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299 of 312 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humanistic source of motivation for life change
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...
Published on 31 Dec 2004 by Budge Burgess

versus
344 of 389 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for being efficient, poor for finding true happiness
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...
Published on 29 Jun 2000


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Self Help Wisdom that might just work, 3 Jan 2013
On the day that the author died, I found this book lying abandoned on an empty desk next to mine. Is that Koestlerian or what?

We are what we repeatedly do, said Aristotle, quoted in the introduction. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit. Endearingly, Covey often tells us of times he made mistakes, and the things he learned from them.

So, those habits then:
1 Be proactive. It's the difference between "There's nothing I can do" and "let's look at our alternatives"
2 Start with the end in mind. If you know where you are going, it's easier to get there. And visualise that end and how you get there.
3 Put first things first. Decide what is important and do that. Focus on important rather than urgent.
In summary, 1 to 3 are Make and Keep a Promise

4 Think Win/Win in negotiations
5 Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Diagnose before you prescribe.
6 Synergize
In summary, 4 to 6 are Involve others in the problem and work out the solution together.

7 Sharpen the saw - improve and refresh your mind

The subtitle is `Powerful Lessons in Personal Change' - books like this always have a subtitle. And unlike more recent self help books there is plenty of meat on the bones. Each of Covey's habits could be padded out into a whole book by a less scrupulous author.

Will I be a more effective person when I go back to work after reading this book? To my surprise, I think the answer might be yes.

Jack Whittaker is a database administrator specialising in SQL Server technologies and author of the DBAtasks Blog - [...]
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60 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not an E-Z read., 8 Oct 2008
For a personal change book, I found it rather a hard read. The book to me is, well, complicated. The seven habits make sense and all, but the whole process seems to involve making layers of change, with each layer being a whole book in itself. Not a very quick read, and I'm not saying its not worthwhile and all, it's more a book that you have to be willing to work with. Readers who like less sophisticated personal change books might enjoy The Sixty-Second Motivator.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Book!, 21 Jan 2005
By 
Scott Rennie (Kilmarnock, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Inspiring, insightful, clear and methodical all at the same time. Stephen Covey's system is grounded in a sound long-term approach to life management. He does not promise a quick-fix - in fact, states specifically that it may take you a very long time to work out the core issues around which you build your life. And it's true! I reckoned I knew these at the time of reading it, but now, several years later, realise that I didn't. A lot of work to be done to follow this sytem, but a worthwhile one to follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An invitation to read the book, 22 Nov 2007
I read the book some years ago. It seemed to make sense but didn't stick by me. However, when you hear Covey and his stories, it is more convincing then print. When I have the time I'll pick the book up again. Covey's voice and tone are not the most entertaining but the clear presentation of ideas and his stories make up for this.

This isn't an audio book. It is more like a speech with some comments and music in between to cut it up in chapters. If I buy an audio-book it's because I want to hear it while doing other stuff. The CD contains one track of approx 70 minutes. Several tracks would be better, so it would be easier to pick up where you left.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DOn't bother, 1 Dec 2012
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No thought given to the quality of this product or useability. No division into chapters, so if you stop the cd, you have to go back and listen to it from the start. I'm a great fan of the book, but this doesn't add to it and the voices aren't good recording voices. NO thought given to the customer - just a money making idea for them. Wished I hadn't bought it. Very disappointed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Obvious, tedious, with errors and full of assumptions., 31 Jan 2014
By 
Gordon Thomson (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (25th Anniversary Edition) (Kindle Edition)
What a disappointment. I heard a lot about this book and as it was on offer at the time - £0.99 - I thought “why not”. I now realised I should have said “why?”

Who would have thought it: Making plans, setting reasonable goals, checking your progress and adapting it to changing circumstances and building up networks worked! Emmm, well pretty much everyone actually.

The examples in the book were laboured and just fitted too nicely into the points the author was making, which lead me to believe they were cherry picked to fit. Or they could have been constructs of various people he’d met along the way, or real, who knows? The book isn’t referenced so it’s impossible to verify. I also disliked – intensely – the feeling I got from the book about dealing with demanding managers – get into their good books before anyone else does. He also gives an example of a typical working day that last 12 hours! Really?

Also the liberal use of the word “paradigm” begins to annoy one. So much so that every time I read it I substituted “model”. I should have known that if I’m editing a book in my head while reading it something’s wrong.

