A Management in a Minute Book Overview of The Seven Habits of Highly Efficient People by Stephen Covey
This summary and review of the book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, was prepared by Tabitha K. James while a Management student in the College of Business at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana.
The Ten Things Managers Need to Know from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”
1. Paradigms and Principles – Everyone has a roadmap of how they think the world works. This map is based off of experiences you’ve had and the perception you’ve received from them and what you’ve learned. However, if you have the incorrect roadmap then you won’t get where you’re going. You need to start fresh and re-examine your roadmap and see if it’s leading you where you want to go and if not, why. Instead of using a roadmap based off of experiences which may be false, instead, base them off of principles that are natural and compatible with your values.
2. Private Victory – Before you can be successful socially; one must be successful in combining all the personal principles and values into a coherent and non-conflicting whole. This will create synergy where no aspect is struggling against another. You build synergy by building to a true interdependence where one is not required to need another but where one does so willingly in order to do better than one might do alone. This comes in addition to the P/PC idea which is making sure to value the production capacity as much as the production itself in order to not kill one for the other. Balance.
3. Be Proactive – A proactive person does not place blame, but does what they can to change the situation by first analyzing their circles of concern (worries) and their circle of influence (what they change), and using both of those to figure out what is changeable, and how to do so. Choices have natural consequences and once made, must be paid. Reactive people feed on the negative and paralyze themselves. Proactivity focuses your attention on what needs it and not on what can not be changed.
4. Begin with the End in Mind – Beginning with the end in mind is exactly what it says it is. Decide what your ultimate goals are and plan accordingly. Guidance, wisdom, and power are the centers of one’s security; the sense of worth, identity and personal strength. All of the actions are accorded a purpose that is driven by your values and principles, it doesn’t matter if your goals are personal, social or work related. You are entitled to those goals.
5. Put First Things First – Once the end is decided, then it becomes a matter of determining the importance of action in various parts of life. Putting your energy and time into things and people which are valued by you and delegating or neglecting those things which do not serve the end purpose.
6. Public Victory – Every relationship has a bank account. Your actions either take a withdrawal or a deposit within those relationships. A truthful encounter is a deposit that allows for mistakes while a deceitful encounter withdrawals. By becoming privately victorious, you create a character that is rich with deposits in your encounters.
7. Think Win/Win- You do not seek to win over another, but to allow both parties to become victorious. This allows for additional deposits within the trust bank account. This further helps to create synergy within the relationship.
8. Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood – The world does not revolve around you, but if you first seek to understand the world, then your perception is enlightened and more possibilities become available as well as the dismissal of concerns that are not possible to influence. Allowing for others to express themselves makes them open to your expression.
9. Synergize – Synergy is the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This only comes from having as little conflict within the core principles and character to derive true purpose and drive. This is the ultimate goal of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, to have true character development into a uncomplicated whole that can then produce as effectively as possible, with the end result being what you want, instead of what you’re given.
10. Sharpen the Saw – Part of being Effective is doing things effectively and people often forget this fact and will waste energy on activities that could instead be done improving how the activity could be done. You must maintain your spirit or it will end up taking more effort to keep it in good working order to continue driving you towards your goal. Practice and constantly evaluate if what you are doing will get you where you want to be.