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Review of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

This is a book review of Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.

Covey’s book has sold over 15 million copies for a reason: It ignores trends and popular psychology, and sticks with enduring principles of lasting change. His seven principles build a lasting foundation for truth, openness, and integrity. The principles are timeless – unchanging to events – that make the book the personal development favorite of many self-help experts.

The first three principles are: 1) be proactive, 2) begin with the end in mind, and 3) put first things first. These first three principles deal with dependence as the author moves you through new paradigms.

The first principle moves you from blame and victimization to responsibility. The second principle moves you from destructive centeredness and obsessions to a healthy focus and clear values. While the third principles deals with the “fourth generation” of time management where you learn to do what matters most instead of following to-do lists and doing frivolous tasks that contribute little to your life and other’s lives.

The second lot of three principles (four to six) deal with interdependency. The second triplet of principles are self-explanatory: 4) think win/win, 5) seek first to understand, then to be understood, and 6) synergize. These three principles are more like communication skills as the first three principles provide you the foundation to use them.

It is sad to see many people ignore these principles. As a result, their relationships suffer and people resent them. Any success they get is short-term, unsatisfactory, and often lonely.

Covey emphasizes that effective people are interdependent on others. While they are independent and strong in their own right, when they use the three principles for interdependence, the sum of people’s work is more than the individual parts.

Many personal development public speakers, authors, life coaches, and organizational trainers say the book is the best they ever read.

The last principle is called “sharpen the saw”. It deals with renewal in the physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual dimensions. Just as a blunt saw becomes tiresome for a woodcutter, a failure to renew in these four dimensions result in unproductive and sometimes destructive living for the exasperated individual. When the four dimensions are renewed, the seventh principle of “sharpen the saw” is followed to encapsulate the other six principles. It is in such ways that all the principles feed from one another.

The last point I want to emphasize to encourage you to invest in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People if you have not already done so is the character ethic Covey focuses on. Most books today focus on the personality ethic. A personality ethic deals with attitudes, behaviors, skills, and the techniques for human interaction. While the personality ethic is important, without the character ethic that offers courage, patience, and integrity, long-term success is inhibited. The establishment of a strong character ethic creates change from the inside-out.

You must get the book. Many personal development public speakers, authors, life coaches, and organizational trainers say the book is the best they ever read. I highly encourage you to grab your copy of Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People now from Amazon right now by clicking here today.

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Joshua Uebergang aka "Tower of Power"

Joshua Uebergang, aka "Tower of Power", teaches social skills to help shy guys build friends and influence people. Visit his blog and sign-up free to get communication techniques, relationship-boosting strategies, and life-building tips by email, along with blog updates, and more! Go now to


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