The event was held on 9th of March 2010, in the Grand Hall, Cairo university campus. It started about 6:15 pm and lasted for almost 2 and ½ hours, finishing by 8:30 pm.
The event was opened by the National Anthem of Egypt, then a word by the Cairo University dean, thanking the organizers and the sponsors of this unique event; followed by a brief word for the head of the rotary club; which had a large number of participants in this event.
“It was a long and dark night” that’s how Mr. Steven Covey started the lecture. He talked about the 7 habits for highly effective people and families, giving very interesting examples and illustrative videos from real life and his own personal experience.
He briefly highlighted the 7 habits for highly effective people as follows:
Be proactive; more than being active.
Begin with the end in mind.
Put first things first
Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
Sharpen the saw.
He then started with a small exercise asking everyone to close his eyes and point north, then everyone was to open his eyes; to find that everyone pointed in a different direction; this was to basically show that for one concept; many people would have different points of view and different definitions for one thing.
Then he defined the values and principals; which are very much different from each other. Values are the social morals, personal definitions, affected by mind and they are arguable, like behaviors, ones which may be thought by one person to be wrong and for another person they’d be fine. Principals are natural concepts, no one objects on their definition; such as the consequences of the behaviors.
He also pointed out that the people who take responsibility and initiative and follow it; they’d develop an internal capacity and ability to apply concepts 3, 4, 5.
He also mentioned some important points in a leader; which he defined as communicating with people’s world and potential, in a very clear way, that they’re inspired to see into themselves as, he also mentioned that leadership is not about control; it's more about how to use the available skills, minds and tools to keep your business working:
To understand first to be understood.
To find your voice so you can find others voice.
To affect someone, you first have to believe in yourself.
About that matter as well, there was a video which showed a school where the students are taught to become leaders in what they’re good at; because leadership is not restricted to ruling and politics; there were leader kids in science, music, art, sports and so on.
Next was a very interesting point; prioritizing your tasks, according to their urgency and importance. He also said that the time between your action and your response; is your quality time to decide how you should react to a certain situation with least consequences; (that time is a matter of seconds most of the time). Being self aware: that is to be able to stand outside your life and judge it. People now; want to talk to others who can fix their lives.
He mentioned an example of a leader, who became what he is only for believing in his case; and that he was never more than a citizen; that’s Mohandas Gandhi, and another leader who started his leadership in jail; that’s Nilsson Mandela
Two of the important quotes he mentioned were:
- “Anger is like acid; that can do more damage to the vessel in which it stands
than on anything on which it’s poured”
- “We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are”
There are also laws for the most effective families such as teaching and modeling. There should also be constant communication between yourself and your parents, your children, hold regular weekend meeting that are attended by all family member, respect your family members’ opinions and appreciate them. An example of that when he had business trip with one of his daughters, in San Francisco, and Mr. Ronald Reagan had invited them for dinner. Mr. Covey apologized because he and his daughter had planned an outing that evening.
And eventually, the applause was high, greeting the legendary man, and thanking him for his time and experience.