The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The book opens with an explanation of how many individuals who have achieved a high degree of outward success still find themselves struggling with an inner need for developing personal effectiveness and growing healthy relationships with other people.
Covey believes the way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. In order to change a given situation, we must change ourselves, and in order to change ourselves, we must be able to change our perceptions.
In studying over 200 years of literature on the concept of “success,” Covey identified a very important change in the way that humans have defined success over time.
- Be proactive – Talks about the concept of Circle of Influence and Circle of Concern. Work from the center of your influence and constantly work to expand it. Don’t sit and wait in a reactive mode, waiting for problems to happen (Circle of Concern) before taking action.
- Begin with the end in mind – Envision what you want in the future so you can work and plan towards it. Understand how people make decisions in their life. To be effective you need to act based on principles and constantly review your mission statement. Are you – right now – who you want to be? What do I have to say about myself? How do you want to be remembered? If habit 1 advises to change your life to act and be proactive, habit 2 advises that you are the programmer! Grow and stay humble.
- Put first things first –
- Talks about difference between Leadership and Management. Leadership in the outside world begins with personal vision and personal leadership. Talks about what is important and what is urgent. Priority should be given in the following order:a) Important and Urgentb) Important and not Urgentc) Not Important and Urgentd) Not Important and not Urgent
If habit 2 advises that you are the programmer, habit 3 advises: write the program. Become a leader! Keep personal integrity: what you say vs what you do.
- Think win-win – Genuine feelings for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a “win” for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten their way. Think Win-Win isn’t about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration.
- Seek first to understand, then to be understood – Use empathetic listening to genuinely understand a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, and positive problem solving.The Habit 5 is greatly embraced in the Greek philosophy represented by 3 words:1) Ethos – your personal credibility. It’s the trust that you inspire, your Emotional Bank Account.2) Pathos is the empathic side — it’s the alignment with the emotional trust of another person communication.3) Logos is the logic — the reasoning part of the presentation.The order is important: ethos, pathos, logos — your character, and your relationships, and then the logic of your presentation.
- Synergize – Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals that no one could have done alone.
- Sharpen the Saw – Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes exercise for physical renewal, good prayer (meditation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to society for spiritual renewal.