Choosing to be Highly Effective

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Why We Focus on Employee Development with Our Business Wisdom Literature Series

At McKnight Advisory, one of our main focuses is community education. That education also extends to our employees. Every quarter we feature a book from our business Wisdom Literature Series that we read together as a company. This quarter, we’re reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.

First of all, what is business wisdom literature?

“Wisdom literature,” as the term is typically used, refers to certain books in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible such as Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. These books were intended to provide education and guidance to the Jewish people. They became foundational to living a godly life.

So where does the “business” part come in?

When you’re a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to improve your business model. Who do you turn to when you’re looking for business best practices? The books in our Business Wisdom Literature Library are the books that McKnight turned to, and encourage others to look to as well. These books are the basis of our business model and our core values. For that reason, we share them with our employees and with you.

What is the benefit of learning as a company?

Like many companies, McKnight has a set of core values that guide the actions of our company. Unlike many companies, McKnight’s internal core values could be best described as “quirky” and “anecdotal.” One such value is “Rowing in Our Blue Ocean.”* Essentially, we want to be heading in the direction of the things that make McKnight unique – and more importantly, we want to be heading there together. Business wisdom literature forms the foundation of our business model. Reading the literature together gives us the greatest opportunity of “Rowing in Our Blue Ocean” success.

Why did The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People make the list?

After hearing our President and CEO, Edwin McKnight, tell us to “begin with the end in mind” for the dozenth time, we thought it would be a good idea to read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to know what he was talking about. All business wisdom literature is designed to help a company form best practices and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is the gold standard.

We chose Stephen Covey’s book because it focuses on the individual. This may seem counter-intuitive; wouldn’t you want to focus on the company’s effectiveness? Of course we want our company to be effective; but a company can only be effective if it’s employees are effective first. We can have all the right processes, all the right clients, all the right practices as a company, but we will never be as effective as we could be without our employees being as effective as they can be. While our associates are already successful, learning and applying the Seven Habits gives us a great opportunity to move ourselves, our families, and our clients to the next level of success.

*This core value comes from Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. We’ll dive deeper into this value in our Core Values blog series.