Rash generalisation also got on my nerves. For instance the frequent reference to Christian beliefs assumes all readers are church goers – I’m not - and after a while I had to skip bible stories to get to the actual point.

The final breaking point was the Left brain / Right brain personality type – it’s wrong. And it was proven wrong 8 years before the book was published. By that time I’d had enough. If you want advice on time management and people skills look elsewhere.

This was not worth the money even at 99p
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5.0 out of 5 stars 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a classic, 27 April 2008
By 
R. P. Le Blanc "Avid Reader" (Maarheeze, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a classic. If you have never read this book, do so now. For your convenience it's available in print and audio. Just pop a cassette into the car's player and you can be rewarded with some of the best advice ever presented. Turn your commute into a classroom.

This book was first published in 1990, but remains a favorite with business leaders. The author tapped into a basic principle; namely that success is a result of both personal and professional effectiveness. These pages systematically show how to achieve this level of productiveness in both areas through what he calls a "paradigm shift". That merely refers to changing your perception of how the world works. The author challenges the reader to make this shift by highlighting key areas, like time management and positive thinking. Once this change has taken place, the person is then ready to climb the corporate ladder with confidence.

Building on the premise that change comes from within, this book has the potential to solidly impact the reader's life and workplace. But, it's not a quick fix. These concepts will take time to understand and master. It's recommended that this book be read slowly, allowing the principles to be fully understood before moving to the next one. In fact, to fully apply these concepts may take years. Yet, that's not a negative aspect of the author's work. Stephen Covey realizes that success is not an overnight happening; it comes in stages and by degrees. Yes, it can be painstakingly slow, but when it comes, it's here to stay.

The title mentions "habits" and that's important. A habit is something that develops over time. Successful businesspeople comprehend the necessity of thinking the right thoughts to bring about the right kinds of decisions. Covey demonstrates this through anecdotes as well as concise writing. The entire idea of being stuck in a negative mode of perception will be a startling revelation to readers, but more importantly is the author's advice on moving beyond that obstacle. There is a good amount of psychology presented in these pages, all of which is incredibly useful in bringing about effective changes.

These seven habits are fully explained, and yes, you may need to slow down to capture their full meaning. The first three habits deal with personal responsibility, leadership and self-management. Granted, these are huge areas to deal with, but once again, if the author's words are taken in small segments, they can bring about amazing results. To the author's credit, he's able to take these larger issues and present them within the framework of everyday occurrences. This sets the ideas more firmly in the reader's mind by associating them with real life scenarios.

This holistic approach makes a lot of sense, but you will need time to fully master it. As the author explains, success and effective leadership is not something that will come to you without an investment of time. The formula for enduring success is right here in these pages; study it, apply it and watch the incredible results.

Raymond Le Blanc. Psychotherapist & economist
author: Achieving Objectives Made Easy! 978-9079397037
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - I still refer to it 12 years on, 25 Mar 2009
By 
I read this book back in 1997/98. Its impact on me was immediate and made total sense. It resonated with how I saw myself and gave me the motivation to start a new journey to overcome my depression and relate better to people. It brought me back to my Christian Faith by properly studying the Bible. 12 years on, the journey continues and my depression only lingers, popping up every now and again.
I still reflect on the 7 key principles to this day. And I still have much work to do on Habit 5 : "Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood"
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Long Read - but worth it!, 17 Jun 2007
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Covey has created a book that should be offered to everybody at school. Within it he sets out what he sees as being the 7 habits that everybody should follow:

1. Be proactive

2. Begin with the end in mind

3. Put first things first

4. Think win win

5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood

6. Synergize

7. Sharpen the saw

You will see from the above that the first three habits are focused on the self (moving from Dependance to Independance), whereas the next three are focused on working with others (Independance to Interdependance). Interdependance is where Covey sees the greatest benefit from all Highly Effective people.

Habit Seven, Sharpen the Saw, is the self renewal required to maintain a healthy and successful lifestyle.

Covey states that he is aiming to "restore the character ethic". He visits the understanding of paradigms, and the necessary paradigm shifts that are required in life.

This book is full of useful tools, such as the time management quadrant system which will be explained later in an article on this website.

Overall, we would recommend buying this book!
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88 of 106 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An Hour Long, 29 April 2005
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This is not the book on Audio CD as Amazon claims. This is an hour long 'presentation' that touches on the fringes on the book and should not be sold as the book. An hour of reading takes you to about 100 pages of a book so there is a lot missed out here. Maybe me writing this has made me 'Highly Effective', but I doubt it.
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