I loved this book since I am someone who is always trying to become more efficient and better at what I do.
There were a number of things about this book that I felt really struck home for me, and they were:
1. Proactive people can and do effect the future. While I can't control what happens to me, I can control my reactions to it and in doing so can feel better about the impact of my actions.
2. Directing my efforts can only come about when I am clear about what my goal is. Until I understand what my dream or my goal is, I can't effectively direct my actions towards that goal. For me, this was a big key in terms of helping to direct my energies towards my goal.
3. The concept of "first things first" was an eye opener for me. It distilled the difference between doing something that is "urgent" versus something that is "important". It was easy for me to be pulled away from important tasks to attend to something that is urgent, but I learned that focusing on Quadrant two (important but not urgent) would get me to me goal. Some of the things in Quadrant two are: planning, preparation, prevention, and relationship-building. All these things helped leverage my time and helped me towards achieving my goal.
4. Thinking Win-Win was another valuable lesson for me. An important distinction from my previous interpretation of this axiom was that win-win does not mean compromise. It means finding solutions to problems that truly benefit both sides of a dispute. The beauty of this approach is that it allowed me to focus my energies on finding great solutions instead of wasting time and effort trying to persuade someone of why my side of the dispute was better.
5. The fifth habit is - Seek First to Understand. At first I thought this was about letting the other person speak first, but the important distinction for me was really understanding the other person's point of view. The beauty of this approach is that when they felt I was truly listening to them, it made them much more open to listening to what I had to say and less judgmental about my point of view.
6. Habit #6 is all about synergizing. Finding a synergistic solution means finding a solution that is better than either party might have first proposed. When I let me guard down and release from my defensive posture regarding a point of view, and then work with the other person, the results have been surprisingly good.
7. The final habit is just getting better at all the other habits.
Another book that helped me achieve more was "GOAL! Your 30 Day Game Plan for Business & Career Success" Goal!: Your 30-Day Game Plan for Business and Career Success
It moved me into action right away with regard to achieving a goal. It had me working on my goal from Day One and, importantly, kept me motivated through a series of exercises that had me thinking about my goal from the perspective of having already achieved it - a very powerful tool. I highly recommend this book for help with goal achievement.