Key lessons from the book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a great personal development book, my favourite in its category. It can change your life if you follow it principles. Today, I would like to review the key lessons from the book. 

Key notes:

  • Character and value based ethics (not personality based).
  • Realities and values. Paradigm shift, Difference between principles and values.
  • Effective habits are internalised principles and patterns of behaviour.
  • Maturity continuum – dependence, independence and interdependence
  • Effectiveness and P/PC balance

Habit 1

Be proactive, use your resourcefulness and initiative, do solution selling, act and not be acted upon, proactive language, subordinate feelings to values. Focus on the circle of influence and not the circle of concern. Focus on the ‘be’ as in ‘I can be’ not ‘have’ as in ‘if I have’. Consequences and mistakes are in the circle of concern. Learn from them. Make and keep commitments – Self-awareness and conscience to become aware of strengths and weaknesses and imagination and independent will to make promises, set goals and build strength of character.

Habit 2

All things are created twice. Whether by design or default is in your hands. Take charge of the first creation. Leadership and management. What lies in the centre is the source of your security, guidance, wisdom and power. Principle centre puts all other centres in perspective. Visualise and affirm. A personal mission statement.

Habit 3

Habit 1 and 2 is the foundation where you understand your paradigms and how to shift them. Become incharge with habit 1 and do the first or mental creation with habit 2. Habit 3 teaches effective self-management. Focus on the second quadrant of important but not urgent. Harmony, unity and integrity between your roles and goals, priorities nad plans and desire and discipline. Balance between health, family, professional and personal development.

Six major deposits in emotional bank account – understand the individual, attend to little things, keep commitments, clarify expectations, apologise sincerely if you withdraw.

Habit 4

Think win/win. Five dimensions of win/win are character (integrity, maturity with a balance for courage and consideration, abundance mentality), relationship (go beyond transactional leadership into transformation leadership), agreement (elements made explicit – desired results, guidelines, resources, accountability, consequences). Have systems and processes to support win/win

Habit 5

Seek first to understand and then be understood. Communicate empathically. Don’t prescribe without diagnosis. Do not project your autobiography as a response.

Habit 6

Synergise. Levels of communication are defensive (win/lose), respectful (compromise) and synergistic (win/win). Value the differences.

Habit 7

Sharpen the saw with balanced self-renewal. Physical, spiritual, mental and social/emotional balance. Inside-out approach.

Buy The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People from Amazon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s