The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen R. Covey | Book Summary | Book Summary
An internationally respected leadership authority, family expert, teacher, organisational consultant, and author, Dr. Stephen R. Covey dedicates his life to teaching principle-centred living and leadership to individuals, families and organisations. He has been awarded seven honorary doctorate degrees, and has also been recognised as one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans.
Here we summarise Dr. Covey’s international best seller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which has sold more than 25 million copies in 40 languages throughout the world.
In ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ Dr. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centred approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, he reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity – principles that give us the security to adapt to change, and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Be proactive is about taking responsibility for your life. Proactive people recognise they are “response-able” – they choose their behaviour. Reactive people, on the other hand, are often affected by their physical environment, and find external sources to blame for their behaviour.
Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind
Based on imagination, Habit 2 is the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes. It is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There is a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation. The physical creation follows the mental, just as a building follows a blueprint.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 1 tells us that being proactive is about choice. Habit 2 is the first, or mental, creation. Habit 3 is the second creation – the physical creation. This habit is where Habits 1 and 2 come together. It deals with many of the questions addressed in the field of time management, as well as life management – your purpose, values, roles, and priorities.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Win-win sees life as a cooperative arena, not a competitive one. Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. A person or organisation that approaches conflicts with a win-win attitude possesses three vital character traits: integrity, maturity and abundance mentality.
Habit 5: Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood
The most important skill in life is communication. We spend years learning how to read, write and speak, but what about listening? What training do we have that enables us to listen so we really, deeply understand another human being?
Habit 6: Synergize
Synergy means, to put it simply, that “two heads are better than one.” Synergize is the habit of creative cooperation. It is teamwork, open-mindedness and the adventure of finding new solutions to old problems. Synergy lets us discover jointly things we are much less likely to discover by ourselves.
Habit 7: Sharpen The Saw
Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have – you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.