The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change Paperback – Nov 9 2004
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Anyone who thinks the audiocassette adaptation of Stephen Covey's bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is a shortcut to reading the book has another thing coming. As a preview, the cassette is worth every one of its 90 minutes; as a substitute for the original, it will only leave you wishing for the rest. There's a reason 7 Habits has sold more than 5 million copies and been translated into 32 languages. Serious work has obviously gone into it, and serious change can likely come out of it--but only with constant discipline and steadfast commitment. As the densely packed tape makes immediately clear, this is no quick fix for what's ailing us in our personal and professional lives.
The tape opens to the silky-smooth, overtrained voice of the female narrator, who's responsible for tying together audio clips from actual Covey seminars. Leaving aside the occasional attempts at promoting Covey and his institute, her script does a first-rate job of making sense of Covey's own intense, analogy-rich style of explaining his habits. There's nothing simple about his approach to becoming an effective person. The first three habits alone--which have to do with personal responsibility, leadership, and self-management--could take years to master. Yet the last four are unattainable, the narrator insists, if you can't acquire the personal security--the "inner core," says Covey--that presumably comes from a mastery of the foundation.
Throughout our lessons, Covey's presence is both learned and thoroughly appealing. He drops references to the likes of Socrates, T.S. Eliot, and Robert Frost with the aplomb of an English professor. And his knack for mixing everyday stories with abstract concepts manages to clarify difficult issues while respecting our intelligence. You could argue that the cassette is nothing more than a clever marketing tool for selling another few million copies of the book. But, even at that, it's worth the investment in time and concentration: in the end, we're moved to learn more about integrating all seven habits in our struggle to become better and, yes, more effective people. (Running time: 1.5 hours, one cassette) --Ann Senechal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The late Skip LeFauve President, Saturn Corporation/General Motors Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People played a major role in the development of Saturn's operating systems and philosophy. Our commitment to quality and to our customers has its roots in The 7 Habits.
Ken M. Radziwanowski AT&T School of Business Picture someone going through the best experience they've ever had in terms of training -- that's what they say. People credit the 7 Habits with changing their lives, with getting back on track personally and professionally.
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Top Customer Reviews
As you know, habit, according to psychology, is a conditioned response to stimuli. This means that it can be learned through repetition or reinforcement. Unlike Pavlov's dogs, people are highly complex and dynamic and each reacting differently to the same or different situations.
According to Stephen Covey the 7 habits are:
1) be proactive,
2) begin with the end in mind,
3) put first thing first,
4) think win/win,
5) seek to understand, then to be understand,
7) sharpen the saw.
It has a high level of abstraction. Also, part of this book sounds more like philosophy or even religion, which will not sit well with everyone. It is also important to reread this book because it will talk to you in different ways at different stages in your life.
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.Read more ›
The book is divided into four parts.
The first part deals with the fundamentals that everything else builds upon: paradigms and principles. An important theme running through all of Covey's work is that of ethical behaviour and delivering one's contribution to society as a necessary ingredient of succesful living.
In part two the author shows you a number of principles that help you to deal with yourself, such as taking responsibility for your own actions and prioritizing your goals.
Part three talks about working with other people, addressing such issues as win/win thinking and active listening.
The fourth and last part talks about sustaining the things that you have learned and continuing to grow.
This book is not a push-over. It has a high level of abstraction. Also, part of this book sounds more like philosophy or even religion, which will not sit well with everyone. However, the author is perfectly correct in first discussing basic values and priorities ("doing the right things") before discussing techniques for raising efficiency ("doing things right").
Also, it is important that you realise that this is not a self-help book for people who have real specific issues on their hands (self-discipline, traumas, lacking social skill etc.) They will probably need to deal with those specific issues first, before they will be able to take the maximum out of this book.
For those who feel that their life is reasonably sorted out, but would like to go (much) further, this is a must-read book.
Most recent customer reviews
I do a lot of reading online and came across with some people that mentioned this book. Before buying this book, I borrowed one from the public library and with a few pages already... Read morePublished 26 days ago by MissVSM
A timeless book. Suitable for everyone for a better life, personal and professional.Published 28 days ago by Ali Sani
I have read this book a long time go. However this time I enjoyed it just as much. His philosophies are just as relevant today as they were 20 years ago.Published 28 days ago by Amazon Customer Judith Pratt-Jefferies
this cd version is annoying because it's not separated by chapters so if you want to skip to a specific habit well you can't. but the advice is good over allPublished 1 month ago by eden
This book changed my life! Made me realize that I have way more control of my happieness in my life then I even knew. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Adam k