Back Page Notes – The 3rd Alternative by Stephen Covey

Every month I try and read 2-3 books with a focus on reading books that are on the current or former military reading lists and are focused in on leadership, professional development, and philosophy. The problem is five or six months down the line I’d often forget what book I read and also forget the main points from the book. Writing notes in the margin worked for a while but it was quite a pain to go through all my books and look for notes. Writing notes on the back page of the book worked great for a while, but if I gave the book away I lost the notes. I finally started writing all my notes in a moleskin journal, snapping a picture or typing them on a 1-page PDF to share on DODReads.

If you would like to join me and share your own back page notes please follow the guidance here.

“maybe we can come up with a better solution than either of us has in mind, care to try?


The Third Alternative – Stephen Covey

“maybe we can come up with a better solution than either of us has in mind, care to try?

Scarcity Mind Set: There are only two alternatives and one is wrong.

Abundance Mind Set: There are infinite rewarding exciting and creative alternatives that we have not thought of yet.

One of our most important powers is the power to choose the sense which we view reality.

Four Steps to Synergy

  1. Realize that a 3rd alternative exists
  2. Have an empathic understanding of the others situation
  3. Ask “what would better look like” and “do you want to go for better”
  4. We have reached synergy when excitement fills the room

Build trust by:

  • Making and keeping commitments to yourself and others
  • Talk straight and confront reality
  • Listen first and get better

(Strategy X Execution)*Trust = Results

If you are a reader or author and have high-quality “back page notes” from your personal reading list or military reading list that you would like published on please use this template. I will be happy to include your notes, a short bio, picture, and links to your website or socials.

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