“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey

The book called “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey is one of the best selling motivational books for businesses. The book discusses seven basic behavioral paradigms that are ought to help companies to grow. The author proposes that the right attitude towards life is the key to the success of any organization. This essay reviews the seven habits presented by Covey as the fundamental ones in achieving success and discusses how they can be utilized by managers who strive to improve their companies.

The first habit that the author proposes is a simple statement: “be active.” According to Covey, people’s unique ability to reflect and change their behavior upon this reflection is crucial for taking control over one’s life (Covey). The author ushers people who want to achieve success to avoid reactive language at any cost, as it leads to the acceptance of the potential issues as unavoidable, secluding people into believing in their powerlessness (Covey). In my opinion, this habit signifies the need for a manager to have a forward-looking vision. Instead of anticipating changes and following patterns, an efficient leader will promote innovation and experiments.

The second habit is to “begin with the end in mind.” Covey expands this idea beyond simply having the result of a single task in mind, it is necessary to keep a global projection of success. Being busy with something does not automatically mean that this activity leads to the desired result (Covey). I think this notion is well-represented by the popular idea to state the company’s mission and purpose. Companies who are able to formulate their goals beyond merely making profits have the most potential to achieve success.

The third one states that people need to “put first things first.” Placing one’s priorities in the right order is one of the most crucial steps in personal growth and character development (Covey). By assigning these priorities, people can stay on track to progress and evade being dragged into pointless activities, as well as optimize their time schedules. This is an essential skill for managers, as their task is to ensure that employees work towards the company’s goals.

The fourth habit points out that the leader must “think win/win.” This behavior relates to the way a person builds their decisions and what factors in this process will lead to the most desirable outcome. Covey writes that “you have to water the flowers you want to grow,” which means that the collective victory is better than raising one above the others (315). For a manager, it signifies the importance of the advancement of the entire team of employees instead of a single person. It is vital to develop the company as a whole to reveal its true potential.

The fifth proposed principle is to “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” The author argues that any professional first attempts to analyze the situation and all of its aspects before taking any actions (Covey). In the business context, this habit signifies the need to gain a deeper understanding of the situation, whether it is a conflict between employees or market fluctuations. It is up to a manager to conduct an analysis that will enable him or her to make the right decision.

The sixth habit is to “synergize” and look for cooperation as one of the most beneficial ways to grow a business. It is not necessary to polarize people whose opinions differ from one another, instead, it is possible to combine their views and create a new option (Covey). In management, this habit can help leaders to resolve conflicts, enable employees to form stronger bonds and explore new opportunities that were unavailable due to the opposite views. Coming to an agreement with all sides on any aspect is better than choosing one over the other.

Habit no. 7, which the author labels “sharpen the saw,” aims to usher people to work on all of their personal aspects, even those unrelated to business. Covey states that upholding all aspects of one’s life in order “empowers us to move on an upward spiral of growth and change, of continuous improvement” (404). I believe that it is crucial for a manager to follow Covey’s advice and maintain physical, spiritual, social, and mental values to keep a clear vision of the world. By taking time to deal with all personal issues, a person does not have to worry about the uncertainty of the future and focus all attention on the desired result.

In conclusion, by assimilating these seven habits, leaders can achieve higher results not only in business but in life in general. These principles concern both internal and external factors that depend on one’s behavior. They are interconnected and universally applicable to everyday situations and aim to assist people in taking control of their lives. The lessons by Covey carry an important message that people are able to change the world around them by changing their personalities. After reading this book, I understood that by fostering the discussed characteristics, I could extend my influence over events around me and pursue success via meaningful actions.

Work Cited

Covey, S. R. The 7 habits of highly effective people: Powerful lessons in personal change. EPUB, Mango Publishing Group, 2017.

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