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    Speed Review: 5 Habits to Lead from Your Heart

    Speed Review: 5 Habits to Lead from Your Heart

    Speed Review: 5 Habits to Lead from Your Heart

    Getting Out of Your Head to Express Your Heart

    by Johnny Covey

    In 5 Habits to Lead from Your Heart, author and coach, Johnny Covey presents a powerful new way to change how we perceive experiences, how we make decisions and how we interpret events. Often we filter experiences through a lens that does not include our hearts. Harmful habits can form when we act out of fear or self-preservation (our head) instead of using our heart. But habits can be changed. Covey illustrates how to more clearly understand our human nature and unleash its potential; to lead from your heart, live courageously and create the life you want.

    Review

    Reach for the Possible

    How do you choose to react to experiences both good and bad? According to Johnny Covey, author of 5 Habits to Lead from Your Heart, there are two choices to make: You can react with your head or you can react with your heart. When you react with your head, he writes, you are mostly trying to protect yourself. In essence, you are acting out of fear or selfpreservation. A better alternative, Covey argues, is to react with your heart instead — to focus on progressing instead of protecting.

    Covey uses this dichotomous choice in response to experience to build a head-to-heart framework. Across the top of the framework are his three Ps of progress: previous, present and possible. The present is the experience you are reacting to, Covey writes, and the other two Ps represent the different choices: the “head” choice to retreat to the comfort of the past (the previous) or the “heart” choice to reach for the possible. Under previous and possible, Covey places the three phases of experience: think, feel and do. Thus, faced with an experience, one can react by thinking, feeling and doing what was done previously or, on the contrary, by thinking, feeling and doing something new, ambitious and courageous so that you can progress. Covey’s five habits are intended to lead his readers to choose possible over previous.

    Making the Right Choices

    The first habit is to Be Courageous. For Covey, this is the foundational habit of leading from your heart. Covey describes, as an example, the decision he and his wife made to become foster parents — when at the time they had four children aged 5, 3, 2 and 7 months. Their heads told them not to become foster parents (as did many of their friends and family). However, Covey writes, they took the plunge and became foster parents to two girls, who are now teenagers thriving in the Covey household. Covey’s second habit is to Be You. In this section, Covey urges readers to understand why they feel the way they do (their core motivations), what they are good at doing and how they think about things. In each of these areas, Coveys offers four archetypes. For example, “visionaries,” “thinkers,” “artists” and “researchers” are the do archetypes, each having different strengths. “Managers,” “project managers,” “organizers” and “playmakers” think differently. And our core motives, Covey writes, will lead each one of us to be a “producer,” “people” person, “playful” person or “peaceful” person.

    The third habit is to Be Present. Covey’s emphasis in this section is on making the right choices in reaction to what is currently being experienced. For example, he writes, leading from the head will cause us to take a defensive position: We feel wrong and alone, we think in terms of flight or fight, and we do what we can to seek comfort and control. Covey advocates a heart response: feeling worthy and accepted, thinking in terms of imagination and intelligence, doing in terms of creating and following your conscience. The last two habits are to Be Restored, which focuses on moving from past experience to present experience to possible experience, and to Be a Conscious Creator. The last habit, writes Covey, is in fact the “execution” or “doing” of the four habits.

    Covey devotes three chapters to each of the five habits, ending each chapter with an exercise as well as a reference to a 5 Habits community webpage, where readers share their results of the exercise. 5 Habits to Lead from Your Heart is filled with personal stories drawn from Covey’s life, including his response to going from wealth to bankruptcy in the housing crash of 2008. Rather than return to business after the debacle, Covey was inspired by his great-uncle, Stephen R. Covey, to become a motivational thinker and writer. This book is the thoughtful result of that decision.

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