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The 7 habits of Highly Effective People – Book review

February 15, 2009 4 comments

The 7 Habits of highly Effective People


The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a self-help  book written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold over 15 million copies in 38 languages since first publication, which was marked by the release of a 15th anniversary edition in 2004. The book lists seven principles that, if established as habits, are supposed to help a person achieve true interdependent effectiveness. Covey argues this is achieved by aligning oneself to what he calls “true north” principles of a character ethic that he believes to be universal and timeless.The book was enormously popular, and catapulted Covey into lucrative public-speaking appearances and workshops. He has also written a number of follow-up books, such as The Power Of The 7 Habits: Applications And Insights; Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families; and Beyond the Seven Habits. A sequel to The Seven Habits is The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness published in 2004.

Also, Sean Covey (Stephen’s son) has written a version for teens, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. This version simplifies the 7 Habits for younger readers so they can better understand them. In October 2006, Sean Covey also published The 6 Most Important Decisions You Will Ever Make: A Guide for Teens. This guide highlights key times in the life of a teen and gives advice on how to deal with them. Stephen Covey’s eldest son, Stephen M.R. Covey, has written a book titled The Speed of Trust.

The 7 Habits

  • Habit 1: Be Proactive: Principles of Personal Choice
  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind: Principles of Personal Vision
  • Habit 3: Put First Things First: Principles of Integrity &  Execution
  • Habit 4: Think Win/Win: Principles of Mutual Benefit
  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: Principles of Mutual Understanding
  • Habit 6: Synergize: Principles of Creative Cooperation
  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw: Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal
  • The chapters are dedicated to each of the habits, which are represented by the following imperatives:

    1. Habit 1: Covey emphasizes the original sense of the term “proactive” as coined by Victor Frankl.You can either be proactive or reactive when it comes to how you respond to certain things. When you are reactive, you blame other people and circumstances for obstacles or problems. Being proactive means taking responsibility for every aspect of your life. Initiative and taking action will then follow. Covey also argues that man is different from other animals in that he has self-consciousness. He has the ability to detach himself and observe his own self; think about his thoughts. He goes on to say how this attribute enables him: It gives him the power not to be affected by his circumstances. Covey talks about stimulus and response. Between stimulus and response, we have the power of free will to choose our response.
    2. Habit 2: This chapter is about setting long-term goals based on “true north” principles. Covey recommends formulating a “Personal Mission Statement” to document one’s perception of one’s own vision in life. He sees visualization as an important tool to develop this. He also deals with organizational vision statements, which he claims to be more effective if developed and supported by all members of an organization rather than prescribed.
    3. Habit 3: Covey describes a framework for prioritizing work that is aimed at short-term goals, at the expense of tasks that appear not to be urgent, but are in fact very important. Delegation is presented as an important part of time management. Successful delegation, according to Covey, focuses on results and benchmarks that are to be agreed upon in advance, rather than prescribed as detailed work plans.
    4. Habit 4: An attitude whereby mutually beneficial solutions are sought that satisfy the needs of oneself, or, in the case of a conflict, both parties involved.
    5. Habit 5: Covey warns that giving out advice before having empathetically understood a person and their situation will likely result in rejection of that advice. Thoroughly reading out your own autobiography will decrease the chance of establishing a working communication.
    6. Habit 6: A way of working in teams. Apply effective problem solving. Apply collaborative decision making. Value differences. Build on divergent strengths. Leverage creative collaboration. Embrace and leverage innovation. It is put forth that when synergy is pursued as a habit, the result of the teamwork will exceed the sum of what each of the members could have achieved on their own. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
    7. Habit 7: Focuses on balanced self-satisfaction: Regain what Covey calls “production capability” by engaging in carefully selected recreational activities. Covey also emphasizes the need to sharpen the mind.

    Courtesy: Wikipedia

    My Note:
    Few years back I read this book, I found this book as one of the best book when it comes to Personal development.This book is written in very organzied and effective manner.The habits are arranged in a way that they help us in understanding & achieving firstly DEPENDENCE, then INDEPENDENCE and lastly INTERDEPENDENCE.

    This is a must read book for every body as this  focuses on  Private Victory and Public Victory which results in maximum achievement.

    For teenagers I would suggest to read “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers” written by Sean Covey – who is the son of Stephen R.Covey.This is based on the same seven habits of Stephen Covey but written in more easiest and understandable way for teenagers.

    Later on Stephen covey comes with “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families & 8th habit which are also qualitative books.

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