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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change [Hardcover]

Stephen R Covey
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (383 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Nov 2004
A leading management consultant outlines seven organizational rules for improving effectiveness and increasing productivity at work and at home.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Revised edition edition (15 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743272455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743272452
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 16.5 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (383 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 299,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

An internationally respected leadership authority, family expert, teacher, organizational consultant, and author, Dr. Stephen R. Covey dedicates his life to teaching principle-centred living and leadership to individuals, families, and organizations. Dr. Covey has been awarded seven honorary doctorate degrees and has also been recognized as one of Time magazine's 25 most influential Americans

Product Description

Amazon Review

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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
295 of 308 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humanistic source of motivation for life change 31 Dec 2004
Format:Library Binding
This became a major best-seller, highly influential in both management and personal development circles. Covey's seven habits are fairly obvious, fairly simple, yet are lost in the morass of hype and counter-hype his book provoked.
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.
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88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Might change your life – or sit on the shelf 23 Jan 2006
This is a powerful guide to self-improvement. The "habits" are common-sense: be proactive, or "seek first to understand, then to be understood". The writing is clear, presenting each habit in a way which is easy to apply to oneself. If you're looking for a self-help guide to living a more focused, targeted life, you can hardly do better than this.
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.
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77 of 83 people found the following review helpful
By Alan J. Stedall VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first picked up this book on a news-stand on flying back from the U.S. I found its contents so engaging and enlightening that I had read it cover to cover by the time I got back to the UK. Covey is direct and honest in identifying why we fail to make the most of our lives. He is also honest in telling us that there is no such thing as a "quick fix"; that we have to work on founding our habitual behaviours on a sound set of fundamental principles if we are to get the best out of ourselves and our fellow men/women.
I ended up buying a copy of the book for each of my fellow directors and my first line managers. Most read it and found it very useful. Some read and found it revolutionary. Some didn't bother to read it at all. In casting seed, some will always fall on stony ground.
My only criticism of the book is its title: "highly effective people". Covey doesn't really take time out to define exactly what he means by an "effective person". And without this definition it does indeed sound like he is out to create an exploitative army of principle-based, robots. However, I consider the title very misleading. It doesn't do the book justice and is rather too delimiting when applied to a profound, yet simple, philosophical work capable of changing one's outlook on life, in or out of the work-place.
I would recommend this book to anyone with a genuine hunger to improve their lives and a willingness to engage on this on-going mission in a thoughtful and consistent manner.
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106 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life changer 22 Dec 2004
Format:Library Binding
First off im the kind of person who looks at reviews like this (normally) and thinks, yeah right! What a load of rubbish probably just the same old stuff.
I have purchased many books/CDS etc off Amazon but I have never written a review. In fact I dont think I have ever written a review on anything!
However this book deserves my comments. Are you happy in life? Most people will say yes but I believe that most of us are not, at least not a happy as we could be.
This books helps you find your own motivations and principles, it questions them and it helps you fix them, it helps you to live.
This is the most useful information I have ever digested, the content is more useful than any qualification or training course I have ever attended.
I would put this book on the national curriculum if I could.
Read it and see you cant go wrong for the price!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Change must come from within............ 4 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This is a book about organizational excellence, but with a key difference than most others on the same subject: Covey believes that the foundation of organizational excellence is personal excellence. The seven habits he describes in great detail are tools leading to that goal. They can be applied in nearly every situation in our lives, and, if successfully practiced, will help us to improve our lives at home, work and play. A word of caution, though: the book may not be for everybody; you have to be willing to face yourself honestly and courageously, and apply the seven habits daily, in order to become more effective.
At over 7 hours, it would seem that this material would not be easy to remember, but, I was pleasantly surprised. I had listened to a one tape version, but, the ideas and examples were even better in the full version. Some things I already did, but, after listening, will do even better now that I understand why. The full version gives you a good basis for applying the 7 habits.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Quick delivery and was what I expected
Published 10 hours ago by TONY rOYCE
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book
I've only read the 1st few chapters but his first habit of being proactive rather than reactive has already made a big difference to the way I behave.
Published 22 hours ago by suemckinney
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
Love this book really informative, glad I've got it on kindle
Published 5 days ago by Amber Tunn
3.0 out of 5 stars Overdue something more from Covey....
All obvious stuff these days....
Published 12 days ago by Mr. M. A. Prime
1.0 out of 5 stars total nonsense dont wast your money like i did
Don't wast your time on this. A total load of nonsense. Look at the reviews.. either 5 stars or 1 star. This usually implies one thing.
Published 12 days ago by J W
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Not easy but very worthwhile.
Published 17 days ago by G Fletcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Spot on!
Published 20 days ago by Satisfied cutomer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very useful book.
Published 22 days ago by Susan Ebbage
5.0 out of 5 stars I have recommended this book to many of my trainees
An outstanding work by Stephen Covey. I have recommended this book to many of my trainees
Published 22 days ago by DR S MAJUMDAR
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly effective
I was surprised by how much I liked this book. I got it because it was a Kindle daily deal and because I had heard many people rave about it. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Jane Carlton
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