The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey: Book Review

A Quick Review of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I liked the book– The writer motivates a person to follow a scientific method to achieve success in life.

Stephen conducted research and, based on his observations, found that high achievers showed a tendency of emptiness. To know the reason behind this emptiness, he read a vast literature written over 200 years. He concluded that before the world war, ethics of character were important. After the war, ethics of personality started dominating the success. Character ethics are based upon a series of principles. These principles are self-evident in most religious, social, and ethical systems. This is the foundation of this best-selling book. 

  1. The book aims to be an adaptation of inner core, character, and motives.
  2. The book helps a person to move from a state of dependence to independence and finally to interdependence. 
  3. Covey emphasizes interdependence to show and achieve the best results.
  4. Every individual is an independent being, but working with others will make the task easier and would yield better results.
  5. Hence lies the importance of interdependence
  6. To achieve interdependence, one must be proactive.
  7. Must begin with the end in mind
  8. Must put first things first
  9. Must think to win/win
  10. Must seek to understand first before making oneself understood
  11. Must learn to synergize
  12. Must sharpen the saw

The proactive trait reflects the person must take responsibility for one’s life and be driven by values. Aggressive people always focus on things they can change. Thus save their energy, one must stick to personal commitments of self-improvement, extension, and growth. Thus, with increasing personal integrity leading to responsibility. 

  1. A 30-day exercise: Covey asks to visualize one’s funeral and imagine what would be the reaction of one’s family members, friends, and colleagues. Such an exercise would move the person towards the whole. A mission statement will create a personal constitution. Thus a foundation will be laid down.
  2. The sequence of things putting in order and doing them according to priority. Identification of critical values and implementing those values. Hence independence will help decide with integrity, developing a habit of saying no to things that hamper or check one’s progress.
  3. Visualizing a scheme of mutual benefit: Life must be seen as cooperative and not competition. Adoption of interpersonal leadership, observing the traits of

a) Imagination

b) Conscience 

c) Independent will

To achieve a win/win leadership, character, relationships, agreements, standardized set of desired results are put into the mindset. Finally, all processes must lead to a win/win situation.

Empathic learning is necessary to understand the situation and be understood.

Operation of synergy is necessary for principle-based leadership. This needs to balance the group members’ emotional, psychological, and mental differences because we would achieve unity with other human beings.

Renewal in terms of physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and mental areas; hence expressing and exercising all these four motivators’ continuity and putting an effort not to neglect one and overindulgence in another.

Also See: 5 Super-Hit and Failure Movies Adapted From Dystopian Books

6 Evergreen Classic Novels in Dystopian Genre You Should Read

Dave P
Dave P
Be a little better today than yesterday.


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