Title: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Author: Stephen R. Covey
Review by: Vera Quinn, COO
Description of the book: These “Seven Habits” express a simple yet compelling idea: To be effective, we must adopt a principle-centered, character-based approach. We must work from the “inside-out,” guided by the habits that correspond with each stage along the “Maturity Continuum.”
Why should you read this? My copy of Stephen R. Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is signed by the author and constantly referenced. Most noticeable is that it is dog-eared, and well worn,—a sign not of neglect, but rather of its indispensability and enduring appeal over the years. I find its ideas as relevant and meaningful today, as when they were first introduced over 20 years ago.
At whatever stage along the path to maturity we may be, the “Seven Habits” offer us a powerful framework to solve problems, maximize opportunities, enrich relationships and continually learn and grow. For over two decades, the “Seven Habits” have given us the tools to create the lives, livelihoods and relationships we most desire—effective, productive and purposeful.
My favorite part: One passage in particular always strikes a chord:
“…[I]f you want to have a happy marriage, be the kind of person who generates positive energy and sidesteps negative energy rather than empowering it. If you want to have a more pleasant, cooperative teenager, be a more understanding, empathic, consistent, loving parent. If you want to have more freedom, more latitude in your job, be a more responsible, a more helpful, a more contributing employee. If you want to be trusted, be trustworthy. If you want the secondary greatness of recognized talent, focus first on primary greatness of character.”
What resonates is the premise that we must look within to find the change we seek and to become our best selves. We must first earn self-mastery and develop great character—what Covey calls achieving the “private victories.” Only then, can we achieve the “public victories” of teamwork, cooperation, communication, social recognition and influence. And to sustain this success, we must internalize “Seven Habits” that embody fundamental principles at the foundation of true effectiveness, such as fairness, integrity, honesty, dignity, service, quality, potential and growth.