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on 24 February 2016
I hesitated before writing a review since there are already 600 plus who have done the same. So, I took the time to read some of the negative reviews (1 star rating) to find out what they didn't like about the book. Wow! This just proves the point that reviews are mere opinions from readers and if we were to buy into theirs, we will either be satisfied or discontent. Now, as a person whose English is not the first language, I have learn so many new words and fell in love with Dr Stephen Covey's lexicon. It felt like not a single word is wasted and each sentence is constructed beautifully while being concise and deeply meaningful.

I have read it once. I will read it a second time and underline many of my favourite bits. I have already started to implement these seven habits and they are nothing short of challenging. The work that the late author has produced is undoubtedly one of the most important literary work of our times. It's a shame that some do not see it that way, but that's their paradigm. It is futile to force your opinion onto someone else's. However, the book gives you a frame of work to emulate in order for you to become a more effective person.

Don't take my word for it since you do not know me. But if you were to buy the book based on reviews, I suggest that you read a preview and form your own opinion. As for me, this is arguably one of the most life-altering book I have ever read and I always recommend it to my friends. I am a strong believer of "the books you don't read won't help" and "the person who doesn't read is not different from the person who can't read", therefore similar books stimulate my imagination and "the 7 habits of highly effective people" has sent it into a frenzy. I hope it does the same to you when you read it and put it into practice.
33 people found this helpful
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on 28 March 2018
This is one of those seminal pieces of work that everyone should read. It is not a business book, it is not a marriage help book, it is not a parenting book and it is not a friendship book. It is a book about YOU in a holistic context. It is about causing you to think about your core defining traits; personality, character, principles and ethics. In other words, it is NOT a quick self-help book it is about instilling fundamental habits. These habits take us from our base level of being a dependent through Independence to Interdependence and are defined as:

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. Synergise
7. Sharpen the Saw – Continuous Improvement

The principles are as sound today and they have always been and the world would be a better place if we all lived by these habits. The language is a bit dated and some of it has been so widely used and misused that it’s a bit cringing in today’s vocabulary.

I would say 5 stars for the impact this book has had, and 4 stars for the language ageing we’re now seeing. 4.5 stars would be about right.
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on 25 February 2017
I first read this as a new, green sales person trying to be better. I got bits of it, but it largely went over my head at the time.

14 years later, trying my best to be better and to help a team be better, I re read this book, and it has just clicked. I'm starting it again right away, to start actual action this time.
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on 14 April 2016
This is a really interesting book, rooted firmly in "external principles" rather than the latest quick fix gimmick. The case made is compelling, but as an atheist, I found the references back to religion uncomfortable, and potentially confounding. Religion brings a lot of baggage, and I am not yet convinced this framework doesn't make a few assumptions as a consequence. Furthermore some of the concepts are a little fuzzy - but that is the nature of concepts - they are individual and fuzzy.

Still there is no doubting the power of the principles in this book, for personal growth and success. What I question a bit more is the implication that treating kids according to this "formula" is necessarily helpful. I felt a bit sorry for Mr Covey's kids.

Worth reading though, and powerful if you can embrace some or all of it....
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on 10 August 2015
This was recommended to me and I expected more from it. I felt I'd read it all before in other places where it had been better put. Actually 'better put' is unfair - put in a way that chimed better with me. I know people who really love it and who get a lot from it. These things are subjective. It's not my sort of motivational prose, but that's very much a matter of personal taste. It's a well written book and clearly a very popular one - just not my sort of thing.
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on 25 September 2012
What can I say about this fantastic book that hasn't already been said in so many other reviews.

'Self help' as a term for books today has become something of a dirty word, something a lot of people sneer at and make fun of. I can understand this to a point, as there is some real rubbish on the market but this book and of course the author Stephen Covey, to my mind is in a league only a few motivational authors/speakers share.

I'm so impressed with this book ~ I started off with a paperback edition many years ago, then a couple of years ago I purchased the Kindle edition and then through Audible (Amazon company) I downloaded the talking book. I've also bought a copy for my son, so obviously I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. This is in my top five books of all time and I read and listen to it often.

I don't care for the term self help, I choose my books carefully and refer to them as personal power; something which will markedly improve for anyone who reads this book and puts the advice into action!
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on 4 January 2014
This book has been life changing!

I've seen it a few times but hesitate as I thought it would be another self-help rubbish. After reading an abstract of it I was very impressed and decided to buy it.

I was going through some personal difficulties in my personal and professional life and this book has changed my whole outlook on life. The reason 7 Habits is different from all other self-help books is that instead of focusing on the outside e.g. negotiating skills or building your reputation it delves deep into your core. The book helps you realize how we as human beings can change how we react, feel and see the world. It helps you understand what really is important to you in life. The book shows you how to be a pro-active person who lives in harmony with others. There really is soo much I've taken away from this book that this review won't do it justice!

This book is still on my bedside table, i refer to it and if I have children I will pass these book onto them!

This book gives a set of rules on how to live a productive, harmonious and happy life- to me this book is a bible!
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on 10 October 2012
Between starting to read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in the Spring of 2011 and finishing the book today, its author Steven Covey died.

I am not sure about where the book is placed in the pantheon of great business books (I can see from the cover that 15 million copies have been sold) but what made me buy the book was the number of times it was referenced by people I respect.

His seven principles (to which an eighth has been appended for the digital age) underpin a lot of other good self-development and management books. His ideas are frequently used by others. "Begin with the end in mind" is not quite what I had been told it was.

There are two reasons why it took me so long to read the book. The first reason is Steven himself urges his reader to take it slowly. The second is that his prose style is frequently dry.

But I am glad I set out on the journey. As T S Eliot wrote: "We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time."

This book is packed full of wisdom. It will help you improve your life. While 15 million copies have been sold I am confident that most people really don't understand how the principles that Steven outlines join up. This means if you study the book you will get a personal advantage and a business advantage.

While I say that Steven does not write well, this book does contain some great stories and it will make you cry. You will also feel that you know Steven and know that he lives on through his work.
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on 21 May 2018
I thought this book was long winded and far too wordy in what is was saying. There are some good bits in here, but it's all buried under story after story and anecdote after anecdote until it felt like I was reading an autobiography, not a self development book.

Reading a summary of the key points and actionable steps would have been a much better use of my time.
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on 29 August 2013
The reason for purchasing the audio version was so that I could focus on actually absorbing Stephen Covey's explanation of what makes people "effective" - in my car on the way to/from work, away from the hustle and bustle of life.

One of the best decisions of my life (only reason for 4 stars is that it only plays on a single track so bit trickey if you really want to focus on a specific habit which is 25 minutes into track 1).

The initial introduction creates the foundation for delivering the content by explaining that a habit is an overlap of knowledge, skillset and attitude. Therefore to develop a habit, one must know what to do (knowledge), how to do it (skillset) and why/want to do it (attitude). He also explains the journey that we must ensue to become effective, learning to understanding our own "paradigms", developing through from being dependent on others, to being independent and then finally achieving interdependency. This journey is critical to understanding the 7 habits as they support you in each of these stages.

If you take on board what is said, truly understand it, absorb, digest and make it life changing experience, then you will start to discover, how being effective can lead to a more productive and fulfilling life.

A new, powerful way of thinking, highly recommended.
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