Reflections and applications: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Steven Covey)
This classic best seller for management, organisations and personal development encapsulates
Steven Covey's research on 200 years of success literature since his doctoral program. It is perhaps
the most influential book for managers and organizations to learn the Seven Habits of Highly
Effective People, as the title suggest. It begins with the concept that people perceive the world
differently, and we form our own paradigm - how we view the world with our own unique "lens".
Covey explains that paradigms are the source of our attitudes and behaviours. Part of achieving
insight involves making a "paradigm shift" which causes us to perceive things differently. Our
paradigms will affect how we interact with others, which in turn will affect how they interact with
us. Covey argues that any effective self-help program must begin with an "inside-out" approach,
rather than looking at our problems as "being out there" (an inside-out approach). We must start by
examining our own character, paradigms, and motives.
Hence, character and principles are keys to success, effectiveness, and happiness in life. The Seven
Habits of Highly Effective People points out: "Principles are guidelines for human conduct that are
proven to have enduring, permanent value."
The seven habits divided into two main groups: private victory (independence) and public victory
Habits of Independence:
Habit 1: Be Proactive
We must use our resourcefulness to work toward our personal goals. Everyone has both a circle of
influence and a circle of concern. Worrying endlessly about things outside of our circle of influence
isn't particularly productive. Working within our circle of influence is productive. Further, the more
effective we become, the more our circle of influence will expand.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind