12 January, 2009

The Lighthouse Story - Stephen R Covey

Covey opened with a story of Captain Horatio Hornblower. As the story goes, one night at sea, Horatio awakens to find that a ship is in his sea-lane about 20 miles away and refuses to move. Horatio commands the other ship to move starboard, 20 degrees at once. The other ship refuses and tells Horatio that he should move his ship starboard, 20 degrees at once. Next, Horatio tries to pull rank and size on the other ship, stating that he’s a captain and that he’s on a large battle ship. The other ship replies, and it turns out it’s not actually a ship, but a lighthouse.

The point from the story is, there are lighthouse principles. You don’t break them. You only break yourself against them. Don’t break yourself against lighthouse principles.

Values and Principles

Covey distinguished values from principles:
• Values drive behaviour.
• Principles drive the consequences of behaviour.

The key points are:

• If you take the short cuts in life, you pay the price of confidence and trust.
• Build your personal value system on principles.