My one and only COVID-19 blog.


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As we delve ever deeper into the Coronavirus challenge, the call for character increases. This may not be as obvious a statement as ‘following the science’ and other twee clichés designed to assuage the panic of the populace, but it is nevertheless true.

It is true because some of us, those with ‘underlying health concerns’ are obliged to listen to the daily news reports that obsess with telling us that our personal Armageddon is closing in on us either geographically (I’m 6 miles away from the nearest) or numerically (“here’s today’s news on deaths and new cases”). The unconscious message is ‘You’ll be next!” Oh, great.

Character is required because we are being challenged, and because we are being challenged to deal with unknowns which for the majority lie firmly within their Circle of Concern, and equally firmly outside, or at least on the very outer edge of their Circle of Influence. The answer to this challenge lies within the competence of the NHS and the Doctors and Nurses who have to (a) deal with it and (b) be exposed to it so that the rest of us aren’t. For them, most of all, character shines out because they could all, justifiably, think selfishly and stay at home. We are very reliant upon the competence and character of the health workers. We need them to focus in their Circle of Influence so that our Circle of Concern can shrink a little.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the politicians, who equally possess COVID-19 in their Circle of Concern..

At a time where the country needs to pull together, to fight off this challenge and defeat it, all I see on the news is point-scoring. The Opposition cannot wait, when asked about the virus, to start banging on about cuts in services and austerity measures (which they caused) and blaming the government for everything.

That’s really helpful. Thanks.

Of course, what makes it worse in 21st Century thinking is the immediacy and the accessibility of the media. I don’t recall wide-spread and overt criticism of the government at the outset of WW2: there seemed to be, if reports are to be believed, a sense of common purpose and community about that particular threat.

But here we are, needing character and what do we have?

Whining opposition politicians, and people stockpiling toilet paper and taking all the sanitizer off the store shelves while happily mingling in crowds. Isn’t that a little odd?

I’ll admit that as a result of this ‘countdown’ news reportage I am disheartened. There seems to be no positivity available to us. It’s all doom and gloom, where the updates are- ‘10% have had it’ rather than ‘90% will have a runny nose’. It is demoralising.

It’s the 2020 version of ‘Let’s learn German.’

So character is called for. Some stoicism, some resignation, but above all the taking of the opportunity to become better people by demonstrating patience, consideration, common sense and all those other traits which we know serve us better than selfishness, panic and disrespect.

And in a worst case scenario, demonstrating love for those we love. Time is always running out, but occasionally something happens to make us realise that with just a little more clarity.

Love you, folks. Take care.

And if you MUST self-isolate, get a copy of The 7 Habits and the Workbook, and use the time to Get Better in more ways than one!

Leadership, schmeadership.


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In 2013 I was honoured to be approached – I was going to say headhunted but perhaps that’s a bit self-indulgent – to provide a service to schools via a homelessness charity whereby I would train teenagers in (essentially) the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. It was a Win-Win-Win for trainers, the charity and the schools involved and it was through them I enjoyed teaching a hall of 106 13-year-olds in one go.

I no longer fear crowds.

Anyhow, despite the headhuntedness, there was a selection process in which prospective trainers would give a lesson (tick), be interviewed (tick) and socialise with other people (tick). But the source of this article was the result of a round-table exercise the applicants underwent, where we discussed how we would focus on teaching the children leadership. So me being em, I took a tangential view.

I said (and I paraphrase) “It’s laudable that we teach children how to lead themselves and other people, but what about the less able kids who may never be in charge of anything? Why don’t we also teach them how to be great followers?”

I got the gig.

Leadership has become a buzzword for hierarchical management. One LinkedIn correspondent said it all when he described how administration became management became ‘leadership’ – all while teaching exactly the same ‘stuff’. It was only a slight exaggeration. Today I read about ‘leadership in a remote environment’ as an opportunistic (?) take on the magic word, but it essentially meant ‘how do we manage the production of what we produce, remotely?’ Management.

But there are books on another, related subject – Followership. They are rare and, oddly, can be very expensive.

But that’s missing a trick because once you strip away the layers of leadership, everyone else is a Follower to varying degrees. And that subject doesn’t get the level of attention it deserves.

