7 Habits of Highly Successful Funeral Directors


I had an engaging conversation with Lajos Szabo, the President of Funeral Operations here at funeralOne, about the classic Stephen Covey book, The 7 Habits of Effective People.

If you haven’t read it, here’s a list of Covey’s 7 habits:

Be Proactive: Have a Personal Vision

Begin with the End in Mind: Develop a Game Plan to Realize the Vision

Put First Things First: Personal Time-Management to Execute the Plan

Think Win-Win: Develop Strong Interpersonal Leadership Skills

Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood: Empathetic Communication

Synergize: Seek Cooperative Creativity

Sharpen the Saw: Realize the Importance of Self-Renewal


While Lajos felt these were valuable habits for anyone in any profession, he was clear that they just weren’t specific enough for funeral professionals. After serving as Chief Strategy Officer for a 2,500 call, 14 rooftop funeral firm in Central Ohio, Lajos learned a thing or two about what it takes to be successful in this profession.

So, I asked him what he considered the 7 essential habits for funeral directors to lead their firms to higher levels of success. Here’s what he came up with:


Lajos Szabo’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful Funeral Directors:

Don’t blame externals: Think in terms of “how do I contribute to the issue” and more importantly, “how can I change or affect it?”

Ask ‘why’ several levels deep: Try to understand what happens in the industry and why – dig below the surface don’t settle for the easy answer.

Recognize that things are changing all around you and that you should change along with the marketplace: Test new ideas and concepts. Learn about the new client families and what they find value in.

Don’t try to be all things to everybody: Figure out who you are and what your business position is in the marketplace and stick to it.

Challenge your beliefs and assumptions of your business: Things that were solid 10 years ago, 5 years ago, or even last year, may no longer be relevant.

Understand all you can about grief and mourning: Understand what can help families during their grieving process. Helping families heal is the real value you deliver as a funeral director.

Understand technology and how it can help efficiencies: More importantly, understand how technology can allow you to do things you could never do before.


Which of Lajos’ 7 essential habits would you adopt in your drive for greater success? Leave your answer below!

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  1. Poll: What Makes a Successful Funeral Director? | Funeral Blog. The official blog for the funeral & cemetery professions.

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