Friday, January 25, 2013

7 Habits of the Highly Effective Queen

In my very first blog, I told you all of my love for a good read! My Nana fostered my love of books. I give her a lot of credit for my success academically because I believe that books power the mind. When I could have been watching television, I found joy in getting lost in the world of Nancy Drew. Most books are written to teach the reader a lesson or skill. Millions of books exist on all types of topics. So naturally, when I won the title of Miss Teen International 2012, I turned to books to learn more on being an effective leader.

As a queen, I also serve as a leader. When I won the title of Miss Teen International 2012, I instantly became a role model. I could have chosen to ignore my role as a leader, but instead, I choose to embrace it. One of my favorite books on being an effective leader is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, by author Sean Covey. Below, are of the seven habits he encourages in his book and my perspective on how they apply to life.

1.     BE PROACTIVE

The first step in being an effective leader is to lead by example. This means taking responsibility for your actions NOW. Fortunately, I was blessed with parents that force me to take responsibility for my actions. They never ran to the principle to defend me when I got in trouble. I encourage you to hold yourself responsible for you actions. If you make good choices in the beginning, you will not have to deal with negative consequences later.

2.     BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND

Think before you act. Take the extra time to ask yourself how your actions will affect you and others. People often have the mentality that they will begin the road to success when they are older and say, “I’ll start being a better person after college.” You control your future. Every single day you make choices that decide whether you will have a successful future. Be a good person TODAY.

3.     PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST

My very first question in my panel interview at Miss Teen International 2012 was, “How do you do it all?” I prioritize my life. Sit down and think about the things that are truly important to you. Unfortunately, there just are not enough hours in the day to do everything well. Focus on fully completing the tasks that truly matter to you first, then doing the “extras” later.

4.     THINK WIN-WIN

I come from a family of athletes. So naturally, nearly everything in my house becomes a competition. That same scenario tends to happen in all aspects of life. As a family, we have to remind ourselves that life is not about being the winner. Rather than focusing on coming out on top, focus on doing what is helpful to everyone around you, not just yourself.
           
5.     SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD

I will be the first to admit that I am a great talker, but I am not a great listener. However, I have learned that an effective leader is an effective communicator. The best form of communication is active listening. You will be surprised what you learn when you really take the time to listen to others. I challenge you to open your ears and your mind in all situations.

6.     SYNERGIZE

Synergy is all about team work. Working together is often far more efficient than working alone. This, again, requires listening to the opinions of others. As Miss Teen International, I have had the opportunity to work with various organizations. I have found that when we “put our heads together” two good ideas can transform into one fabulous fundraiser or event!

7.     SHARPEN THE SAW

As humans, we are all imperfect people. We never reach a point of perfection. This means that every day is an opportunity to learn and grow. Whether you are growing spiritually, emotionally, or physically, every learning experience in an opportunity to become a better “you”!

While it is true that, as teens, we still have a lot to experience and a lot to learn. However, you are never too young to be a great leader! I hope that you will find this material as helpful as I have, and hopefully, you will apply to your life so that you can be a highly effective QUEEN!

All my love,

Caroline

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