Yesterday I went and saw Stephen Covey speak at BYU about helping people become self sufficient. He’s a very good speaker/presenter. The topic around which he spoke was how to effectively use the knowledge/information worker model instead of using the factory worker model.

He spoke about lifting people up by encouraging them and helping them realize the potential they have inside themselves. When you help people help themselves, they will achieve great things, instead of just doing what they’re told to do.

Leadership is communicating peoples worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves

Basically, leadership is a choice, not a position. Ghandi was the leader of india because he chose to be, not because he was in a position of leadership. When you chose to uplift people, you become their leader. You uplift people by helping them in the four areas of a persons life:

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual

He spoke quite a bit about these 4 areas and how to uplift each one but I wasn’t able to write it down.

There were 3 things that really struck me about his speach. One was how he basically described the culture with which Google has been developed. He talked about employees not being a cost but an asset. It seems to me that this is how Google treats their employees (with the whole “spend 20% of your time on whatever you want” thing, the benefits, the flexibility) and that almost all other companies treat their employees as costs, limiting what they’re allowed to do.
The second thing that really struck me was how he basically said that we should live our lives how Tim Sanders describes in his book Love is the Killer App. Where Sanders says to learn, share, and love, Covey said to live, love, learn, and leave a legacy. He basically said love other people, help them out, learn more stuff, and help more people.
The third thing was just a side note that he talked about at the end of his speach as a result of an audience question. He said that he is absolutely convinced that if every stable family in this world would take a struggling family and mentor them, help them, and love them, it would solve 90% of the social problems we have in the world. I absolutely agree with him and am going to try to do this throughout my life starting right now.