Friday, February 6, 2009

Begin With The End In Mind

Recently we all heard of Nancy Killefer's failure to pay taxes which lead to the withdraw of her appointment as Chief Performance Officer. Setting aside the ethical and moral issues I'm amazed at her "oversights" in not paying taxes. Considering this situation made me thing about long term planning for our lives and careers. Often individuals take actions assuming that their consequences will never affect them. How short sighted. Regardless of whether you agree with Steven Covey and his "habits" his writings on starting with the end in mind is critical in all aspects of our lives. Recently I had good friend ask for my counsel about a potential business arrangement which was legal but hinted at impropriety. In my response I asked him if he ever wanted to run for public office or be the CEO of a large company. While that may not be his goal I was driving home the point of beginning with the end in mind. In business and our personal lives we should make every decision as if it were to one day be reviewed in our confirmation hearing.

Rather than a wonderful career Nancy will be recorded in history as someone who stepped down because of a $946 tax issue. Let us watch our lives closely.