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The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life's Most Difficult Problems Hardcover – October 4, 2011


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The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life's Most Difficult Problems + The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness: Miniature Edition + The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1 edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781451626261
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451626261
  • ASIN: 1451626266
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #631,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Even in our conflicted times, now and again we catch a glimpse of the better thing. Dr. Covey shows us how to seek that better thing and transcend our deepest disputes.”
—Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“You can ‘get’ Stephen Covey’s message in five pages—or less. But I dearly hope you will carefully read and apply every page. Stephen has given us a precious gift—but, like most profound ideas, it is the daily, conscious practice that can or will transform your life.”--Tom Peters, author of The Brand You 50 and Re-imagine: Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age

“In The 3rd Alternative, Dr. Covey inspires us to think differently about solving problems than we ever have before. We must set aside our differences, including our boundaries, languages, economics, politics and cultures and work hand in hand together to create solutions which are greater than the problems we now face.”
--Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner 2006

“In The 3rd Alternative, Stephen Covey urges us to chart a course beyond the suboptimal solutions to all our crises – beyond left and right, and beyond the many false choices in front of us. The 3rd Alternative is a wise and welcome echo of Einstein’s warning that the problems we’re facing today cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”
--Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group

“Once again, Stephen Covey has nailed it. In this latest book, he offers meaningful advice for navigating life’s toughest challenges. It’s not about ‘my way,’ or ‘your way,’ but seeking out ‘our way.’”
--J.W. Marriott, Jr., Chairman & CEO of Marriott International, Inc.

“In this book, Covey reaches out way beyond his familiar domain, to the Universe, and has come up with a social vaccine capable of addressing if not resolving the existential agonies and angst that we all face, as individuals and to the organizations and societies that we live and work in. In this Olympiad vault, Covey has written his most ambitious and hopeful book, in my own view, a masterpiece to benefit all of us doing our best to live in peace and justice in this messy world.”
--Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Management, University of Southern California and author of the memoir, Still Surprised

“A most compelling approach for addressing the most challenging issues of the day. It is an inarguable formula for success in the corporate world and beyond.”
--Douglas R. Conant, retired CEO, Campbell Soup Company, and New York Times bestselling author

“Dr. Covey has done it again. The 3rd Alternative is not only powerful reading—it answers some of life’s most challenging questions. A must-read for all future leaders.”
--Jon M. Huntsman, Sr.

About the Author

Recognized as one of Time magazine’s twenty-five most influential Americans, Stephen R. Covey (1932–2012) was an internationally respected leadership authority, family expert, teacher, organizational consultant, and author. His books have sold more than 25 million copies in thirty-eight languages, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was named the #1 Most Influential Business Book of the Twentieth Century. After receiving an MBA from Harvard and a doctorate degree from Brigham Young University, he became the cofounder and vice chairman of FranklinCovey, the leading global professional services firm.

More About the Author

Stephen R. Covey is a renowned leadership authority, family expert, teacher, organizational consultant, and co-founder of FranklinCovey Co. He is author of several international bestsellers, including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which has sold over 20 million copies. He was named one of TIME Magazine's 25 Most Influential Americans. Dr. Covey holds the Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Chair in Leadership at the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.

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Customer Reviews

Rest in peace Dr. Stephen Covey.
Glen McNiel
Read that one first, otherwise the concepts in this book would be very difficult to follow all the way through.
Amod A. Vaze
Read this book and change your life.
Ronald W. Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Peppypilot on October 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I have always been a Covey fan and have used his 7 Habits extensively. In that book, he packaged some great concepts together very well and made them very concrete and usable.

Frankly, I was disappointed with this book. I did not really see anything new - just a re-packaging of 7 Habits' concepts and lots of examples: Think win-win; reach out to the other guy to really listen; synergize.

Also, maybe I have changed, but I now find his tone heavy-handed and "teachy."

