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The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness Hardcover – November 9, 2004

3.9 out of 5 stars 276 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The original seven habits of highly successful people are still relevant, but Covey, author of the mega-bestseller of that title, says that the new Information/Knowledge Worker Age, exemplified by the Internet, calls for an eighth habit to achieve personal and organizational excellence: "Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs." Covey sees leadership "as a choice to deal with people in a way that will communicate to them their worth and potential so clearly they will come to see it in themselves." His holistic approach starts with developing one's own voice, one's "unique personal significance." The bulk of the book details how, after finding your own voice, you can inspire others and create a workplace where people feel engaged. This includes establishing trust, searching for third alternatives (not a compromise between your way and my way, but a third, better way) and developing a shared vision. This book isn't easy going; less business jargon and more practical examples would have made this livelier and more helpful. But if organizations operated with Covey's ideas—and ideals—most people would undoubtedly find work much more satisfying. DVD not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

It takes the likes of Covey--and a gap of 15 years in publication time--to hit directly on the issue confronting individuals and corporations today: the gap between effectiveness and greatness. Following his best-selling The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1996), the author demonstrates in words and a series of 16 brief DVD clips (included) exactly how to find your own voice and, for leaders, how to support the discovery of the organization's voice. He selects examples from past and present, from Abraham Lincoln to the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, demonstrating, first, the ways to uncover the four intelligences (mental, spiritual, physical/economic, and emotional/social) and, second, the roles necessary to lead others to discover their voices. Statistics and personal anecdotes (a conversation with Bill Marriott, for instance) underscore the importance of trust and the implementation of that trust; one study from Harris Interactive reveals that only 48 percent of respondents said their organizations lived up to organizational values. Timely commentary in a surefire next-seller. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

Stephen Covey describes effective leadership principles in this exclusive essay. [75kb PDF]
  • Hardcover: 411 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1st edition (November 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684846659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684846651
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (276 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME on February 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you haven't read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I suggest you read that one before this book.

Dr. Covey obviously pulled out all of the stops in trying to make this book as helpful as possible to his readers. The book contains summaries of the material in his other books, repeats many stories from those books, reconciles the material with most of the business book best sellers in recent years, contains a DVD full of inspiring videos, provides references to many free materials on his web site, has extensive appendices and contains many thoughtful sections on questions and answers. As a result, the book comes across like an encyclopedia of his teachings . . . rather than as the simple communication that is so delightful in his other books. I suspect that Dr. Covey changed ghostwriters for this one (at least I assume that the other books were ghostwritten because they avoid the ponderous communications style that Dr. Covey uses in person).

So what is the 8th habit? Allow me to paraphrase. It'll be quicker that way. You act with integrity as an individual and help others to do the same.

In Covey-speak, it's the overlap of personal greatness (applying the 7 habits in the forms of vision, discipline, passion and conscience), leadership greatness (applying the 4 roles of leadership (modeling the 7 habits, path finding, aligning and Empowering), and organizational greatness (turned into a vision, mission and values that bring clarity, commitment, translation, synergy, enabling and accountability). See Figure 14.3 on page 280 for the simplest expression of the 8th habit in Covey-speak.

Can you make a book out of that point? Well, if you put in lots of examples, you can . . . which Dr. Covey did.
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Format: Hardcover
As with most of his previous writings, Dr. Covey has a great point to get across and does an excellent job of motivating it and presenting it in a way that makes it easy to apply to yourself. Unfortunately, unlike his other books, this one was a bit tedious to get through. The mixture of inspirational content (quotes and motivational passages), reiteration of concepts, mapping of his concepts onto the presentations of others in the leadership and self-help community, and just general pacing added up to make this far longer than I would've preferred. I wouldn't recommend it to anybody who isn't a speed reader.
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Format: Hardcover
When I got my hands on a pre-release copy of this book, I expected to enjoy it, simply because his classic, THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE, has had such a powerful impact on my personal and professional life. But in no way was I prepared for this new book to be so inspiring and riviting, and to speak so clearly and insightfully to my present challenges and desires for my life.

With THE 8TH HABIT, Covey not only acknowledges the on-going need to be effective in today's world, but puts his finger on the human hunger for meaning, contribution, and significance--what he calls "greatness"--and then provides a roadmap for individuals and organizations to achieve it.

You know it's one thing to identify, as his research does, just how disengaged, frustrated, disempowered and straitjacketed most people are in the organizations they work for, but it's another to give insight into how we can actually realize the kind of positive change we desire in our lives, our homes, and in the teams and organizations we are part of.

I love and was moved by the personal examples and experiences Covey shares. It's another great blend of principles and practical, inspiring stories. I also love how the focus is not just centered on oneself. Yes, we can and need to "find our voice," but the equal and perhaps greater key to life lies in "inspiring others to find their voice." That's the leadership challenge--whether it be with your children or with those you work with.

I believe this may very well be Covey's most important and significant work--an idea whose time has come.
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Format: Hardcover
I'd have to agree with many of the reviews here. Loved Seven Habits, read it many years ago. This one... is... just... a bit... slow... and goes on... and on. I glazed over and haven't read the last bit. I also tired of the repetition - the book is over long as it is, so why add in stories from other books? It seemed unnecessary. Anyway, I admire his intent.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the most articulate compendiums on human/business relationships on the market today. Not the sugary feel-good hype but luminescent truths peppered with examples on how to achieve success in today's world by applying age-old human relationship laws with new laws born of the paradigm shift. Incomparable stuff - something for everyone. LOTS of info here - and with 13 CDs, it's not to be absorbed overnight.

BONUS! This set also comes with a DVD full of GREAT relevant "mini-movies"! Each movie set is wonderfully produced and qualifies as a top-notch corporate level teaching tool! In addition the family can enjoy it! This bonus DVD alone is worth the price of the 13 CD + 1 DVD set!

Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Poorly conceptualized. Those are the only words to describe the Eighth Habit, a length tome based on one principle that promises to be the "holy grail" of principles, but instead feels like a soggy loaf of day old bread. I am a disciple of Covey since 7 Habits first came out; own the CDs and listen to them, even now, yearly. They contain realistic, practical advice (not a "Cheerleader" like Tony Robbins et al) that allows you to integrate seven simple skills into your thought pattern. The Seven Habits are lively with example and crisp in its scope. The Eighth Habit, however, is more ethereal, more of a notion as to what the habit of purpose should be than it is a true guidepost on the compass of life (to use Stephen's analogy). Rather than climbing the ladder of success only to find that it is placed on the wrong wall--as Covey so eloquently professed in his milestone first bestseller- this book would preach that it can help you can find "the wall", a true purpose in your life. Therein lies the rub, as the mushy substance of the book does not allow intriguing storylines for example, and the essential notion of the book rapidly becomes repetative and lackluster. I strongly advise those who have not recently read or headr the Sveen Habits to review now. For those hoping for a successful Eighth habit, save your money on this book/audio CD and spend it on a trip to the beach, in a sunset, look to the sky and ask, "What am I all about, (insert your god or goddesses'name here)?" and ---think.
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