In my training of the 106 kids from a relatively poor area of Wales, some of them expressed what ‘we professionals’ might mis-interpret as a lack of ambition. They wanted to be mechanics, taxi-drivers, and the like. Albeit their ambisions may change up a gear as they aged, instead of planting in them some long-distant dream, I just said this.

“Whatever you want to be and do, just be or do the best that you can while you’re doing it. Work hard for your bosses and enjoy what you do.” Followership, in a nutshell.

Of course, when new employees are trained they are often given the pep talk and the warning chat. I think it would be better if they were educated about what they were doing in the context of those they served, with imagination used to identify stakeholders outside the organisation as well as within. We’ve all heard the story about the bricklayer ‘building the cathedral’, but how often is that translated into the average workplace?

Incidentally, why is the Labour Party having a dig at the expression ‘low-skilled worker’? What is wrong with having a low level of skill if what you are doing has a noble purpose and provides value to others beyond your activity? A streetsweeper is ‘low-skilled’ but imagine if he wasn’t there doing his best for us? A low-skilled care worker changing your Nan’s bed – valuable and noble work. Noble service does not necessarily require high pay. And high-paid people are not necessarily providing noble service.

It’s about time we showed as much appreciation those who follow rather than just those who lead – because without followers, what would the leaders actually be for?


For more on the subject of Followership, I write about that very subject in my book, The Three Resolutions, available at Amazon now.

Book Cover Front

Principles – the Greatest Lens Cleaner.


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“You never find yourself until you face the truth.” Pearl Bailey

I have probably listened to or read Stephen Covey on Paradigms a million and three times. (How specific is that?) For any new readers, a paradigm is the way we see things and this view can be easily influenced by our upbringing, and our beliefs.

Which is why, today, I announce a new learning despite all that previous study.

In the shed where I store the world’s cr4p and my spin-cycle (why do people buy Peloton when they can do it for free), I was sat astride the offending clothes-horse as part of my Private Victory and re-watching an oft-watched video in which the Good Doctor Covey was espousing about Centres. He reminded me about how we see things through our Centres – if we are spouse centred we put their needs before others, including work: if we are work-centred she can bog off. You get the idea?

To be true to ‘life’, he advised that instead of seeing life through centres such as spouse, family, work, money, church, possessions, friends, enemy and self, we should instead see life through principles. Got that? Good.

He then suggested some principles, such as truth, contribution, integrity, and so on. He opined that seeing life through principles rather than centres provides for a more holistic, objective and effective way of living. So when it’s a choice between wife and work, we don’t just plump for ‘work’ because we always do – we look at the situation and make an objective, right decision. Got it so far? Marvellous.

But today, for the first time, I heard him address his audience and say, “Right now, you are even looking at principles through the paradigm of your centres.” AHA!

In other words, he said we look at Principles and ask, “What would my wife think?”: “How can I make this fit work?”: “Is this a way to make money?”: “What is in this for me?”

This is a default position for most people, and that includes you and me. Now, it may not always be a default acted upon, because context also has an influence on our decision-making, but it made me think.

Do I/we often make choices based on convenience, to avoid conflict, to make a fast buck and so on, when we could make better decisions if we just gave the situation a little more thought? Of course we do. We do it all the time. We know this because now and then we regret the decision we made, and not because the situation changed but because something happened that we could have known if we’d given thought to it, or which we did know about but we ignored in the moment because we weren’t being objective.

Yesterday, The Guardian published a cartoon of an Asian politician, depicting her as a pig with horns. They probably, in the moment, thought it would be funny. They looked at the situation through their Left-Wing ideology, concluded that all things Right-Wing are evil, and printed away.

Then some other people reminded them that they were supposed to be an anti-racism publication and depicting a Moslem as a pig was highly offensive: and, given the Guardian’s claim to be accepting of all races and ardently pro-diversity – clearly racist.

Looked at through a left-wing ideological paradigm, this was ‘good’. Looked at it from another paradigm, it was ‘bad’.

Looked at from a Principled Paradigm, it was plainly unnecessary.

Look through a Principle Centre – take a moment, think about what you’re about to decide, and then commit to principled action.

Because your Paradigms are a two-way lens – people can see the real you through them, too.

Serve – but don’t be selfish.


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“The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.” Duguet.

Having done time management to death for a wee while, I am reverting to promotion of the effective tenets of The Three Resolutions as I have reviewed, amended, added to and then re-published the book of the same name, available in paperback or Kindle.

