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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change Paperback – November 9, 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Revised edition (November 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743269519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743269513
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (619 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change was a groundbreaker when it was first published in 1990, and it continues to be a business bestseller with more than 10 million copies sold. Stephen Covey, an internationally respected leadership authority, realizes that true success encompasses a balance of personal and professional effectiveness, so this book is a manual for performing better in both arenas. His anecdotes are as frequently from family situations as from business challenges. Before you can adopt the seven habits, you'll need to accomplish what Covey calls a "paradigm shift"--a change in perception and interpretation of how the world works. Covey takes you through this change, which affects how you perceive and act regarding productivity, time management, positive thinking, developing your "proactive muscles" (acting with initiative rather than reacting), and much more. This isn't a quick-tips-start-tomorrow kind of book. The concepts are sometimes intricate, and you'll want to study this book, not skim it. When you finish, you'll probably have Post-it notes or hand-written annotations in every chapter, and you'll feel like you've taken a powerful seminar by Covey. --Joan Price


The late Skip LeFauve President, Saturn Corporation/General Motors Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People played a major role in the development of Saturn's operating systems and philosophy. Our commitment to quality and to our customers has its roots in The 7 Habits.

Ken M. Radziwanowski AT&T School of Business Picture someone going through the best experience they've ever had in terms of training -- that's what they say. People credit the 7 Habits with changing their lives, with getting back on track personally and professionally.

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

This is a very well written book with some great ideas in it.
Jon Beckmon
This book, when using the habits, will change your work and family life in a very positive way.
I recommend this book for anyone who is committed to growing as a person.
AJ Mac

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

141 of 158 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Dildine Stinson on December 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
"If you don't have confidence in the diagnosis, you won't have confidence in the prescription" (244)

Stephen Covey has much to say on the qualities of effective people. Covey's purpose in detailing the seven habits is to help people improve themselves. The seven habits are woven into a tapestry on a diagram that shows the working of all seven habits in communion. When viewing the diagram, one is reminded of Benjamin Franklin's engraving of the snake which was divided into thirteen pieces, with the caption "Join or Die." Each of the seven habits is integral to viewing the picture as a whole, as well as seeing the development from dependence to independence to interdependence. The reader is pulled into activities for further application, to decide what type of Quadrant II activities exist, and to find what is at the center of the reader's life in a bid to understand how paradigms work. The first three habits, which lead to independence, a private victory, lead to the final four steps, which include public victory.

Habit #1: Be Proactive

Being proactive is the foundation of the entire seven habits paradigm. In a sense, all the other habits are types of being proactive. This entails a realization that you are a person who can take direct control of a situation and, even if you have no actions that you are allowed to perform, you can still control your outlook.

Habit #2: Begin with the End in Mind

Covey begins this section with the description of the reader's funeral as an illustration of how one end in view can change the previous years' effort. The visualized step of seeing the end is the first part of any successful plan.
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Roger Peter Marec on June 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
Dr. Stephen Covey is an immeasurably welcome talent. His works are ethical, down-to-earth, workable and his writing style is gripping. Few books do I feel honored to have read. This is one of them. Covey's suggested paradigm is unlike many of the abstract views offered by most authors. His is palpable and surely life-changing for those that read it.

Where are you coming from? Where is your center? What is a center? Does everyone have a center? Yes. Your center is that with which you define yourself for security, guidance, wisdom and power. Some people rate themselves by their possesions, others by their job, others by their family, the list goes on... The problem with these 'centers' as centers is that they have the power to make you a failure. The real strength comes from a self-chosen center based on timeless and unchanging principles. A principle-centered life is the most rewarding. Do you believe it? I do.

OK, here are the seven principles to give you an idea of the book layout. The first three have to do with private victories that move you from dependence to independence. The next three deal with public victories that move you from independence to interdependence.

1. Be Proactive ! You create your own behavior. You have the ability to choose your responses to life. You are as you are today because of the choices you made yesterday. Replace "I have to.." with "I choose to...".

2. Begin with the end in mind. First create your principles. This is leadership (vs. management). Realize all things are created twice. The first time is in your mind. Write your misssion statement that lists the values you want to live by.

3. Put first things first. Prioritize every day.
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86 of 99 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I found this great book by Dr. Covey to be both sensible and pragmatic. This is an outstanding book that really delivers. Follow the 7 habits and you will become a success.
Other books I recommend include The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and Super Self (if you can find a copy) by the late Charles Givens.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Regular Reader on December 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
I borrowed this book from the library and I liked it enough to buy my own copy.

Unlike other self-help books, there is no flim-flam here. Right at the beginning of the book Covey tells readers that none of his advice will work unless the reader works, hard. At the end of the book Covey reveals that he struggles with his own advice.

If you are an amotivated person who starts things and who does not finish them, this book will not give you a trick to make sticking to a plan easy.

What this book tells you to do is to discover what you truly value, not what you tell yourself you value. The idea is that once you are in touch ( honestly ) with what your values are you can use that knowledge to motivate yourself to work hard at following hard to follow time honored advice for success.

As far as complaints go I could have done without the corporate buzz terms and diagrams. I guess it is a sign of success of the book that the terms from the book have degenerated into corporate buzz terms.

I also thinks it sucks that Covey tried to cash in on this insightful work by putting out a series of lame sequels, office supplies and over-priced bloated courses.

Some reviews here claim that the book pushes Christianity. I am an atheist, I read the book, and I think that claim is rubbish. Towards the end of the book Covey mentions that he is a Christian and that he turns to religious readings in his spare time for inspiration. That is about as far as it goes.

If you are wary of this book be aware that it was very successful. Many copies of it exist in libraries and used book venues so the risk is small.
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