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The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness [Paperback]

Stephen R. Covey
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 29 2005
The world has changed dramatically since the classic, internationally bestselling The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was published, influencing tens of millions. The challenges and complexity we all face in our relationships, families, professional lives and communities are of an entirely new order of magnitude. In order to thrive, innovate, excel and lead in what Covey calls the new Knowledge Worker Age, we must build on and move beyond effectiveness...to greatness. Accessing the higher levels of human genius and motivation in today's new reality requires a sea change of new thinking -- a new mind-set, a new skill-set, a new tool-set -- in short, a whole new habit.

Frequently Bought Together

The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness + The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change + The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Personal Workbook
Price For All Three: CDN$ 42.54


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The original seven habits of highly successful people are still relevant, but Covey, author of the mega-bestseller of that title, says that the new Information/Knowledge Worker Age, exemplified by the Internet, calls for an eighth habit to achieve personal and organizational excellence: "Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs." Covey sees leadership "as a choice to deal with people in a way that will communicate to them their worth and potential so clearly they will come to see it in themselves." His holistic approach starts with developing one's own voice, one's "unique personal significance." The bulk of the book details how, after finding your own voice, you can inspire others and create a workplace where people feel engaged. This includes establishing trust, searching for third alternatives (not a compromise between your way and my way, but a third, better way) and developing a shared vision. This book isn't easy going; less business jargon and more practical examples would have made this livelier and more helpful. But if organizations operated with Covey's ideas—and ideals—most people would undoubtedly find work much more satisfying. DVD not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

It takes the likes of Covey--and a gap of 15 years in publication time--to hit directly on the issue confronting individuals and corporations today: the gap between effectiveness and greatness. Following his best-selling The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1996), the author demonstrates in words and a series of 16 brief DVD clips (included) exactly how to find your own voice and, for leaders, how to support the discovery of the organization's voice. He selects examples from past and present, from Abraham Lincoln to the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, demonstrating, first, the ways to uncover the four intelligences (mental, spiritual, physical/economic, and emotional/social) and, second, the roles necessary to lead others to discover their voices. Statistics and personal anecdotes (a conversation with Bill Marriott, for instance) underscore the importance of trust and the implementation of that trust; one study from Harris Interactive reveals that only 48 percent of respondents said their organizations lived up to organizational values. Timely commentary in a surefire next-seller. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THESE ARE THE VOICES of people at work and at home-voices of literally millions of parents, laborers, service providers, managers, professionals and executives all over the world who are fighting to make it in the new reality. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
If you haven't read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I suggest you read that one before this book.

Dr. Covey obviously pulled out all of the stops in trying to make this book as helpful as possible to his readers. The book contains summaries of the material in his other books, repeats many stories from those books, reconciles the material with most of the business book best sellers in recent years, contains a DVD full of inspiring videos, provides references to many free materials on his web site, has extensive appendices and contains many thoughtful sections on questions and answers. As a result, the book comes across like an encyclopedia of his teachings . . . rather than as the simple communication that is so delightful in his other books. I suspect that Dr. Covey changed ghostwriters for this one (at least I assume that the other books were ghostwritten because they avoid the ponderous communications style that Dr. Covey uses in person).

So what is the 8th habit? Allow me to paraphrase. It'll be quicker that way. You act with integrity as an individual and help others to do the same.

In Covey-speak, it's 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 (modeling the 7 habits, path finding, aligning and Empowering), and organizational greatness (turned into a vision, mission and values that bring clarity, commitment, translation, synergy, enabling and accountability). See Figure 14.3 on page 280 for the simplest expression of the 8th habit in Covey-speak.

Can you make a book out of that point? Well, if you put in lots of examples, you can . . . which Dr. Covey did. But the basic point is about a magazine article's worth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a Recommended Read Nov. 28 2008
Format:Paperback
It is not a book that is an easy read - an aspect that is useful for those of us with only small bits of time. It's language is too academic is some instances and its testimonials are not something that a small business owner can relate to. The layout and lack of white space compounds the problem and the graphics are not practical. I would not recommend this book as a gift.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars July 15 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Just a repeat of the other 7 habits using different stories.

John
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Covey does it again March 19 2006
Format:Paperback
An important book on leadership; maybe one of the most important since 7 Habits. Covey does it again with an ability to simplify complex topics without oversimplification. A must-read for those undertaking leadership in any organization.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  186 reviews
379 of 391 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Valuable Synthesis Presented Abstractly and Ponderously Feb. 23 2005
By Donald Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If you haven't read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I suggest you read that one before this book.

Dr. Covey obviously pulled out all of the stops in trying to make this book as helpful as possible to his readers. The book contains summaries of the material in his other books, repeats many stories from those books, reconciles the material with most of the business book best sellers in recent years, contains a DVD full of inspiring videos, provides references to many free materials on his web site, has extensive appendices and contains many thoughtful sections on questions and answers. As a result, the book comes across like an encyclopedia of his teachings . . . rather than as the simple communication that is so delightful in his other books. I suspect that Dr. Covey changed ghostwriters for this one (at least I assume that the other books were ghostwritten because they avoid the ponderous communications style that Dr. Covey uses in person).

