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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change Audio Download – Unabridged

4.4 out of 5 stars 640 customer reviews

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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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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.
3 Comments 107 of 116 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Stephen R. Covey holds and MBA from Harvard Business School and a doctorate from Brigham Young University. He is the author of several bestsellers build on this particular book. So what do you write about a book with 253 reviews? Never mind, I'll do my best. (I must apologize that this book review is longer than my usual ones.)
"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.
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Comment 90 of 102 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
When I first got this book, I worked for a large company and I thought this books principles principles greatly improved my productivity.
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".
Jezar.
8 Comments 363 of 412 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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