The Three Resolutions propose that there are three commitments an individual can make in an effort to live a principled life. Those three commitments build upon each other, and while some may say they are common sense my response would be that ‘common sense is not common practice’, which is not me being clever, it was Stephen Covey who said it to me first.

Others may look at the subject matter and contents page and say, “I’m doing that already.” I know. Lots of people on LinkedIn are ‘doing’ a lot of that stuff. But I bet they aren’t doing it all, any more than I am. Yes, folks, I hereby acknowledge the imperfection in my dedication to applied common sense.

Ultimately, and without going through the whole Three Resolutions process, the end objective of the The Three Resolutions commitment is service to others, hence my quote. If i was to ask you the names of people who dedicate themselves to the service of others I am positive you would identify many a celebrity or other ‘name’ who clearly do serve in a charitable fashion.

But when I talk of service to others I am not focused solely on people who get great public acknowledgment (and publicity) for their efforts. I also mean the old lady in the charity shop: the man on a motorbike delivering blood: the lollipop man or woman interrupting their day to keep children safe: the administrator whose accurate records and good memory detects a murder (did happen): and many more unsung providers of service to others.

I’m often amused how someone at the top of their game being paid many thousands of pounds gets a medal for their service to their profession when the lower ranks who work harder, physically, get diddly squat. Their service is just as, if not arguably more, valuable than the knight’s.

The principle, for me, is this – service provided, whether for payment or for free, is service. There are no levels of superiority of service. However, there are services provided purely out of self-interest that I do NOT consider to be service at all. There is no harm in application of a ‘What’s In It For Me’ approach, because the answer could merely be ‘It’s the right thing to do and in keeping with my values system’, but when the question is asked and answered wholly in a ‘if there’s not enough in it for me I’m not interested’ manner – service it ain’t.

Going above and beyond the call, is service. Being paid for and doing a good, professional job, is service. Anything done completely out of self-interest, is not.

That is selfishness.

It’s just occasionally annoying how selfish people get rewarded, but they never said life is fair.

To paraphrase Mother Teresa, “Life is sometimes unrewarding: serve anyway.”

What will you do today, to serve?


For more on the subject, buy m’book on Kindle or hardcopy through the above links.

Book Cover Front

Use your intelligence – all four of it.


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“I have to live with myself, so I want to be fit for myself to know.” Edgar A. Guest

If we accept the Four Intelligences, specifically Physical, Emotional, Intelligence and Spiritual, then we must also acknowledge that the optimum way to live would be to have all four of them as fit for purpose as possible. Unfortunately, as I see so many people sweating themselves silly in gymnasia (at a time when sweating in a crowd is potentially harmful), what I see is a focus on the physical by people whose ‘other’ fitnesses are being neglected.

The gym bunny who spends as much gym time in front of the mirror as he does on the weights: the runner who is watching ‘Loose Women’ when she could be listening to a good book: the keen jogger who follows their session with a pie: the exerciser who interacts with no-one unless they have to.

All will be physically fit, but how much effort to they put into training their other endowments?

Don’t misunderstand me – there will also be people at the gym who do exercise their whole person. In the main, however, I’m guessing that the vast majority of us don’t exercise in all four areas as much as we could, although we do exercise 2 or 3 endowments to a reasonable extent.

I bemoan the fact that I am unwilling to exercise like a trainee Royal Marine, but I do read a lot, love my family and have a sense of what I want to contribute. Three out of four ain’t bad. And those three, along with the fourth, could benefit from more attention, occasionally.

How about you?

Are you exercising in one or two areas while neglecting the others? If so, it’s never too late to begin addressing your other needs to a degree that you will benefit.

Physical – just eat and drink less or more wisely, and park further away from your home. 😮

Mental – read widely, not just professionally. Good fiction, informative historical articles, and the like.

Social – get out more, contribute rather than just attend. Write a personal journal.

Spiritual – find some meaning on what you do day by day, write a personal mission statement and fully live in congruence with your values.

It is harder than ‘just living’ but the rewards in terms of self-esteem and, I would suggest, the respect from others that follow, are well worth the effort.

But be careful not to get caught up with false prophets and doom-cults! Make sure that what you learn and what you do are positive in terms of content and intent.

