Leadership, Personal development, Team, Time management

7 habits of highly effective people

Stephen Covey – author of 7 habits of highly effective people – has died.

I am on Verne Harnish’s e-mail distribution list and he sent out the following summary of the 7 habits when he heard the news.

The 7 habits

Independence or Self-Mastery

The first three habits surround moving from dependence to independence (i.e., self mastery):

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life’s principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences that follow.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life. Create a mission statement.

Habit 3: Put First Things First

Prioritize, plan, and execute your week’s tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluate whether your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you toward goals, and enrich the roles and relationships that were elaborated in Habit 2.


The next three have to do with Interdependence (i.e., working with others):

Habit 4: Think Win-Win

Genuinely strive 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 his way.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by 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, respect, and positive problem solving.

Habit 6: Synergize

Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone. Get the best performance out of a group of people through encouraging meaningful contribution, and modeling inspirational and supportive leadership.

Self Renewal

The last habit relates to self-rejuvenation:

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. Exercise for physical renewal, prayer (mediation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. Service to society for spiritual renewal.

It is said to take 21 days of repetition for a new way of doing things to become a habit. So, if there is a habit you would like to develop, why not set out to try it for 21 days? It will take some effort and you will need to remind yourself to do it every day but at the end of the 3 weeks it should be becoming second nature. I am doing just that at the moment and will let you know how I get on.

Enjoy the Olympics!



This entry was posted in Leadership, Personal development, Team, Time management and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>