Stephen R. Covey
Increase your effectiveness at work and at home by practising these seven habits.
Stephen R. Covey Quotes
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There is a gap between stimulus and response
Love - the feeling - is a fruit of love, the verb
Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.
Begin with the end in mind.
If we keep doing what we're doing, we're going to keep getting what we're getting.
Live out of your imagination, not your history
Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.
Seek first to undersand and then be understood
If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster
How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most
To focus on technique is like cramming your way through school. You sometimes get by, perhaps even get good grades, but if you don't pay the price day in and day out, you'll never achieve true mastery of the subjects you study or develop an educated mind.
In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Covey's claim is confident and bold. It is that he has discovered seven habits, which if learnt and practised, will make you a highly effective person, at home and at work. In all spheres of your life you will “replace old patterns of self-defeating behaviour with … new habits of effectiveness, happiness and trust-based relationships” (p. 61). One set of habits covers everything. Here are Covey’s seven habits:
Habit 1. Be Proactive
Take initiative and responsibility.
Habit 2. Begin with the end in mind
Develop and focus on your vision and values.
Habit 3. Put first things first
Organise and execute around the most important relationships and results in your life.
Habit 4. Think win/win
Seek mutually beneficial, win/win agreements and solutions.
Habit 5. Seek first to understand, then be understood
Try to feel and think yourself into another person's shoes whilst they are talking. Only then try to make your own viewpoint be heard.
Habit 6. Synergise
The whole can be greater than the sum of the parts. Compromise is 2+2=3. Synergy is 2+2=5 - or more!
Habit 7. Sharpen the saw
renew yourself - in your physical,
mental, social/emotional and spiritual dimensions.
Habit 1 – Be Proactive
Your proactivity lies in
use the gap between stimulus and response
The first, most fundamental of Covey’s seven habits, without which you cannot hope to master the other six and reach the holy grail of effectiveness, is proactivity. But the term proactivity is rather misleading. Covey’s notion of proactivity is a lot richer than in common parlance, which equates ‘proactivy’ with ‘taking the initiative’. For Covey taking the initiative is merely the beginning of proactivity. Covey relates how he discovered the essence of proactivity whilst he was working as an academic in Hawaii (p.309). Whilst browsing through a psychology book in a college library, one paragraph leapt out at him. It contained the idea that, for human beings but no other animal, there is a gap between stimulus and response. How you use this space is the key to our growth and happiness. Whatever your ‘programming’, a normally functioning human being has the capacity to rise above it. Whatever the weather, you can carry your own weather with you. Whatever impulse you have, you can choose to ignore it and act on a carefully selected value instead.
Bookmark this page to read more on the 7 habits .....
Stephen Covey's Home Page - includes Covey's own recommended reading list
Wiki article on Covey -good summary, mentions criticism that some think Covey too idealistic
Michael Gray's good summary of the 7 Habits
Interesting 1999 Covey interview by Bob Rosner
More recent 2004 interview from USA Today
Peter Cooper's interview with Covey . Peter introduced me to Covey's work, so I have a lot to thank him for.
Read more free Personal Development articles on Tim LeBon's pages