I really had hoped for something new and fresh - but I didn't find it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amod A. Vaze on February 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Anyone familiar with The 7 Habit of Highly Effective People is familiar with each of the habits. Although the book and its related classes and workshops go into detail on all of the habits, the 6th Habit in particular, "Synergize", is one that is in essense its own topic. This book adds depth to that particular habit because it really is the culmination of the foundation laid by all the other habits. I enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone that has read the 7 Habits and/or taken its workshops. I do add one caveat in that if you're not familiar with the 7 Habits, don't start with this book. Read that one first, otherwise the concepts in this book would be very difficult to follow all the way through.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Book Fanatic TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book by Stephen Covey is not earth shattering or particularly innovative. There is nothing really "new" here. However, having said that the book does do an excellent job at 1) Explaining his thesis and 2) Showing how it works in the real world.

Covey is correct in what he says and he says it very well. I think there is tremendous value in the chapter that explains the 3rd Alternative (through page 85). What follows are fairly long chapters that describe real world examples of 3rd Alternative thinking at Work, Home, School, the Legal System, Society, and the World respectively. I was not that interested in some of those chapters and others I found quite useful.

So if you are involved in conflict in any of those areas, I do think this book would be very useful. I skimmed some chapters because I wasn't interested and frankly he is saying the same things and after a while you get it. It's too long for the general reader but if you are having problems in even one of those areas it's worth the price of the book.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Najeeb Abdullah Al Sharafi on January 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you know the books written by Covey such as the 7 habits or the 8th habit. This is nothing like them. It is a book with four ideas to the 3rd alternative and could have easily been covered in an article. Read the book and you will feel that it is a stretch to become a book. And I assure you that what you will actually take from the book can be summerized in 2-3 pages max.

Don't waste your money on this book. Go for the book Crucial Conversations. It is an amazing book with so much covered in handling conflict.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By G. H. on January 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is long-winded in the extreme. The reviewer who said it has only enough content for an article is correct. If you are hoping for some brilliant insight from this book, you will have a tough time sifting through all the needless repetition to find the meat. I liked "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," but this book is pretty much a waste of time and money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mikio Miyaki on September 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Covey inspires us again. This 3rd alternative thinking will be our guiding principle in the life. We are currently living in a difficult world. Environment, health, poverty and impartiality issues weigh heavily on us incessantly. Not only to solve the conflict but also to regain our soul, we need to change our paradigm. He points out we are too much swallowed up by the serious identity theft, which deprives the sense of who we are and what we can do in our life. We have to sneak away from the thinking of the industrial age, two alternative thinking. The key to a healthy society, he says, is to align the social will, the value system, with the principles of synergy.

Every corporations, politicians, doctors, musicians, educators and governmental officers of famous and only known locally, he introduce as 3rd alternative thinkers, are unanimously impressive. Especially Pablo Casals's words knocked out me. Whoever can say I'm beginning to notice getting better at this at the age of ninety three. I gird up my loins again to live in crescendo.

Dr. Covey's erudite knowledge covers the whole globe. We can deepen our cultural anthropology understandings, like ubuntu, talking stick communication, ashimsa, dharma and izzat, etc. In Japanese, the Chinese character of person comes from a scene two people stand on earth leaning against each other. We should know we live on an interdependent planet, and need to think in holistic to solve the difficulties we are facing, rather than consider the sum of the parts, by a broad and deep understanding reality.

The 7 habits has been my guidance to date to lead a highly effective life. Now and then I stop and looked back myself to the light of these guidelines. From now on I'll add this 3rd alternative thinking to my mental attitude.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By SYTYP on November 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I became a fan of Covey's work when "7 Habits" came out. I also consumed his then previous works, and subscribed to his leadership newsletter at that time. Too bad he couldn't have quit when he was on top. Money and publishers, oh my. The last nail was his having to merge his company with Franklin. This book has beneficial info, fleshing out "synergy". The book's title reflects our dumbed-down times. The latin root word "alter" means "other (of two)". One choice or the other, the other being the alternative. The book title reflects improper usage. When Covey met with Bill and Hillary Clinton to try to teach them (when Bill was President), Bill spoke about Covey's synergy as "a third way". If you haven't read Covey, read "7 Habits" and his other works from that era. This book can be helpful as a reinforcement.
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