The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

When Stephen Covey first released The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the book became an instant rage because people suddenly got up and took notice that their lives were headed off in the wrong direction; and more than that, they realized that there were so many simple things they could do in order to navigate their life correctly. This book was wonderful educati...

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Title:The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
Author:Stephen R. Covey
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Edition Language:English

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change Reviews

  • Virginia

    Ever since I worked at the bookstore at Virginia Tech, I would watch the douchebag* business major undergrads buy this book for their classes and look down upon them, and the book by association, as, well, douchebags.

    *This is not to say that all undergrad business majors are douchebags. I've met one really really awesome one. Additionally, after working at a major university bookstore, a majority of all undergrad students can be fairly classified as douchebags. Jebus.

    Consequently, I never picked

    Ever since I worked at the bookstore at Virginia Tech, I would watch the douchebag* business major undergrads buy this book for their classes and look down upon them, and the book by association, as, well, douchebags.

    *This is not to say that all undergrad business majors are douchebags. I've met one really really awesome one. Additionally, after working at a major university bookstore, a majority of all undergrad students can be fairly classified as douchebags. Jebus.

    Consequently, I never picked up this book. I hated the people who were reading it for class. I hated the people who were assigning it for their classes. I hated my job and I hated the area that I was living in. (I was, yes indeedy, a hater)

    Obviously it wasn't the right time for me to read it.

    My current boss (who is only occasionally a douchebag) is doing this huge self-help/life plan program, and from it, there is a major reading list. As I am a wee bit addicted to books, I immediately agreed, and when I started searching on Amazon for the reading list, "7 Habits" appeared on pretty much every single page. So I picked that one up too.

    Excellent decision. I chose to read it first. It has taken me, probably three weeks to read it. I have ordered (with my boss' blessing) "The 8th Habit" and will read that shortly.

    Every single page I found something that made me put the book down for a couple of minutes and think about it. I already know that I'm going to have to re-read this at some point in the near future. I would say this is required reading for humanity, but my father would have been the exception to that rule.

    Basically, this book will teach you about effective ways to be a compassionate, kind, enjoyable human being. It will teach you about personal responsibility (personal as in to your self, and to others). It will teach you how to be a better parent, employee, spouse, daughter, or boss.

    I can't give it enough praise. It is a truly outstanding book.

  • Chad Warner

    This book explains 7 principles that make a person more effective personally and professionally. Covey shows how a principle-centered, character-based life helps you build the healthy relationships that are key to an effective life. This classic is well worth reading for its perspective and practical advice.

    : Covey frequently references his Christianity. He says the Habits are based on "Correct Principles" (aka Natural Law) found in Judeo-Christian scriptures and common

    This book explains 7 principles that make a person more effective personally and professionally. Covey shows how a principle-centered, character-based life helps you build the healthy relationships that are key to an effective life. This classic is well worth reading for its perspective and practical advice.

    : Covey frequently references his Christianity. He says the Habits are based on "Correct Principles" (aka Natural Law) found in Judeo-Christian scriptures and common to major religions.

    : Covey says you must maintain a balance between production (P; your output) and production capability (PC; your ability to produce). You must stay healthy and renew yourself (see Habit 7) or you'll get burned out and become ineffective. He uses the fable of the Goose and the Golden Egg as a metaphor.

    : Covey says the Habits lead you from dependence to independence to interdependence (cooperating with others to achieve a common goal; producing things greater than the sum of their parts).

    You choose how to respond to what life throws at you. Between stimulus and response lies your freedom to choose. Take responsibility for your actions.

    Choose your short-term, daily behavior according to the plan you have for your entire life. Think about the legacy you want to leave. Put things in perspective; what would you want people to say at your funeral?

    Daily planning is too narrow and short-sighted. Weekly planning gives a better big-picture perspective of your goals, and allows for the flexibility to deal with the things that will inevitably come up.

    People are more important than things, so plan your time accordingly. Be efficient with things, but effective with people. You can't be efficient with relationships; they take time. Instead of focusing on things and time, focus on relationships and results.

    Only spend time on things that align with your deep values. Don't waste time on other things, even if it means saying no to requests. Don't prioritize your schedule; schedule your priorities.

    Think of tasks in terms of urgency and importance. Focus on the important, even though they seem less urgent. Think preventatively to keep tasks from ever becoming urgent.

    Use stewardship delegation instead of "gofer" delegation; teach a person to be the steward of the task you assign to them, rather than constantly telling them to "go for this" or "go for that".

    Most of life requires cooperation, not competition. Work together with co-workers, friends, and family for mutual benefit. Approach everything in terms of "win/win or no deal"; if you can't reach a deal in which both parties feel they're winning, don't make a deal at all.

    Create win/win agreements that clearly state expectations, privileges, consequences up front. This prevents you from having to figure those things out when issues arise, and makes the relationship more smooth because it causes each person to manage themselves.

