- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; New Ed edition (3 Jan. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743206835
- ISBN-13: 978-0743206839
- Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 3.1 x 23.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness Paperback – 3 Jan 2006
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Former President and COO of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
For years I have been using the 7 Habits as guiding principles in leading my business. I had to read "The 8th Habit." Having done so, I am completely wowed, captured, and empowered. "The 8th Habit" is a true masterpiece, a must-read. These principles of personal and organizational leadership, when lived, unleash human genius and inspire deep commitment and magnificent levels of service and satisfaction. This book will be my gift to all my associates as required reading for all of my future endeavors.
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Top Customer Reviews
Certainly Covey uses more sales pitch, repeatedly reassuring people that others have found this stuff useful. The 7 Habits stood on it's own two feet and this initially appeared to flounder. After the second and third listen however I started to be able to get into the material. The message of this book is more complicated and therefore the sort of catchy sound bites of the 7 Habits were harder to generate. A number of the concepts are articulated with such clarity and economical use of words so as to be very impressive in context.
The tone of this is more overtly evangelical than the earlier work. The final sentence has an undisguised religious message which IMHO weakens the non affiliated altruistic humanism that runs through his earlier work.
The message of the 8th Habit deepens (to use a 'Covey' word) the understanding of the 7 Habits concepts but almost by necessity the 8th Habit cannot propel your thinking forward in the way his previous work did.
Most people who might be considering getting this audiobook will be 'knowledge workers' and some will be at a crossroads trying to make sense of their place within their workplace. For those I couldn't recommend this highly enough. As someone who works as an executive coach this offered me insights and new paradigms that I hadn't previously understood as well as I do now.
Impressive as it is though, the brilliance of the 7 Habits makes this excellent audiobook seem ordinary in comparison. Get the 7 Habits first. Get to know it and after several listens get the 8th Habit.
Finally, unless you walk the walk suggested this stuff is just fancy talk.
Stephen Covey has had one great idea, the 7 Habits, which he has capitalised on for some time this book adds a bit of substance to that idea but it is poorly written, repetitious and makes some sweeping statements with little evidence to back them up. Covey is fond of saying things like, "the research shows..." but he rarely ever lets you know which research. Stephen Covey has continually advocated principle centred leadership, however his material is vague on how, specifically, one should put this into practice the eight habit adds little by way of clarification.
My recommendation is that if you want a good book on leadership try The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner, Good To Great by Jim Collins or Situational Leadership by Ken Blanchard.
One can't help but wonder if Stephen Covey lived for another twenty years would we see a ninth and a tenth habit. Just when I thought I was doing well with seven he comes along and introduces and eighth, bummer, its like learning to drive all over again - help someone, I need a programme to help me kick these crazy habits.
In many ways, I found reading it very much like eating a fruit cake - insofar as the pearls of wisdom and practical advice that were so densely packed in the "Seven Habits" - (I have my MS Outlook organised into Covey's "Urgent and Important, Important and Not Urgent . . ." system) were still there, but they were mixed more thinly through the dough of the fruit cake.
The subtitle of the book is "Finding Your Own Voice and Teaching Others to Find Their's" and indeed it does have some extremely valuable lessons to give about empowerment and about delegation. But perhaps it's most important message is that we are now in the age of the "knowledge worker" in which everyone, from the most menial worker to the highest paid executive, is an expert in their own field and must be treated with the respect they deserve in order to get the best results.
For me, that insight, and the change it has brought to my own work practices, is easily worth the price of the book and therefore I have no problem in recommending it as an accompanying volume to Covey's other excellent works.