Seven Habits
(Stephen Covey)

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Summary

The Seven Habits model of management and leadership guru Stephen Covey is a theory that is applicable to our personal life, our social life and our working life. However the Seven Habits framework is highly applicable for leaders and managers. According to Covey, our paradigms affect how we interact with others, which in turn affects how they interact with us. Therefore Covey argues that any effective self-help program must begin with an "inside-out" approach, rather than looking towards our problems as "being out there" (an outside-in approach). We must start with examining our own character, paradigms, and motives.


The Seven Habits of Covey

  1. Be proactive. This is the ability to control one's environment, rather than the opposite, as is so often the case. Managers need to control their own environment, by using self-determination and the ability to respond to various circumstances.
  2. Begin with the end in mind. This means that the manager must be able to see the desired outcome, and to concentrate on activities which help to achieve that end.
  3. Put first things first. A manager must manage his own person. Personally. And managers should implement activities which aim to achieve the second habit. Covey says that habit 2. is the first, or mental creation; habit 3 is the second, or physical creation.
  4. Think win-win. This is the most important aspect of interpersonal leadership, because most achievements are based on shared effort. Therefore the aim needs to be win-win solutions for all.
  5. Seek first to understand and then to be understood. By developing and maintaining positive relationships through good communications, the manager is understood by others, and he can understand the subordinates.
  6. Synergize. This is the habit of creative cooperation: the principle that collaborating towards attaining a purpose often achieves more, than could be achieved by individuals working independently.
  7. Sharpen the saw. We should learn from our previous experiences. And we should encourage others to do the same. Covey sees development as one of the most important aspects for being able to cope with challenges, and for aspiring towards higher levels of ability.

In his 2004 book: "The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness", Covey introduces an additional eighth habit:

  1. Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs. Striving towards "greatness", means to act with integrity as an individual and to help others to do the same. According to Covey, this habit represents the 3rd dimension of his model. Greatness is the overlap of:
  • Personal greatness. Applying the 7 habits in the forms of: vision, discipline, passion and conscience.
  • Leadership greatness. Applying the 4 roles of leadership, which are modeling the 7 habits:
    • Path finding. Creating the blueprint.
    • Aligning. Creating a technically elegant system of work.
    • Empowering. Releasing the talent, energy, and contribution of people.
    • Modeling. To build trust with others. The heart of effective leadership.
  • Organizational greatness. This is greatness turned into a vision, mission and values. This brings clarity, commitment, translation, synergy, and enables accountability.

Book: Stephen Covey: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People -

Book: Stephen Covey: The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness -


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Covey's 8th Habit: Expression of a Higher Level of Awareness
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Best Practices

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The top-rated topics about the Seven Habits. Here you will find the most valuable ideas and practical suggestions.


Think success, then it will follow...
Success starts first in the mind, all other steps are simply the embodiment of ingredients that made up this very first (...)
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Extra Habit: Enthusiasm
I believe the world belongs to the people of enthusiasm. It is our enthusiasm that reflects on our future output. (...)
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Tools for being Proactive?
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I say : Emotion Clouds Reason
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Habits inhibit Freedom?
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Seven Habits: Followers?
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Extra Habit: Setting and Achieving Goals
I accept that the good habits are necessary to building positive self-esteem and image, it is a universal truth. The Sev (...)
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7 Habits is Road Map to Personal Success
Stephen R Covey's 7 habits should be a road map to personal success but the habits can be increased to as many as possib (...)
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Seven Habits: Sharpen the saw?
What is the meaning of Covey's: Sharpen the saw? (...)
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Extra habit: Emotional Intelligence
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Accountability of Time and Workforce Output
Accountability of time in comparision to the output of workforce is to be monitored very strictly in order to achieve th (...)
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Could Working Hard be an Extra Habit?
Can I add another habit: The attitude to work hard. I find that hard work is one of the most important habits, not found (...)
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Expert Tips

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Information Sources

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