mr. P. North asked his son what was up and he told him he wanted to quit Cub Scouts. This came as a big shock. “But why?” he asked his son. “You never do anything with me, you are always doing stuff with other scouts and adults” was his reply.

It was then that Mr. P. North realized that he had filled his bucket with the small rocks first. There was no room for the biggest rock of all, family. Realizing what had happened he dumped out all the rocks and started over. He resigned his positions and stopped helping with other courses. This time he placed the big rocks first and then and only then started adding back the smaller rocks and taking on those roles he enjoyed. He became a much better leader.

Stephen Covey placed all his big rocks first. Then he started filling in the space with work and other things he loved. He had his priorities straight and it did not keep him from being successful. I think we can all agree that he had a fantastic life.

While you are trying to grow your business and become a success, don’t forget your big rocks. By taking care of those first it will help you to become a better businessman and leader.

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Shawn Wright
Shawn Wright is a graphic designer and podcaster living in Birmingham, Alabama. You can find his design work at shawnwright.net. You can find his podcasts, Alabama Short Stories at alabamashortstories.com and the Shades Cahaba Oral History Project podcast at shadescahabahistory.com. His designs are for sale at TeePublic.com, Redbubble.com and Society6.com.
Shawn Wright
Shawn Wright

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