Stephen R. Covey was a versatile personality, well-known for his work as a successful businessman, educator and an influential public speaker. His book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is one of the most influential business books of the twentieth century and it’s the book we are exploring today.
About The Author – Stephen Richards Covey
Born on October 24, 1932, Stephen Richards Covey was a distinguished American non-fiction author.
He was a versatile personality, well-known for his work as a successful businessman, educator and an influential public speaker. His book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is one of the most influential business books of the twentieth century and it’s the book we are exploring today.
At the time of his death, July 16, 2012, Covey was a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.
Other Books By Stephen Richards Covey:
- How to Succeed with People in 1971,
- Principle Centered Leadership in 1989,
- Living the 7 Habits in 2000 and,
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Network Marketing Professionals in 2009.
The Book – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Since its first publication in 1989, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has sold well over 30 million copies worldwide.
The audio version became the first non-fiction audiobook in U.S. publishing history to sell more than one million copies. All these go to show that this piece of writing is a highly valuable one, so you better get ready to tap into it.
The Personality Ethic and The Character Ethic
If you have studied this book, there are two terms you cannot fail to pay attention to, they are what Covey calls “The Personality Ethic”, something he sees as widespread in many self-help books, especially among modern writers.
He equally promotes what he refers to as “The Character Ethic” which can best be described as aligning one’s values with the “universal and timeless” principles.
In other words, consider The Character Ethic as a kind of invisible guide upon which you can regulate your actions and interactions.
Principles And Value
Another impotent lesson to draw out from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is Covey’s view of “Principles and Value”. He sees principles as external natural laws, while values remain internal and subjective.
He added that value governs the behaviour of people, whereas principles ultimately determine the consequences thereof.
Covey is a great writer with a highly developed sense of imagination. What he shows us in this important book is that the way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. And to that effect, we must change ourselves, if we want to change a given situation, and for us to change ourselves, we must first change our perceptions.
That is a highly valuable analogy to always keep in mind, especially when you consider the way we often use the word “change” or changing the situation we find ourselves.
What Are The Habits Of Highly Effective People?
One of the first things to notice about this book is that it begins with a description of how many individuals who have achieved a high degree of outward success but still find themselves struggling with a deep inner need for developing personal effectiveness and growing healthy relationships with other people.
The truth is that Highly Effective People see the reality around them differently. According to Covey, the way we see the problem is the problem itself. We must, therefore, allow ourselves to undergo real shifts in our perception, or the way we see the world around us.
In order to be truly effective as people, we need some real changes, not just the surface level attitudes and behaviours, but some real fundamental change in our perception.
Let’s say, for instance, you want to start a business in order to strike out for yourself and become your own boss. If you think you will become successful overnight without the falling and rising, and hopefully learning from your mistakes, you will be deceiving yourself.
Chances are that you have never been in business for yourself before, so you will naturally need to learn how to see the business world and its difficulties from a different perspective, and develop new ways of operating, as an Effective individual.
The Key Message Is Discipline
In order to manage ourselves effectively, we must put first things first. We must have the discipline to prioritize our day-to-day actions, based on what is most important, not just what is most urgent.
And to identify what is important, it needs to be measured against the benchmark, or the universal principle and value we were talking about before.
This question of alignment is extremely important in the entire conversation and I talked more about it in our online class “Discover Your Life Purpose In 6 Days”. You can check it out on Aclasses.org and you will find a lot of values in it.
Discipline And Determination
Now, in order to maintain the discipline and stay focus towards our goals, we need the determination to keep working on our mission even when we might not particularly want to do so.
I think this is what really separates the real champions from the armature all over he places because a lot of people give up when their goings get a little tougher than they have anticipated.
They abandon their dreams when the night gets darker than usual. But never forget that the darkest night comes before dawn and that there will always be pains, difficulties and obstacles in your life whether you are working on your dream or not. Never forget that.
Your Take Away From This Book
What can you take away from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? Well, become a Highly Effective Person, because highly effective people shape their own future instead of letting others or society determine it for them.
Do this by discovering your life purpose and using all your strength and willpower to work towards it.
Make an effort to understand your personal strengths. Use the power of imagination and self-awareness to your advantage and you will never regret this exceptional adventure, the journey of your life.
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See you in the class.