- Paperback: 372 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; Reprinted Edition edition (4 Jan. 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684858398
- ISBN-13: 978-0684858395
- Product Dimensions: 15 x 25 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (640 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Paperback – 4 Jan 2004
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More About the Author
According to Steven R. Covey, to live with security and wisdom, and to have the power to take advantages of the opportunities that change creates, we need fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity. Quite a tall order when you consider that most of us live our lives in a permanent state of flux, questioning our ideals and values and fighting a daily battle with the lack of self-confidence that stops us from taking risks of any kind. But, in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey manages to make it sound as if changing the way we look at ourselves and the world around us so that we can become more successful both personally and professionally an absolute doddle. He defines the "habits" as "the intersection of knowledge, skill and desire" and states that the "Seven Habits" of the title are not mutually exclusive, but rather when developed together help to form a well-rounded, sensitive, confident and effective human being.
As with many self-help books, much of what you read here is based on basic common sense and can at times be irritatingly obvious. However, what Covey manages to do so successfully is to break down the barriers which prevent all of us from taking a long hard look at ourselves, and then gradually introduces new rules which allow us to move first from dependence to independence and then towards the ultimate goal of interdependence. But of course, the only real way to test the value of The Habits--be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think "win/win", seek first to understand and then to be understood, synergise, sharpen the saw-- is to work on them. This book is as good as any place to start on the road to self-awareness and self-improvement in the workplace and in the home without becoming too irritatingly smug and self-satisfied. --Susan Harrison
Ken M. Radziwanowski AT&T School of Business Picture someone going through the best experience they've ever had in terms of training -- that's what they say. People credit "The 7 Habits" with changing their lives, with getting back on track personally and professionally. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Covey looked at the characteristics of the successful, reducing these to seven principles, seven good habits that successful people generally demonstrate. Developing good habits is an advantage: by definition, if they are 'good' habits, they do you good. Brian Clough, the football manager, used to insist that his players learned good habits, that they learned to do the basics, the simple things well; once they could trust themselves to do the basics, then they could progress to try the novel, the special, to inject that little spark of genius which would win the game.
But Clough was talking about football, and doing what was necessary to win the game. Covey talks about successful people. You have to keep asking, what constitutes 'successful'? Becoming rich? Or being happy, contented, in harmony with the world and the people around you?
Covey suggests you choose your own definition of success. You set your own goals. And, the first thing you have to do is believe that you can change your life. Covey's principles, then, become the yardsticks by which you both measure change and motivate yourself to change - you decide on the good habits Brian Clough demanded, and get into the habit of doing things which will aid your change.
Covey, however, relates change and success to quality of life - although his book has often been seized upon as a manual for business success and profit. He says there is no easy way to achieve change. It requires work - and requires that you develop new, good habits while eradicating old, bad ones.Read more ›
The downside is that this is a massive, densely-written book. Just reading it, let alone internalising and acting on it, is a major project. Many readers will dip into it; lose interest; and let it gather dust on the shelf.
Summary: excellent self-improvement guide, won't work for everyone.
"The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People embody many of the fundamental principles of human effectiveness. These habits are basic; they are primary. They represent the internalization of correct principles upon which enduring happiness and success are based." Covey has split the book up in four parts: (1) Paradigms and Principles; (2) Private Victory; (3) Public Victory; and (4) Renewal.
In Part I - Paradigms and Principles, Covey challenges our thinking and provides an overview of the seven habits. He wants us to shape out thinking so we can see issues from different viewpoints other than our own. This way of thinking he refers to as "a principle-centered, character-based, "inside-out" approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness." And the 7 habits are the tools to make this level of thinking possible.
In Part Two - Private Victory, Covey starts to discuss the first three habits. Habit 1 is the habit of 'proactivity', which means more than taking initiative. "It means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives." In short, we should not be reactive or responsive, we need to act and create. Habit 2, Begin with the End in Mind, is based on principles of personal leaders. It means that should first set out our own values, or our personal mission statement, before we start managing/doing things. He provides several questions and an appendix so that you can create your own personal mission statement.Read more ›
Now I work for myself and have time to consider things more thoroughly, I realised that this book was partly responsible for me making myself thoroughly miserable.
It's fine to be an "effective" person - but what about your happiness? And the people around you? Is that not far more important than simply being "effective"? This book is grey and uninspiring because - although substantially better than most similar books - you still risk being turned into an automaton with regard to how you organise your life.
The first step in the book revolves around planning what people will say about you at your funeral. Well, interesting idea, but as you get older your values change. I've been "road testing" this book for three years now. I've now given up. I realise now that life is far more enjoyable when you are riding the crests of its waves, than if you spend your time locked up in a stuffy room pouring over your weekly diary, philosophising about what is the most "effective" way of slicing your life into neat half-hour chunks.
Too much emphasis on speculating on the future in todays society means few people are living life for the moment, and even fewer are fully tuned into the thoughts and feelings of those around them at any particular time.
I no longer recommend this book. As the old cliche goes: "Life is what happens whilst you are planning something else".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant. Very insightful and quite moving in places. Practical too and a great way of reviewing yourself and seeing where you might improve. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Jonny Matthew
A life changing read for me, can't recommend this book enough. If you want to make positive changes in your life then this may well be the book that will help you begin that... Read morePublished 21 days ago by Mr. Timothy J Wilson
A good reading when you are in search of answers in personal life or in business. I highly recommend itPublished 22 days ago by Anca
This book is definitely not a quick fix, but an actual intrinsic look into the way that you think and act and a real process for becoming a more effective you! Read morePublished 25 days ago by alesia