If you’ve noticed, a lot of successful people do all of those things. Perhaps they’re on to something?


Pressing for time by ignoring the Press.

“If I am offered a gift and decline to accept it, then to whom does the gift belong?” said Buddha, apparently. His mastery of English not bad, considering the English still spoke Gaelic at that time. Hey-ho.

Nevertheless, he had a point.

Right now (American), the world is full of people ‘being offended’. Note what I wrote – ‘being’ offended. Not ‘taking offence’, which implies they have the opportunity to decline the gift. That might just communicate that the offendee has forgiven the offender. No, the responsibility is seen by some as entirely that of the speaker and, accordingly, whether s/he realised they’d caused offence or not, they are at fault and cannot be forgiven.

We have people ‘being offended’ by things said not about them, or related to them, or even with them in mind, but about ‘others’ on behalf of whom they feel anger.

Well I’m sorry, but I have enough time being angry over my own stuff without being angry on behalf of people I don’t know, have never and will never meet.

I dislike being angry. It’s a negative emotion, it takes ones focus away from truly important stuff and lingers in the psyche long after it mattered, even if it ever did.

But there are people out there who seem to make it their profession to be miffed. They are called, “The Media”. And ‘The Media’ is good at being – or rather seeming – angry. I say that because their public anger so completely hides their absolute glee at announcing something they hope WILL anger people, and thereby sell more papers or advertising space.

I’ve lost count of the times the headline says I am OUTRAGED by something I don’t yet know anything about. I’m bemused when a newspaper so clearly takes sides against someone because the person they ‘prefer’ – and that changes daily – was reportedly bullied by the ‘hated one’, even though there is only the word of one against the other upon which any claim can be based.

That expression. ‘Public Interest’. It’s been bandied about by the press for so long, and only one Judge has said that there is a huge difference between ‘public interest’ and ‘an interested public’. The latter relates to Mrs McDuff who hides behind her net curtains saying, “Ooooh, look what she’s done” about a neighbour. But that is what the press has become.

Why? Probably because they have to compete with t’Internet, and newspapers are always a day late for ‘news’, whereas pontificating and smearing and judging can be done on the spot, and then deleted and omitted in hardcopy. Not forgetting careful use of ‘reportedly’ and ‘allegedly’ and other get-outs which would protect them against libel suits if anyone could actually afford to sue them.

How much time – and emotion – is spent being offended/angered when just letting the matter go would be a more effective and efficient use of our time? Alternatively, how many relationships could be improved by asking, “Have I been offended, or is this a misunderstanding?”, and then actually finding out what did happen, as opposed to what was being reported.

And once you’ve allowed for a system that allows for proper accountability of the authorities to their electorate, how much time and money would be saved by getting rid of the press and their obsession with non-events and non-celebrities.

Makes my bloody blood boil.

Boris is right – the press just won’t admit it.

  1. Independence is declared and, in time, a country’s Constitution is written. A chap known as Ben Franklin is involved in that effort, and is a statesman, Ambassador, inventor, philosopher and many other things. He did all this at a time when life was slow and easy, because we had no electricity and no internet. So he had plenty of time, didn’t he?
  2. A war is in swing. Millions of men are recruited, equipped, trained, transported, supported, treated, and repatriated in 5 years flat. Urgency dictated a response, but production lines were in their infancy. Nevertheless, things got done.
  3. An agreement must be reached between one country and another on trade. The estimated time it will take is TEN YEARS. WITH internet, WITH automation, WITH easy and efficient transportation and WITH e-communication.

What the hell is going on?

I think David Allen hit the nail on the head in his book, “Making It All Happen”, a deeper explanation of his Getting Things Done philosophy. He wrote, “What is it new (…..) that is causing so much stress? My answer is pretty simple – nothing’s new except how frequently everything is new.”

In other words, or to suit my article, the problem is that unlike Ben, who could spend all day studying and preparing for the one thing he had to do that week, and unlike WWII soldiers who had one focus – staying alive while taking ground – we all now feel as though we have to do everything. What’s more, we have to do it NOW.

The FranklinCovey suite of training has this take on modern living.

  • Because we don’t know what is really important to us, everything seems important.
  • Because everything seems important, we have to do everything.
  • Other people, unfortunately, see us as doing everything, so they expect us to do everything.
  • Doing everything keeps us so busy, we don’t have time to think about what is really important to us.

