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Product details

  • Audio CD: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; 15th Anniversary edition edition (3 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743501535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743501538
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 12.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (509 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,763 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

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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.

Review

M. Scott Peck author of "The Road Less Traveled" The 7 Habits have the gift of being simple without being simplistic. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

315 of 329 people found the following review helpful By Budge Burgess on 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sacha Haworth on 5 May 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Seven habits is a self help book, originally published in 1989. It centres on the idea that in order to be successful you must develop some particular character traits. The idea behind the book is that most modern self-help books put forward the idea that if you change small aspects of your behaviour, you will be a better person. Covey's approach involves changing your whole way of approaching life.

The book starts by identifying principles on which you think it would be good to live your life (with some examples) and writing a mission statement. The purpose of this is to change how you approach problems and relationships. It moves on to demonstrate how to anticipate and solve problems before they become crises, how to plan properly, how to negogiate towards better outcomes in day-to-day dealing and how to listen effectively. There are tasks for you to work through and things to think about whilst reading the book when are there to encourage your engagement with the message of the text.

The ideas put forward in the book are sound, and once you are aware of the traits Covey suggests, you can start to identify them in people who are successful and the lack of them in those who struggle. For me, this really affirmed what the book was saying. The book is organised well, and it's easy to work from one habit to the next in such a way that they all integrate together.

There are couple of problems with the book; it's not perfect. Most of these are a product of the time in which the book was written, and it's a flaw that the new editions have not been updated to reflect how times have changed. In 1989 it was acceptable to invent and use jargon frequently, whereas now we prefer to read things in plain language.
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97 of 105 people found the following review helpful By 100wordreviewer on 23 Jan. 2006
Format: Hardcover
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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80 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Alan J. Stedall VINE VOICE on 30 Dec. 2000
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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