So what is the 8th habit? Allow me to paraphrase. It'll be quicker that way. You act with integrity as an individual and help others to do the same.

In Covey-speak, it's 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 (modeling the 7 habits, path finding, aligning and Empowering), and organizational greatness (turned into a vision, mission and values that bring clarity, commitment, translation, synergy, enabling and accountability). See Figure 14.3 on page 280 for the simplest expression of the 8th habit in Covey-speak.

Can you make a book out of that point? Well, if you put in lots of examples, you can . . . which Dr. Covey did. But the basic point is about a magazine article's worth. Most people will come to that realization when they see the entire book's concepts summarized in chapters 14 and 15. If you want to check this book out, read those two chapters and see if you need more at that point.

Why do millions of people read his books? Well, the earlier ones were beautifully written. This one isn't. All of his books show unadulterated respect for the reader and a belief in the reader's unlimited potential to improve. So it's inspiring to read someone's high opinion of you. Dr. Covey obviously cares that we live moral and positive lives. He's a sort of secular priest expressing moral values that most will agree with. Would we all like to work for Dr. Covey? Sure!

How well will this book translate in the workplace? It'll be a tough row. You can have a company that's good at the 8th habit, but doesn't build the necessary skills to succeed with using the 8th habit. That's because this book is heavy on concepts . . . and light on the practical details. Dr. Covey starts up at about 100,000 feet in the air with his abstract thinking and discussions, and rarely gets any closer. So think of the 8th habit book as helpful . . . but not sufficient in and of itself . . . for creating superior performance. Perhaps it will work better if you employ Dr. Covey's firm to help you (which is abundantly pitched in the book).

Dr. Covey humbly points out that his conclusions are aimed at dealing with the problems of poor communication, lousy alignment, misunderstandings about what to do next, lacks of tools and training, and dumbed-down workplaces . . . but is not supported by research (other than anecdotes from his clients) to support that this actually works better. But you'll agree, I'm sure, that even failure would feel a lot better in such an organization. So it's very humanistic, which is a good thing.

Few will disagree with the point of this book, and most wonder what this adds to Dr. Covey's work on Principle-Centered Leadership. "Not very much" is my impression.

I suspect that this book would have worked a lot better if the material had been simplified and added to the 7 habits book . . . and renamed as "The 8 Habits of Highly Effective People."

May God bless you, Dr. Covey! Keep inspiring us to be our best!
114 of 128 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Topical, but tedious Dec 18 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As with most of his previous writings, Dr. Covey has a great point to get across and does an excellent job of motivating it and presenting it in a way that makes it easy to apply to yourself. Unfortunately, unlike his other books, this one was a bit tedious to get through. The mixture of inspirational content (quotes and motivational passages), reiteration of concepts, mapping of his concepts onto the presentations of others in the leadership and self-help community, and just general pacing added up to make this far longer than I would've preferred. I wouldn't recommend it to anybody who isn't a speed reader.
77 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound, inspiring, a must read Oct. 29 2004
By B. Oberland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
When I got my hands on a pre-release copy of this book, I expected to enjoy it, simply because his classic, THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE, has had such a powerful impact on my personal and professional life. But in no way was I prepared for this new book to be so inspiring and riviting, and to speak so clearly and insightfully to my present challenges and desires for my life.

With THE 8TH HABIT, Covey not only acknowledges the on-going need to be effective in today's world, but puts his finger on the human hunger for meaning, contribution, and significance--what he calls "greatness"--and then provides a roadmap for individuals and organizations to achieve it.

You know it's one thing to identify, as his research does, just how disengaged, frustrated, disempowered and straitjacketed most people are in the organizations they work for, but it's another to give insight into how we can actually realize the kind of positive change we desire in our lives, our homes, and in the teams and organizations we are part of.

I love and was moved by the personal examples and experiences Covey shares. It's another great blend of principles and practical, inspiring stories. I also love how the focus is not just centered on oneself. Yes, we can and need to "find our voice," but the equal and perhaps greater key to life lies in "inspiring others to find their voice." That's the leadership challenge--whether it be with your children or with those you work with.

I believe this may very well be Covey's most important and significant work--an idea whose time has come.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Jan. 1 2006
By C. A. Lemley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is one of the most articulate compendiums on human/business relationships on the market today. Not the sugary feel-good hype but luminescent truths peppered with examples on how to achieve success in today's world by applying age-old human relationship laws with new laws born of the paradigm shift. Incomparable stuff - something for everyone. LOTS of info here - and with 13 CDs, it's not to be absorbed overnight.

BONUS! This set also comes with a DVD full of GREAT relevant "mini-movies"! Each movie set is wonderfully produced and qualifies as a top-notch corporate level teaching tool! In addition the family can enjoy it! This bonus DVD alone is worth the price of the 13 CD + 1 DVD set!

Highly recommended!
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I agree with other readers Aug. 9 2005
By A Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'd have to agree with many of the reviews here. Loved Seven Habits, read it many years ago. This one... is... just... a bit... slow... and goes on... and on. I glazed over and haven't read the last bit. I also tired of the repetition - the book is over long as it is, so why add in stories from other books? It seemed unnecessary. Anyway, I admire his intent.
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