eCourse Book Club Key-Books Specials Contact Us Shopping Cart

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey’s book is one of the phenomenona of modern personal development writing. It has sold a million copies a year for the last 12 years, has been translated into 32 languages, and forms the intellectual basis of a huge company.

It took Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People 60 years to have the same sort of impact. What lifted it above the mass of books that claim the secret to a better existence?

Firstly, it was timing. The 7 Habits came out just as we entered the 1990s. Suddenly, aspiring to be a ‘Master of the Universe’ in a shoulder-padded world did not seem to satisfy, and people were ready for a different prescription for getting what they really wanted out of life. Covey’s message of ‘restoring the character ethic’ was so old-fashioned it seemed revolutionary. Having previously studied the success literature of the last 200 years for a doctoral dissertation, Covey was able to draw a distinction between what he termed the ‘personality ethic’ - the quick-fix solutions and human relations techniques which had pervaded much of the writing this century - and the character ethic, which revolved around unchanging personal principles. Covey believed that outward success was not success at all if it was not the manifestation of inner mastery; in his terminology, ‘private victory’ must precede ‘public victory’.

The second, more practical reason for the book’s success is that it is a compelling read both as a self-help book and a leadership/management manual. This crossover status effectively doubled its market. It also means that the reader interested only in personal development may not like the management terms, diagrams and business anecdotes that fill it. For a book that is so much about changing paradigms, it is remarkably representative of the paradigm of business thinking. But that should be a small price to pay for what is a brilliant life re-engineering guide, enlivened by Covey’s personal and family experiences. Covey may be Dale Carnegie’s heir in many ways, but his classic is more systematic, comprehensive and life-expanding than any of the modern self-help titles which came before it.

The 7 Habits puts effectiveness at a higher level than achievement. Achievement is hollow unless what you achieve is actually worthwhile, both in terms of your highest aims and service to others. Covey’s view is that the personality ethic of 20th century self-help had helped to create a high-achieving society that also did not happen to know where it was going.

What are the seven habits? You will have to read the book to find out, but many have said they are just common sense. On their own, yes, but put together in the one package, in the sequence they are in, and with the philosophy of principle-centredness to support them, they can produce the synergy which Covey celebrates.

Through its use of the habit as the unit of action, The 7 Habits gives readers the momentum to incorporate its teachings into daily life. We are given the means for changing the little, in order to transform the big.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People provides a useful, sequential framework for understanding much about the process of Personal Development. Many highly successful people seem to have naturally developed these principles of effectiveness.

Stephen Covey's principled approach is not a quick-fix prescription for personal growth. But, says Covey, if you work hard at acquiring these principles, if you learn them well, think about them deeply and teach them to others, they will eventually become internalized. They will lead to fundamental change because they will affect who you are - your character - for the better.

Your personality was formed as the result of specific behaviours you internalised as you grew up. These behaviours are not things we need to think about, they represent little success strategies or ways of coping with life that we have found to be helpful. If you take a look at what Seneca said about human character, you will see how acquiring new habits leads to a fundamental change of character.

The seven principles Covey presents are not his own original thoughts - he does not claim to have originated the ideas but simply to have found a framework and a language for articulating the timeless principles embedded into the seven habits. The 7 habits are to be found, he says, in all the major world religions. He believes the principles themselves to be 'self-evident', that is, 'you cannot really argue against them'. His view is that all highly effective people, and enduringly effective organizations, have utilised the 7 habits, to a greater or lesser extent, to sustain their success.

Covey says that the 7 habits are 'common knowledge' but, he adds, are not necessarily 'common practice'. In fact, it could be argued that the habits actually run counter to basic human nature. By our nature, we are reactive creatures and we are inclined to act mainly out of self-interest. But we are also as human beings capable of much higher thoughts and actions and by working hard to internalize the 7 habits we are able to develop a proactive attitude. By so doing, we can take charge of our own destinies and we are capable of exerting influence on other people for the collective good.

Download the eBook Now

The cost of The 7 Habits of Highly Succussful People is a drop in the ocean considering what you stand to gain from applying the knowledge and principles contained within it! This eBook is usually sold on the Net for up to $20.00, however, if you order here right away, you can secure your copy for just $7.95!

The eBook version contains the full text of the original book. Order your copy now while it's still fresh in your mind. All you need to do is click on the "Add to Cart" button below.

This eBook is ready-to-read on your PC or Laptop under Windows 95/98/NT/2000/Me/XP or Mac.


© Copyright 2006