Stephen Covey and Leadership Lit

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Stephen Covey, the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, died yesterday. Heidi Grant Halvorson of the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia University Business School, and author of Nine Things Successful People Do Differently, discusses the impact of Covey's book, and the world of leadership and self-help advice. Are you a Covey fan? Did 7 Habits help you? What other leadership or self-help books have you used, and why? Let us know!

→ Read the 7 Habits Below

→ The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Adapted from Covey's Website)

+ Be Proactive. "Be Proactive is about taking responsibility for your life. You can't keep blaming everything on your parents or grandparents. Proactive people recognize that they are 'response-able.'"

+ Begin with the End in Mind. "All things are created twice. There is a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation."

+ Put First Things First. "This habit is where Habits 1 and 2 come together. First things are those things you, personally, find of most worth. If you put first things first, you are organizing and managing time and events according to the personal priorities you established in Habit 2."

+ Think Win-Win. "Win-win sees life as a cooperative arena, not a competitive one. Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions."

+ Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. "If you're like most people, you probably seek first to be understood; you want to get your point across. And in doing so, you may ignore the other person completely, pretend that you're listening, selectively hear only certain parts of the conversation or attentively focus on only the words being said, but miss the meaning entirely."

+ Synergize. "Synergize is the habit of creative cooperation. It's a process, and through that process, people bring all their personal experience and expertise to the table. Together, they can produce far better results that they could individually."

+ Sharpen the Saw. "Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have--you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual."

Comments [3]

Chuck from Clifton, NJ

Covey's religious faith was evidenced by the postscript to the book where, as I recall, he added his conviction that one would need the help of God to be able to live this way.

Jul. 17 2012 11:57 AM

Just have a very nice smile and be totally crazy, and people will follow.

Jul. 17 2012 11:57 AM
Mary from Westchester

to this day, at work and at home, I always fill up my plant watering can after I water my plants. The idea is to have things already done and ready to use. So you fill up the watering can after you water the plants, so the next time you water the plants, your watering can is already full. sort of a thing of: not doing things at the last minute but plan ahead, make life more simple with small things like this. it's a small example, but he had an affect on me, positive

Jul. 17 2012 11:54 AM

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