    Think in terms of the Abundance Mentality rather than the Scarcity Mentality; The quest for recognition, credit, power, and profit isn't a zero-sum game. Be happy when others succeed.

    Listen with the intent to understand, not to reply. Diagnose before you prescribe. Understand needs, concerns, situation before you give advice.

    To understand others, listen with empathy. To be understood, present your views according to:

    : personal credibility

    : emotional alignment with the other person

    : logical reasoning

    You can't motivate people by appealing to satisfied needs (money, status, etc.); only unsatisfied needs motivate.

    Value the differences in relationships.

    is not

    , it's

    .

    is not

    .

    Renew and improve in yourself in the following categories, by spending at least an hour each day.

    • Physical: Eat right and exercise.

    • Spiritual: Find and carry an inner peace. Meditate, read scripture, or spend time in nature.

    • Mental: Read good literature to gain the insights of others. Write, organize, and plan.

    • Social/emotional: Understand others. Serve others, at work or through volunteering.

    Covey says a summary of the first 3 Habits is "make and keep a promise," and a summary of the next 3 Habits is "involve others in the problem and work out the solution together." He says the first 3 Habits are about integrity, and the next 3 are about loyalty.

  • Manny

    - Hon, did you sleep okay? You look kinda weird.

    - Well, I don't know how to say this...

    - Yes?

    - I had this dream where I talked with God.

    - Was She black?

    - No, I'm serious! I did! It was, like, utterly real. It was the most real thing that's ever happened to me.

  • Pouting Always

    An okay book if you don't know how to manage your life it's probably really helpful but if you've thought about how to make yourself more productive or effective a lot of it's intuitive. Also like a lot of these books can only tell you things you have to make the changes yourself which is always the hard part so. This one was better written than most which I appreciate.

  • Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this,

    Own Rituals: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey

    (original review, 2004)

    "To learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know."

    "Love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is the fruit of love the verb or our loving actions. So love her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her."

    "At some time in your life, you probably had someone believe in you when you didn't

    If you're into stuff like this,

    Own Rituals: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey

    (original review, 2004)

    "To learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know."

    "Love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is the fruit of love the verb or our loving actions. So love her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her."

    "At some time in your life, you probably had someone believe in you when you didn't believe in yourself."

    In “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey

    The above-mentioned quotes are some of the pearls of wisdom we can find in the book.

    There's a story, probably apocryphal, about an Amazonian tribe's reaction to a group of Westerners (possibly miners or farmers or similar) who had created a settlement close to their village some time in the 1960s.

  • Malbadeen

    I think the sign of a great book is when, right inside the cover there is a pull out brochure that encourages you to order more of the authors products - that's some quality shit when you see that.

    But the book itself, well it has charts: flow charts, boxed charts, circle charts, up and down charts, sideways charts, charts with arrows, charts with triangles and charts with dotted lines.

    This book uses words like "synergy" and "proactive"....repeatedly

    This book has "application suggestions".

    This

    I think the sign of a great book is when, right inside the cover there is a pull out brochure that encourages you to order more of the authors products - that's some quality shit when you see that.

    But the book itself, well it has charts: flow charts, boxed charts, circle charts, up and down charts, sideways charts, charts with arrows, charts with triangles and charts with dotted lines.

    This book uses words like "synergy" and "proactive"....repeatedly

    This book has "application suggestions".

    This book is shiny and it has 6 pages of recommendations before the title page.

    This book makes me want to barf - A LOT! so much so, that I could even stop watching what I eat because I'd be barfing up all the calories anyway. I could eat and eat and eat and barf and barf and barf and it wouldn't be a disorder because it would all happen naturally - no effort on my part, just read and barf, read and barf - like that.

    This book is my assigned reading for tonight, this review received more of my attention than the assigned reading will.

  • Stephen

    First, a few comments on the seven so-called “habits” identified in the book, namely:

    First, a few comments on the seven so-called “habits” identified in the book, namely:

    In a word…..

    !!

    In several words, what a

    .

    …are you kidding me with this Jim Jones Kool-aid party chant?

    ….just hearing that word makes me throw up in my mouth.

    ….exactly…reading that phrase makes me literally want to sharpen the saw and slice a hate filled path through the contents of this book.

    This book is like a giant fortune cookie full of sounds good but says nothing.

    : rather than read this book, go get a six pack or a bottle of wine, grab some

    or

    and find a nice comfy tree to sit under while you read something that might actually expand your mind.

    Now I certainly don't have any foolproof answers or magic exercises that will help you bring out the "inner-winner" inside you. However, I did come up five pracical (and hopefully a little humorous) habits that have proven to be pretty effective at making people successful in their chosen field (tongue planted firmly in cheek).

    1.

    2.

    3.

    4.

    5.

    THE END.....

  • Jan-Maat

    This was recommended reading following on from a course and I found it to be an odd mix of the homely and the disturbing.

