Book Review – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

When the late Stephen Covey first published his highly acclaimed book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, even he could not have predicted his spectacular success with sales of over 10 million copies. Yet over twenty years after its publication, the practical wisdom contained in each of the seven habits continues to provide valuable guidance to new readers. People who choose to master these simple concepts are much more productive in business and all other life endeavors; however, the habits require practice to realize their full potential. If you want to be more effective, read this book and discover how each of these 7 Habits can help you:

  1. Be Proactive: Effectiveness begins with taking personal responsibility to exercise initiative. Regardless of the situation, you can always do something to “take charge,” even if it is only controlling your attitude.
  1. Begin with the end in mind: When you begin with the end in mind, you will have a mental vision of your intended outcome which will guide your actions towards your desired result like a global positioning guidance system in a ballistic missile that guides it to the target.
  1. Put first things first: Some things are more important to success than others, even if they don’t appear to be urgent. Practicing this habit will help you focus on those tasks which are most important to achieving your goals.
  1. Think win – win: When your success depends on cooperating with other people, as it most often does, you should find common ground so that both of you can succeed. A “win-win” outcome is usually more lasting and effective than “win-lose,” where one party wins at the other’s expense.
  1. Seek first to understand, then to be understood: Before you try to convince others of your own position, try first to understand their position. Understanding others will help you find the common ground basis necessary for success.
  1. Synergize: Combine your own power and resources with others to achieve something greater than you can achieve by yourself.
  1. Sharpen the saw: Periodically take time out to re-charge, re-energize, and learn new skills that will ultimately make you more productive than if you burn yourself out.

The focus of the first three habits is on your personal self-mastery. Effectiveness begins with taking control of yourself and the situation. The next three habits focus on cooperating with others. Effective collaboration is critical when your success depends on getting help from others. Habit seven is all about renewal, and is just common sense. If you desire to become a more effective person, read this book, practice the habits, and change your life for the better.

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