7 Habits

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen R. Covey

  • Habit 1- Be Pro-Active
  • Habit 2- Begin with an End in Mind
  • Habit 3- Put First Things First
  • Habit 4- Think Win/Win
  • Habit 5- Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
  • Habit 6- Synergize
  • Habit 7- Renew

What they deal with…

  • Habit 1- Personal Vision
  • Habit 2- Personal Leadership
  • Habit 3- Personal Management
  • Habit 4- Seek Solutions so that Everyone can Win
  • Habit 5- Communicate/Communication
  • Habit 6- Creative Cooperation; Synergy
  • Habit 7- The Habit of Self-Renewal; The Self-Maintenance Habit

The 7 Habits — Some General Notes…

Achieving Independence

The first three Habits deal with achieving Self-Mastery and Self-Discipline (becoming Independent)…

1 – Be Proactive
Take the initiative. Don’t sit and wait for problems to happen before taking action.

2 – Begin with the End in Mind
Have a clear picture of your destination. If you were at your own funeral 3 years from now, who would you want to give your eulogies, and what would you want them to have said? What about your character, your contributions, your achievements? Think carefully on those things, and write the eulogies.

Don’t tie yourself to your history – tie yourself to your potential.

3 – Put First Things First
Leadership deals with direction. Management deals with the details of getting to the destination.
We manage things. We lead people. Decide to withdraw from management and get into leadership.

Develop and write down a mission statement. A statement of what you want from your life, and the values and principles on which your life will be based. Take six months to a year to write it… two years if necessary. How do the things I do every day contribute to my mission?

Develop and write down a mission statement. A statement of what you want from your life, and the values and principles on which your life will be based. Take six months to a year to write it… two years if necessary.

How do the things you do every day contribute to your mission?
Learn the difference between Important vs. Urgent…
(Find the Quadrant Sketch previously diagrammed)

What is the one activity in your life that if you did it superbly well and consistently, you are convinced would yield marvelous results? That is Quadrant 2 – Important, but Not Urgent.
Leisure is Quadrant 2. Learn to say no (Quadrants 3 & 4).

Learn the difference between what is Important versus what is only Urgent. The most productive things in life will invariably fall into quadrant 2 – Important, but not Urgent.

1) Important and Urgent
2) Important but not Urgent
3) Not Important but Urgent
4) Not Important and not Urgent

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”

Progressing to Interdependence

4 – Think Win-Win
Why don’t we communicate until we find a solution we both feel good about.

Listen, communicate with respect, then use your creative capacities to produce options or alternatives that would have win-win benefits in them. It takes time, it takes patience, it takes habits 1, 2, and 3.

Nice guys finish last… (don’t confuse win-win with lose-win). Win-win is much tougher than win-lose. You have to not only be nice, you have to be courageous. You have to not only be empathic, you have to be confident. You not only have to be considerate and sensitive, you have to be brave. It’s the balance between courage and consideration, the balance between self-respect and respect for others.

Alternative to Win-Win: Be able to walk away… you’ll stop manipulating.
If we can’t agree to disagree agreeably, let’s agree to walk away.
Win-Win comes from the Abundance Mentality. There’s enough for everyone.

5 – Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Learn to listen. The deepest hunger of the human soul is to be understood.
Once a person feels understood they relax, their defenses are lowered, they become open. If you meet the human need to be understood you’re also meeting the need to be appreciated, and people feel validated, they feel affirmed as a human being.

6 – Synergize
Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals that no one could have done alone.

Synergy is not the same as compromise.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Drop the ego.

Continual Improvement

The final habit is that of continuous improvement in both the personal and interpersonal spheres of influence.

7 – Sharpen the Saw
Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. Emphasizes exercise for physical renewal, prayer (meditation, etc.) and reading for mental renewal. Also includes service to society for spiritual renewal.

Continual daily self-renewal (Balance)
Your physical self, your mental self, your spiritual self, and your social-emotional self.
Exercise all four dimensions… organize your life so that you have at least one hour per day.

Oxygen is the key to energy. Stretching, aerobics, muscle toning… at least 30 minutes every other day. A good vigorous walk for 20 minutes. Renew your spiritual side perhaps at the same time.

Habit 5 is embraced in the Greek philosophy represented by 3 words:

1) Ethos – Inspiration; ideas – personal credibility. The ability to lead and inspire.
2) Pathos – Empathy; feelings – the ability to connect personally; communicate
3) Logos – Logic; reasoning – the ability to present your ideas; knowledge, philosophy

The order is important: ethos, pathos, logos – character, personal connection, and logic of presentation.

Abundance Mentality
Covey coined the idea of abundance mentality or abundance mindset, a concept in which a person believes there are enough resources and successes to share with others. He contrasts it with the scarcity mindset (i.e., destructive and unnecessary competition), which is founded on the idea that, if someone else wins or is successful in a situation, that means you lose; not considering the possibility of all parties winning (in some way or another) in a given situation (see zero-sum game). Individuals with an abundance mentality reject the notion of zero-sum games and are able to celebrate the success of others rather than feel threatened by it.