Revisit Covey's Roles and Goals from December 2020

goalswork Sep 27, 2021
Thanks to

Last December I posted how Stephen Covey's concept of roles and goals helped me achieve so much more balance in my life (which is amazing for a workaholic). I feel impressed to expand on that concept and apply it more closely to setting your life's goals with well-rounded fulfillment.

Summary of Roles and Goals

Covey recognized that each of us operates in different roles in life. Most of these roles stem from our own life's choices, while other people may thrust some roles upon us. I frequently use the term identities to describe the same concept that Covey called roles. I frequently remind people to maintain their professional identity versus the job seeker identity. Covey would have described them as your professional role versus a job seeker role.

I'm a firm believer in setting goals each year and reviewing them each week. I used the roles and goals approach for 20+ years. Let me share the roles I identified for my self:

  1. Me, a human being (my personal role)
  2. Child of God (my spiritual role)
  3. Carol's husband (my role as a spouse)
  4. Father & Grandfather (my role to my immediate family)
  5. Son & sibling (my extended family role)
  6. Manager of Field Operations & Training (my professional role)
  7.  CEO, The Larry Stevenson Group (my entrepreneurship role)

Set Goals for Each Role 

Covey recommends that after identifying our various roles (he suggests we limit them to no more than 7 roles), we set goals for each role. The GoalsWork model recommends 5 specific types of goals you may set for each role. The role will generate ideas for, and modify the specifics of, the goal. The 5 specific types of goals you may consider for each role include:

  • What do you want to do in that role?
  • What do you want to buy in that role?
  • Where do you want to go in that role?
  • What do you want to be in that role?
  • What do you want to give in that role?

Let me illustrate how the role may direct each goal:

  • You may want to buy, using your own money, a new motorcycle in your role as a person, while you may need to buy a new printer/copier, with the companies money, as a manager
  • You may want to go, using your own money to Hawaii with your spouse, while your company may assign you to go to Paris in your auditing role. Or, you may decide to take your spouse and stay a few extra day in Paris with you this year and go to Hawaii next year.

We hope you see how roles may ease the process of goal setting by guiding your thinking, plus how the GoalsWork model provides a framework for setting goals for each role.

Learn more about roles and goals through Stephen R. Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People or through

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