Columns 1.4.2014 08:00 am

A guide for gold diggers

Kay Sexwale.

Kay Sexwale.

Reading the tabloids this weekend had me thinking about a seemingly easy way of making a living.

Glorified prostitution, some call it. Gold digging, some say. Sunday World wrote of a socialite who moves from one Range Rover-owner to another.

I really think she should read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey. Her targets however should read my advice to her on how to apply the habits Covey writes of. Call it a summarised version of it, especially for gold diggers. The framework that Covey presents for personal effectiveness can be applied to anything really, and living in eGoliwood, a miniature Hollywood-type environment full of shallow people who love shiny things and keeping up with the Motsepes, what better summary can they get to being effective in gold digging than this one?

Habit 1: Be proactive. “Change starts from within, and highly effective people make the decision to improve their lives through the things they can influence, rather than by simply reacting to external forces,” says Covey.

We can choose to be reactive to our environment, for example if the weather is good, we will be happy. If the weather is bad we will be unhappy. This is where your pro-activity comes in. Are you in search of a Tag Hauer, Breitling, or a Patek Phillippe? If Guess or Swatch are your brands, I can’t help you.

Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind. Covey says: “Develop a principle-centred mission statement.” Covey says you must extend that mission statement into long-term goals based on personal principles. For as long as you continue to read this manual, we must agree you don’t really have principles. That’s okay – we can’t all be holy.

Habit 3: Put first things first. In this specific habit, you ignore Covey altogether. You put yourself first. He says spend time doing what fits into your personal mission. I say spend time researching where Birkins and Louboutins are sold in South Africa.

Habit 4: Think win/win. “Seek agreements and relationships that are mutually beneficial,” Covey says. The good news is that this relationship you seek to build with your victim will be 100% beneficial to you. The bad news is you can’t ever afford to be a tantrum thrower or your usual self – whatever the cost to your psyche. Whenever your subject disagrees with you on anything, learn to just take a deep breath.

Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Says Covey: “Effective listening is not simply echoing what the other person has said through the lens of one’s own experience.” Don’t ever forget that you are here to create an illusion of what they want, what they need.
Never ignore them or their needs. Pretend to be what they require. Listen to them attentively, never selectively! Be that illusion they need.

Habit 6: Synergise. “Few people experience synergy in their lives because most people have been scripted into defensive or protective communications” Covey says. Your synergy will be achieved from your deception and skill – nothing else. The sucker who ends up ensuring your shoe soles are red on every pair you own that isn’t Jimmy Choo will be fooled by your seemingly open and authentic nature.

Habit 7: Sharpen the saw. That’s Covey’s choice of words. I say: sharpen the claw!

 

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