‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ – Did Majestic Wine use these principles to increase their profits even though sales dropped?

It has been reported that Majestic Wine’s profits by £0.5m to £23.7m, whereas, their sales have fallen £5.9m to £274.4m, a drop of 2.1% … more profit from less work! Sounds ideal to me.

This then got me really thinking about the ‘effectiveness’ of our people and ourselves and which better advocate of this subject than Stephen R. Covey, author of this book, who passed away last year. One of the legacies he left behind was his book which really defines the best methods for getting a higher return on the investment you put in, ie, yourself.

This is only a quick dip into what this book is about. If you want to understand this better and succeed in what you do or want to do, contact Neil at Coaching to Success for further information where he can help you get from where you are now to reach that point.

The first three headings move us from a state of being Dependant to that of Independent. The following three take it to the next level of Interdependency and the seventh to renewal and continued improvement. This is an extremely shallow over-view and not wishing to do the book any disrespect, I would strongly urge that you purchase it.

1.   Be Proactive

Values are the key issues here and proactive people use their initiative and resourcefulness to create solutions ‘themselves’ without waiting for others to come up with the answers. To be proactive, assess the situation before you, and develop a positive response to overcoming it. Majestic Wine had a downturn in sales but profit increases, how were they able to do that? If that question alone gets you thinking about how they did it, then turn those same thoughts to your own company/firm.

2.   Begin With the End in Mind

Look more closely at what you are doing and what/where you wish to go with it. All too often we start with a dream and the day to day work then takes over. Fundamentally, this is also about creating a mission statement but not just  one thrown together but a principal-centred one. Coaching helps keep you focused on those goals and this is where we often stumble. Keep focused on the end goal.

3.   Put First Things First

Prioritise! Following on from No.2, avoid trying to do everything at once without truly accomplishing any one of the tasks to their full potential. Take time for each of the key roles you take on.


4.   Think Win/Win

This is not about you and your own gains. Win/Win is about all parties successfully gaining from the outcome. It is about seeking agreements with the people around you no matter what role they play. Partners, staff, clients, customers, suppliers … and many others too. Do not pay lip-service to this area by trying to undervalue their service or string them along. Assess the situation as much from THEIR perspective as your own and come to a solution that satisfies both party’s needs.

5.   First Seek to Understand… THEN to be Understood

This follows on beautifully. ANY form of realistic relationship must be based around first understanding the other person’s needs. For example, if selling, look at what it is that ‘they’ need and not what you think you can sell them. This is the most important part of Covey’s habits. Interpersonal relationships based around ‘Effective’ listening, not hearing, but listening and removing your own personal experiences from the equation allowing you to be empathetic with what they are saying.

6.   Synergise

Another part of what Covey talks about is that the whole is Greater than the sum of all parts. Ergo, synergy through the building of mutual trust, the understanding and the honest wish to develop to a mutually convenient outcome will inevitably lead to much greater achievements.


7.   Sharpen the Saw

Covey refers to this as the four dimensions of renewal. Physical (Exercise, Nutrition, Stress Management) – Social/Emotional (Service, Empathy, Synergy, Intrinsic security) – Spiritual (Value clarification & commitment, Study & meditation) – Mental (Reading, Visualising, Planning, Writing). You need to take time out from the productive nature of your work to allow you to further build production capacity through renewal of the aforementioned areas.

Coaching goes much deeper into all these elements to give you a much clearer perspective of where you are now, where you want to be and to facilitate the path in getting there.

This is powerful matter and to truly succeed in all areas of your life or wellbeing, these areas need to be addressed. If you are at a point in your career, business or firm where you want to improve that or your work life balance while still increasing profits, as with Majestic Wines success … then call Neil on 07761 187238 or email him at neil@coachingtosuccess.co.uk and book up a free consultation to see where you can take your future but do it soon before someone else takes your future dreams.

As we say, Our business is all about YOUR success.