    On the whole it's probably the dogmatic air of absolute certainty that I find disturbing, that and the way he describes how he reduced his son to tears over keeping the garden in good order. Reading this book is rather like having a very one-sided conversation with a particularly earnest and opinionated drunk who isn't shy to jab you in the chest with a fore-finger to underlin

    This was recommended reading following on from a course and I found it to be an odd mix of the homely and the disturbing.

    On the whole it's probably the dogmatic air of absolute certainty that I find disturbing, that and the way he describes how he reduced his son to tears over keeping the garden in good order. Reading this book is rather like having a very one-sided conversation with a particularly earnest and opinionated drunk who isn't shy to jab you in the chest with a fore-finger to underline a point.

    That's not to say that the seven habits are bad, far from it. They are a quite reasonable and potentially useful set of habits. Whether effective people tend to have these habits or if having these habits will make you more effective is presumed but not proven by this book which is heavily anecdotal, but that is neither here nor there. The power of the argument and the vast number of sales lies in how the seven habits tap into our moral beliefs about the kind of habits we want to be able to have to make us successful, and more to the point the kind of habits that we want to believe make people successful, and in the great tradition of self help books it asserts the primacy of the individual will over any and all other circumstances. No war, want, injustice, disease, political, economic or social structure can hinder the truly just man girt by the seven habits. Business in this account is a battlefield in the moral universe, the victor, a sage at least if not a saint.

    Be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think win/win, seek first to understand and then to be understood, synergise and sharpen the saw are the seven habits. That's the meat of the book in one sentence.

    I wonder if all of Covey's seven habits could be cribbed out of Weber's

    ? But equally perhaps we should remember that seven is a magic number, this really isn't a business book, it is a spiritual book. The seven habits are to stand firm against the seven deadly sins. Life on Earth for Covey is a probationary period for the life ever after, since Covey was a Mormon being true to his faith was due to be rewarded with stewardship of an entire planet. Clearly one needs to demonstrate effective stewardship over the smaller business of mortal life to be judged ready for such a substantial reward.

    In turn this was another disturbing element to the book for me because this means that everything becomes functional. Having a picnic with your sweetheart isn't about enjoying life it is an important Quadrant II activity! This is a mechanistic view of the human experience and, sadder yet, a harsh one. The path to life everlasting is a narrow one, beset with dangers while storms around do rage. Fear not, lonely pilgrim, for Covey illuminates the way with quadrants and diagrams.

    Yet there is optimism in his approach. Understanding triumphs eternally. Despite what he repeats about paradigm shifts he believes that everybody can come to see both alternative paradigms and appreciate their validity. Personally I suspect that every reader will be able to think of occasions when opposite points of view are not reconcilable. Honesty and realism has to temper any reading of this book.

    Maybe my problem with this book is that everything is spelt out. It's a Sunday sermon and the pastor is going to read out every word and isn't going to be hurried on to his inevitable conclusions. Worth reading for a taste of the horror and the glory of late twentieth- early twenty-first century corporate life - but keep some salt handy.

  • MJ Nicholls

    One of the most-highlighted books on Kindle, proving that human beings thrive on snappy buzz-quotes written by middle managers like David Brent who partake of the music of M People and

    Kool & The Gang, and whose souls were long ago vacuumed out in a boardroom somewhere during a PowerPoint presentation. Regard:

    This incoherent drivel has the most highlights. Regard the faux-profound self-importance of the “cannot”

    One of the most-highlighted books on Kindle, proving that human beings thrive on snappy buzz-quotes written by middle managers like David Brent who partake of the music of M People and

    Kool & The Gang, and whose souls were long ago vacuumed out in a boardroom somewhere during a PowerPoint presentation. Regard:

    This incoherent drivel has the most highlights. Regard the faux-profound self-importance of the “cannot” in this sentence, as though securing the attention of Jim Phelps CEO of E-Z-Clix Online Supplies is the pinnacle of human achievement.

    You can say this imbecilic utterance in any accent, or at any speed you like, and it still would be a piece of drivelling cack. It would still linger on the brain for a second as a semi-intelligent observation, before pooling slowly to the floor like the incoherent dog-drool it really is when given two seconds thought.

    Die now. Die now, you patronising ill-bred country-club smug-face slab of nothing. See how that semicolon WINKS at you, as if to say: “Just listen to my me and everything will be all right. Just quote this vacuous frog-plop at the next AGM and sit back as the room erupts into spontaneous applause. Told you so!”

    Translation: proactive people are greedy loveless cash-licking pus-heads.

    Are you sure it’s not our response to our response to what happens to us that hurts us? Or our response to our response to our response to what happens to us that hurts us is what hurts us and us and us and them?

    P = how many eggs stakeholders want chickens to shit out, vs. PC = how many eggs the chickens are capable of shitting out if kept in airless cages and fed reheated bull droppings. “Squeeze ‘em harder, Mr Pancks!”

    Condescending fake-friendliness masking resentment and loathing.

    OH MOMMY MAKE IT STOP!

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