We therefore do not focus on what is important, because we are busy dealing with everything that crops up, regardless of the need for our input at all. BUT everything being done takes a lot longer than the important being done.

Take BoJo. The press, who live minute to minute just talking about other people’s problems while concealing their own, and with no need to produce anything other than ‘look what he did’ reportage, have said that ‘people’ are criticising Boris for not visiting the flooded population. I have two takes on this.

First – who are the people saying this? I haven’t seen one asked who wasn’t primed with a loaded question, and even those who were so primed didn’t really seem as bothered as the press.

Second, and the politicians have made this point, what do they think he would do when he gets there? Fill up a sandbag? Say ‘there, there’ a lot? Build a dam? None of which are a valuable use of a Prime Minister’s time when he has people to whom such tasks are delegated, and delegated correctly. (Not to mention how the last time he went out, someone shouted at him like it was him who caused the rain.)

Stuff gets done quicker when we focus on what we HAVE to do, not what we COULD do to salve someone else’s perceptions – malignant perceptions, occasionally – of what is needed.

So good on you, Boris – you’re managing time like it ought to be managed.

Clutter. Ask a better question.


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Clutter. Clutter of the mind, clutter of the desk, clutter of the computer. All of it gets in the way, and all of it is our fault.

Edwin C. Bliss, author of time management texts of yore, suggested that people made a big mistake when deciding whether or not to keep something, like a document or file. The erring folk asked, “Will I conceivably ever need this again?”, and because ‘conceivably’ is always, er, conceivable, it gets filed away for ever. Clutter.

Bliss suggested asking a different question. He proposed asking the question, “If I lost this, what would I do?”

If the answer was ‘shrug’, he’d bin it. Alternatively, the mind would be directed towards finding a solution to finding the potentially lost, and the imagination would present answers as to how to minimise the need or facility for retrieval.

Of course, we now have The Cloud (a.k.a. someone else’s reliable and secure – honest – computer), and memory sticks (my preferred option). But the problem with these can be the same if we aren’t careful – we just gather sticks and clutter them, instead.

So the time management advice of the day is to manage your retrieval system by first of all only putting into it what you absolutely know would be irretrievable if you didn’t, but also to name the files in such a way as to find them easily when you do need them.

In the front office at Newport Central Police Station in Gwent, there was a computer. By virtue of its location it was used by everyone who needed to write something quickly for prisoner handovers, reports, whatever. Anyone using this desktop was presented with a screen containing shortcuts to Doc1. Not just one Doc1, but somehow to a plethora of Doc1s. Notwithstanding my confusion as to how many Doc1s a computer could create, how and why they managed to save them to the Desktop screen instead of the document folder I will never understand: but the question also arose as to how long anyone would take to find ‘their’ Doc1 if they needed it again?

Giving a saved file a searchable, relevant name is important, and there is no limit to how long that name could be (within reason). Once the immediate need for access is over, stick it somewhere safe, accessible but out of the way. Stick, cloud, external drive, whatever suits. Learn how to use the search function on the documents and other folder windows (you’d be surprised how few people know how that works).

But don’t have your file icons cluttering your folders, desktop or laptop screen or desk (in the case of paper), dragging your attention away from the truly important, needed stuff. Your mind is for thinking. Not for managing files.

Do it Now.


For more on the subject, and other time management advice, buy this book, available from Amazon.


Eight lies for every one. Well done, you.


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Disingenuous. A word used by politicians when they are lying. Of course, they aren’t ‘really’ lying. They are twisting definitions and facts to fit their rhetoric. They will knowingly argue that black is white by arguing that certain words and facts underpin their case, while deliberately – sorry, unintentionally – ignoring or hiding the truth.

I wonder how many people on LinkedIn find that political method annoying? Lots of you? Most of you?

How about the ones who have been ‘nominated’ for an Award – having applied to win it? How about organisations that are ‘recommended’ or ‘endorsed’ by authoritative sounding bodies, when in fact they are truly neither and have paid for an advert. ‘Well, if the august body accepts our money for an ad, surely that is an endorsement? After all, they won’t accept money from just anybody.’ (Oh, and yes, it has an exclusivity clause so no-one else can be ‘endorsed’.)

