Part 1: Inside - Out


In chapter one of Part 1, Covey discusses the idea of development being “inside-out” by using the Personality Ethic as a way to describe the majority.

Covey is unconcerned with the Personality Ethic that focuses on outward traits that portray a picture of what we want people to see. He is more interested in the Character Ethic. The development of character, integrity, honesty, discipline, and the like.

Chapter Highlights

“It simply makes no difference how good the rhetoric is or even how good the intentions are; if there is little or no trust, there is no foundation for permanent success. Only basic goodness gives life to technique.”

“Did you ever consider how ridiculous it would be to try to cram on a farm—to forget to plant in the spring, play all summer and then cram in the fall to bring in the harvest? The farm is a natural system. The price must be paid and the process followed. You always reap what you sow; there is no shortcut.”

“The more aware we are of our basic paradigms, maps, or assumptions, and the extent to which we have been influenced by our experience, the more we can take responsibility for those paradigms, examine them, test them against reality, listen to others and be open to their perceptions, thereby getting a larger picture and a far more objective view.”

“It becomes obvious that if we want to make relatively minor changes in our lives, we can perhaps appropriately focus on our attitudes and behaviors. But if we want to make significant, quantum change, we need to work on our basic paradigms.”

“In fact, unless I possess something, can I ever really give it?”

“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”

Key Considerations

What is the trust level in your organization? Does it define your relationships with ministers and leaders? Or are you operating in a robotic/mechanic professionalism that drives motivation and success away?

How open am I to the maps of others based on their experiences if we value the same things?

What are the things you want to develop in your leadership and organization? Once answered, can you truthfully say you’ve developed those in yourself?