In today’s Information Age with life being more complex and demanding, the question arouses whether Stephen Covey’s beststeller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is still relevant.
“The greater the change and more difficult our challenges, the more relevant the habits become” says Stephen Covey.
This article is the first of a 3 part post, which reviews Stephen Covey’s bestseller sold worldwide. In this post you will find a review of Stephen’s first three amazing habits belonging to the ‘Private Victory’. Part 2 will showcase habits 3 to 6 of the ‘Public Victory’, then finally in part 3 I will highlight the renewal habit 7.
The more you are able to identify and apply the principles that govern the outcomes you long for, the more you’ll be in charge of your own life and the better you can overcome your greatest challenges.
Here are some of the most common human challenges we face:
- Fear and insecurity
- Instant gratification also known as ‘I want it now’
- Blame and victimism
- Lack of balance in life
- ‘What’s in it for me’
- The hunger to be understood and appreciated
- Conflict and differences
- Personal stagnation
All these challenges make us see the world, not as it is, but as we are. Most people work on their attitudes and behaviors, but if you want to change your life significantly you will need to work on the roots. Because the roots produce the fruits. When coming from this perspective, principles are regarded as the territory and values as roadmaps.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Habit #1 ACTION – Be Proactive
The quintessence of this habit can be brought down to the following:
We are responsible for our own lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.
Krisz’s note: I suggest focusing on the things that we can influence and thus increasing our circle of influence. Focus on your approach and search for different alternatives. Focus on your feelings and how you can improve your role in a relationship. Focus and what you can do to improve your business. Most people focus on circumstances, on the problems in the economy and feel victimized. By doing this they automatically decrease their circle of influence and feel bad.
All of us face difficulties and problems in life. The way we respond to these challenges is what makes us successful or tears us apart.
Habit #2 VISION – Begin With The End In Mind
What is your vision? What do you want to achieve in life? What would you like people to say about you when you pass away? What’s your legacy?
By answering these questions you should define exactly what you want and what matters most to you. Stop focusing on the roadmap firsthand. Focus on your vision and destination. These are the principles of life.
How can you transfer this habit to business?
Krisz’s note: Well, a lot of businesses fail due to a lack of a business plan, undercapitalization or focusing on the wrong market. In organizations these equals: leadership first and management second.
“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall” says Stephen Covey.
Habit #3 PRIORITIZATION – Put First Things First
This habit is all about knowing organizing and executing live around our priorities. But what are your priorities? And how do I know whether I’m on the right track or not?
The vehicle herefore is Time Management. Activities can be defined as urgent or not urgent. And they can also be devided into important and not important.
If you spend most of your valuable time in quadrant 1 – important / urgent – you’re not exactly going to be effective and ultimately successful. ‘Effective people are not problem-minded, they’re opportunity-minded’ said Peter Drucker.
Krisz’s note: Instead of walking around like a firefighter (this refers to quadrant 1) and be stressed out, you should think preventively. This will allow you to focus on quadrant 2 and manage your life effectively. Ultimately this means scheduling priorities (habit #2) and focusing on your goal (habit #1).
What Do You Think Of Stephen Covey’s Book So Far?
The first 3 habits I talked about in this blog post are a deep reflection of our Inner World. Have you met people that are so rooted, nothing can shake them? Well, it’s because they know what they want, they master the fundamentals and live up to their principles.
So, what do you think of these ‘inner’ habits? Have you discovered anything new about yourself?
Please share your thoughts and ideas below. In addition, I’d love to hear if you have already read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? If so, what’s your biggest take away?
Great review of a great book.
Covey’s material applies to organizations as well as individuals. Fortunately I’d been exposed to it when I was assigned to turn around a nuclear powered submarine. We subsequently created more future leaders than any other. Book Turn the Ship Around tells the story.
Thank you for sharing your valuable experience!
I pre-ordered your book ‘Turn the ship around’. Looking forward to it!
Happy Sales 🙂
Krisz, I have to agree with David.
I read the book many years ago, and I have to say it had a profound impact in both my working and private life.
The first habit, which essentially is take responsibility for your own actions. When I read this I was much more focused on ‘managing’ the things/activities I had control over. It was a very liberating 🙂 Need to read it again!
Wow! David your book sounds like it tells an amazing story.
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