How about the ‘I am delighted to be given this (poison chalice) as it is an opportunity to (delete as applicable)?’

A few years ago, some Police Federation reps were hauled over the coals for being ‘disingenuous’ about what a politician had just said to them in a meeting. In front of the Home Affairs Select Committee they apologised for the misunderstanding.

Personally, I think I’d have pointed out to the MPs on said committee that we’d learned about lily-guilding by watching them. But of course, politicians can be disingenuous. The rest of us are liars.

We all lie. Mainly to ourselves about food, drink, fags and exercise. Personally, I try my best not to. I pride myself on telling the truth even if it doesn’t serve me to do so. I recently underwent exactly that experience. I’m probably far from perfect but I do my best. I consider it a matter of personal integrity. (Which, unfortunately, wasn’t matched by the lauded principle of ‘forgiveness’. But that wasn’t the motive, anyway.)

Which is why, when I read some of the exaggerations and hyperbole on LinkedIn, I grieve for the days when people just told the truth. I mourn the day when our betters started receiving advice on how to avoid questions, how to twist truths to suit them, how to pee on our boots while bemoaning the weather.

But I mourn, most of all, the day when ‘we’ – or some of ‘us’ – decided that if it’s okay for them to do it, it’s okay for us to do it, too.

Research has suggested that for every lie we tell, we need to tell seven more to cover for it. Imagine that – when a politician tells one lie, there are seven more close behind that we may never even hear.

And that great ‘independent and free press’ that prides itself on holding politicians to account? They do exactly the same, every day, with their half-truth headlines designed to attract your attention, and their half-arsed apologies when they’re caught out.

Okay, I surrender. Instead of pretending your telling the truth, just lie. Just talk bull, lie to me, exaggerate and just stay dishonest. As Captain Jack Sparrow put it, “I’m dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It’s the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they’re going to do something incredibly… stupid.”

Or you can try Gary King’s Truth Challenge.

I dare you.

Save your children!


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Dearly beloved, today’s lesson comes from the Book of Principle-Centred Leadership, Chapter 12, pages whatever (Kindle doesn’t paginate).

Don’t you just love it when you think a profound thought – and then read a book by a great writer who expresses exactly the same idea? Maybe with better prose, but identifying the same concept, nevertheless?

I have suggested in the past that success is basically the result of excellent time management and effective communication, and in the aforesaid book, Stephen Covey suggested that a successful family life is the result of those two skills. Okay, he adds problem-solving as a third competence but two out of three ain’t bad.

Covey proposes that time management, or rather the ability to lead and manage ourselves in the context of the time available and our relationships, is essential if we aren’t to waste time NOT doing those things that create what we define as success. He proposes that the ability to be clear in communication is also key – clearly saying what we mean, ensuring that we understand what others mean, and even getting so good at communication that we hardly have to speak at all. And developing the skill to solve problems, which is based on asking four questions.

  1. Where are we now?
  2. Where do we want to be?
  3. How will we get there?
  4. How will we know we’ve got there?

Which, to be frank and to return ‘his’ three skills back to matching my two and making me feel smug all over again, is basically the formula for setting a Goal – in this case, setting the Goal of Solving the Problem. And goal setting firmly comes under the time management heading. So there.

Can you think of any problem that isn’t solved by asking those four questions? Even if the problem is solved in three seconds flat, the solver undergoes that process even if they don’t realise it.

David Allen, in his book ‘Getting Things Done’ also outlines how we unconsciously undergo a ‘Natural Planning Method’ when we plan even the simplest of projects, which scientists have analysed into Project Management ‘science’. Everything complicated started out as something simple. We just make it harder because we’re sooooo clever. Which might explain why, in 2021, it takes years to implement any idea that used to take weeks. Discuss.

Given that Stephen Covey and I are so clever, one has to ask (as a client, employer or individual):

Why don’t they teach time management, communication and generic problem solving to young people in school?

Imagine an organised student able to express him- or herself with patient sentence construction, who has a plan to achieve what is expected of them as well as what they want to achieve as a person, who sees a problem as a relatively simple A to B issue that s/he has time and resources to solve. Instead of just telling them stuff we want them to regurgitate in December and May.

It seems strange how we expect people to know this stuff without teaching it.

Buy this book and give it to your kids!