Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dr. Steven Covey's 4th Habit

For those of us who are not familiar with Dr. Steven Covey's book: "Seven Habits of Highly Successful People" it is a self-improvement book that writes about principles of successful living that he has personally crystallised from his research and which he call as habits:

Habit One: "Be Proactive",
Habit Two: "Begin with the End in Mind,
Habit Three: "First Things First",
Habit Four: "Think Win-Win",
Habit Five: "Seek First to Understand, Then be Understood",
Habit Six: "Synergise",
Habit Seven: "Sharpen the Saw".

I want to reflect on his Habit 4 in particular. I followed a friend's blog the other day where the author voiced her views about recommending or not recommending customers to competitor shops when your own shop does not sell a particular product. The theme behind the write-up is essentially on the "Scarcity Mentality". It is a mentality of economics, where people feels that things are scarce and therefore not to be shared. It is a view that there is only so much money out there to be earned. So do not recommend your customers away.

The opposite of the "Scarcity Mentality" is the "Abundance Mentality" which Dr. Steven Covey teaches as the basis of Habit 4 ("Think Win-Win"). It is only when people feels that there is enough for everyone would they start sharing ideas and start thinking along win-win principles.

For those of us who are familiar with the Tarot, the "Scarcity Mentality" is represented by the 4th of Pentacles. Pentacles is the symbol of money or finances. In the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, the 4th card of the Pentacle suit of the Minor Arcana shows a misery man stepping on two pentacles with both hands clutching one and with a fourth one on top of his head. He is unable to let go of his material wealth.

It is enlightening to realise that this "scarcity mentality" has already been described in medieval times, but in pictorial form.

1 comment:

Maxine said...

So there's a name for not sharing your customers! It is a shame that most of us get educated the 'Scarcity Mentality' and not 'Abundance Mentality'.