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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, November 19, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 4,101 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anyone who thinks the audiocassette adaptation of Stephen Covey's bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is a shortcut to reading the book has another thing coming. As a preview, the cassette is worth every one of its 90 minutes; as a substitute for the original, it will only leave you wishing for the rest. There's a reason 7 Habits has sold more than 5 million copies and been translated into 32 languages. Serious work has obviously gone into it, and serious change can likely come out of it--but only with constant discipline and steadfast commitment. As the densely packed tape makes immediately clear, this is no quick fix for what's ailing us in our personal and professional lives.

The tape opens to the silky-smooth, overtrained voice of the female narrator, who's responsible for tying together audio clips from actual Covey seminars. Leaving aside the occasional attempts at promoting Covey and his institute, her script does a first-rate job of making sense of Covey's own intense, analogy-rich style of explaining his habits. There's nothing simple about his approach to becoming an effective person. The first three habits alone--which have to do with personal responsibility, leadership, and self-management--could take years to master. Yet the last four are unattainable, the narrator insists, if you can't acquire the personal security--the "inner core," says Covey--that presumably comes from a mastery of the foundation.

Throughout our lessons, Covey's presence is both learned and thoroughly appealing. He drops references to the likes of Socrates, T.S. Eliot, and Robert Frost with the aplomb of an English professor. And his knack for mixing everyday stories with abstract concepts manages to clarify difficult issues while respecting our intelligence. You could argue that the cassette is nothing more than a clever marketing tool for selling another few million copies of the book. But, even at that, it's worth the investment in time and concentration: in the end, we're moved to learn more about integrating all seven habits in our struggle to become better and, yes, more effective people. (Running time: 1.5 hours, one cassette) --Ann Senechal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Every so often a book comes along that not only alters the lives of readers but leaves an imprint on the culture itself. The 7 Habits is one of those books.” (Daniel Pink, author of Drive and To Sell is Human)

“Covey’s masterpiece, if it hasn’t changed the world, has influenced millions of readers who can and will make our planet more peaceful and prosperous and prepared and purposeful.” (Warren Bennis author of On Becoming a Leader and Still Surprised)

“Happily, this book has advised and encouraged us for 25 years. Now, I encourage us to be loyal and supportive for another 25 years.” (Maya Angelou)

The 7 Habits encompasses timeless principles that can help guide any company toward success.” (Tony Hsieh New York times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of Zappos.com, Inc.)

The 7 Habits has guided many of us on our journey through the world of business. Simple but incredibly effective. A great guide for any aspiring leader!” (Meg Whitman, CEO of HP)

“No person lasts forever, but books and ideas can endure. Stephen R. Covey’s life is done, but his work is not. It continues, right here in this book as alive today as when first written.” (Jim Collins)

“Twenty-five years after it first appeared, the wisdom of The 7 Habits is more relevant than ever. On an individual level, people are burning out, and on a collective level we are burning up the planet. So Dr. Covey’s emphasis on self-renewal and his understanding that leadership and creativity require us to tap into our own physical, mental, and spiritual resources are exactly what we need now.” (Arianna Huffington)

“Fundamentals are the key to success. Stephen Covey is a master of them. Buy his book, but most important, use it!” (Anthony Robbins author of Unlimited Power and Awaken the Giant Within)

“As the seminal work of Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has influenced millions around the world to be their best selves at work and at home. It stands the test of time as one of the most important books of our time.” (Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo)

“With all the responsibilities and demands of time, travel, work, and families placed upon us in today’s competitive world, it’s a pig plus to have Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to refer to.” (Marie Osmond author of The Key is Love: My Mother’s Wisdom, A Daughter’s Gratitude)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Anniversary edition (November 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476740054
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476740058
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As the title of the book implies, Covey describes the seven habits of highly effective people and techniques for adopting the seven habits. Covey makes clear that an individual must make a paradigm shift before incorporating these habits into his/her own personal life. A paradigm is essentially the way an individual perceives something. Covey emphasizes that if we want to make a change in our lives, we should probably first focus on our personal attitudes and behaviors. He applies different examples via family, business, and society in general.
This book's focal point is on an approach to obtain personal and interpersonal effectiveness. Covey points out that private victories precede public victories. He makes the example that making and keeping promises to ourselves comes before making and keeping promises to others.
Habits 1, 2, and 3 deal with self-mastery. They move an individual from dependency on others to independence. Habits 4, 5, and 6 deal with teamwork, cooperation, and communication. These habits deal with transforming a person from dependency to independence to interdependence. Interdependence simply means mutual dependence. Habit 7 embodies all of the other habits to help an individual work toward continuous improvement.
Habit 1 discusses the importance of being proactive. Covey states that we are responsible for our own lives; therefore, we possess the initiative to make things happen. He also points out that proactive people so not blame various circumstances for their behaviors but they realize behavior comes from one's conscious. Covey also explains that the other type of person is reactive. Reactive people are affected by their social as well as physical surroundings.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This review is for people who already know that the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is valuable and who are now trying to choose which audio version would be most useful for themselves or for people they know. I recently bought three different audio CD versions (plus a few copies of the book) as gifts for people with different personalities and learning styles. I am also familiar with some older products.

Sometimes the product descriptions don't give you a clear idea which product you're reading about. Check the running times of audio products to determine if they're similar to the ones described below:


The product on this page (as I write this review) is an UNABRIDGED AUDIO CD VERSION of the 15th anniversary edition of the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Unabridged Audio Program). It would be ideal for people who are ready for a personal plan to study and apply the principles in the book to their own lives, but who need a little extra "push". I would suggest listening to the CDs before or while studying corresponding segments of the book, either alone or with someone else. The encouraging, calm and authentic voice of the author gives an extra dimension to the text - keeps you focused. Regularly scheduled study or discussion sessions could be short, as each CD is divided into several tracks which basically follow the headings and sub-headings in the book.
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Format: Paperback
The book is not bad. It's got some good advice, and if you live your life by the "Seven Habits," then you're going to come out better than if you didn't live by them. But it's my opinion that Covey has made something quite simple quite complex. In other words, I believe that most of the "Seven Habits" are nothing profound: treat others like you would like to be treated), be goal-oriented, manage your time wisely, seek the wisdom and insight of others, be slow to speak and quick to listen - nothing new here. The problem is that Covey tends to intellectualize these concepts to the point that many readers may find it difficult to understand what he's talking about at times. And, those that do understand will become frustrated that he takes a whole lot of pages to say something that could have been dealt with in fairly short order.
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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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