You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 389 pages?
Unformatted text preview: Praise for The Seven Habits Of Highly
Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
"Stephen Covey has written a remarkable book about the human condition, so
elegantly written, so understanding of our embedded concerns, so useful for
our organizational and personal lives, that it's going to be my gift to everyone
- WARREN BENNIS, author of On Becoming a Leader
"I've never known any teacher or mentor on improving personal effectiveness
to generate such an overwhelmingly positive reaction ....This book
captures beautifully Stephen's philosophy of principles. I think anyone reading
it will quickly understand the enormous reaction I and others have had to
Dr. Covey's teachings."
- JOHN PEPPER, President, Procter & Gamble
"Stephen Covey is an American Socrates, opening your mind to the 'permanent
things'-values, family, relationships, communicating."
- BRIAN TRACY,author of Psychology of Achievement
"Stephen R. Covey's book teaches with power, conviction, and feeling. Both the
content and the methodology of these principles form a solid foundation for
effective communication. As an educator, I find this book to be a significant
addition to my library."
- WILLIAM ROLFE KERR, Utah Commissioner of Higher Education
"Few students of management and organization-and people-have thought as
long and hard about first principles as Stephen Covey. In The Seven Habits of
Highly Effective People, he offers us an opportunity, not a how-to guide. The
opportunity is to explore ourselves and our impact on others and to do so by
taking advantage of his profound insights. It is a wonderful book that could change your life."
- TOM PETERS,author of In Search of Excellence
"The ethical basis for human relations in this book defines a way of life, not
just a methodology for succeeding at business. That it works is apparent."
- BRUCE L. CHRISTENSEN, President, Public Broadcasting Service
"At a time when American organizations desperately need to energize people
and produce leaders at all levels, Covey provides an empowering philosophy
for life that is also the best guarantee of success in business ... a perfect blend
of wisdom, compassion, and practical experience."
- ROSABETH MOSS KANTER, editor of the Harvard Business Review and
author of When Giants Learn to Dance
"I have learned so much from Stephen Covey over the years that every time I
sit down to write, I'in worried about subconscious plagiarism! Seven Habits is
not pop psychology or trendy self-help. It is solid wisdom and sound
- RICHARD M. EYRE, author of Life Balance and Teaching Children Values
"We would do well to make the reading and use of this book a requirement for
anyone at any level of public service. It would be far more effective than any
legislation regarding ethical conduct."
- SENATOR JAKE GARN, first senator in space
"When Stephen Covey talks, executives listen."
- Dun's Business Month
"Stephen Covey's inspirational book will undoubtedly be the
psychology handbook of the '90s. The principles discussed are universal and
can be applied to every aspect of life. These principles, however, are like an
opera. They cannot simply be performed, they must be rehearsed!" - ARIEL BYBEE, mezzo-soprano, Metropolitan Opera
"I found this book stimulating and thought-provoking, Infact, I keep referring
- RICHARD M. DEVOS, President, Amway
"Winning is a habit. So is losing. Twenty-five years of experience, thought, and
research have convinced Covey that seven habits distinguish the happy, healthy,
successful from those who fail or who must sacrifice meaning and happiness
for success in the narrow sense."
- RON ZEMKE, coauthor of The Service Edge and Service America
"Stephen R. Covey is a marvelous human being. He writes insightfully and he
cares about people. The equivalent of an entire library of success literature is
found in this one volume. The principles he teaches in The Seven Habits
of Highly Effective People have made a real difference in my life."
- KEN BLANCHARD, Ph.D., author of The One-Minute Manager
"The Seven Habits are keys to success for people in all walks of life. It is very
- EDWARD A. BRENNAN, Chairman, Presidentand CEO, Sears, Roebuck and
"Covey validates the durable truths as they apply to family, business, and
society in general, sparing us the psycho-babble that pollutes so much of
current literature on human relations. His book is not a photograph, but a
process, and should be treated as such. He is neither an optimist nor a
pessimist, but a possibilist, who believes that we and we alone can open the
door to change within ourselves. There are many more than seven good
reasons to read this book."
- STEVE LABUNSKI, Executive Director, International Radio & Television
"The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is by now one of the bestselling books of all time."
- Fortune Magazine
"I know of no one who has contributed more to helping leaders in our
society than Stephen R. Covey ....There is no literate person in our society who
would not benefit by reading this book and applying its principles."
- SENATOR ORRIN G. HATCH
"One of the greatest habits you can develop is to learn and internalize the
wisdom of Stephen Covey. He lives what he says and this book can help you
live, permanently, in the 'Winner's Circle.'"
- DR. DENIS WAITLEY author of The Psychology of Winning
"It's powerful reading. His principles of vision, leadership, and human
relations make it a practical teaching tool for business leaders today. I highly
- NOLAN ARCHIBALD, President and CEO, Black & Decker
"The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People suggests a discipline for our
personal dealings with people which would be undoubtedly valuable if people
stopped to think about it."
- JAMES C. FLETCHER, Director, NASA
"A wonderful contribution. Dr. Covey has synthesized the habits of our highest
achievers and presented them in a powerful, easy to use program. We now have
a blueprint for opening the American mind."
- CHARLES GARFIELD, author of Peak Performers
"Seven Habits is an exceptional book. It does a better job of inspiring a person
to integrate the different responsibilities, family, and professional-than any
other book I have read."
- PAUL H. THOMPSON, Dean, Marriott School of Management, BYU,and author of Novations
"Covey is hot and getting hotter."
- Business Week
"Goodbye, Dale Carnegie. Stephen Covey has had a profound influence on my
life. His principles are powerful. They work. Buy this book. Read it, and as you
live the principles your life will be enriched."
- ROBERT C. ALLEN author of Creating Wealth and Nothing Down
"In the '90s, America needs to unlock the door to increased productivity both
on a business and personal basis. The best way to accomplish this goal is
through enhancing the human resource. Dr. Covey's Seven Habits provides the
guidelines for this to happen. These principles make great sense and are right
on target for the times."
- F. G. "BUCK" RODGERS, author of The IBM Way
"This book is filled with practical wisdom for people who want to take control
of their lives, their businesses and their careers. Each time I read a section
again I get new insights, which suggests the messages are fundamental and
- GIFFORD PINCHOT Ill, author of Intrapreneuring
"Most of my learning has come from modeling after other people and what
they do. Steve's book helps energize this modeling process
through highly effective research and examples."
- FRAN TARKENTON, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback
"Not only does the 'character ethic' win hands down every time over the
'personality ethic' in the battle of effectiveness, it also will bring greater
fulfillment and joy to individuals seeking meaning in their personal and
- LARRY WILSON, author of Changing the Game: The New Way to Sell "Fundamentals are the key to success. Stephen Covey is a master of them. Buy
his book, but most importantly, use it!"
- ANTHONY ROBBINS, author of Unlimited Power
"Covey is the hottest self-improvement consultant to hit U.S. business
since Dale Carnegie."
- USA Today
"This book contains the kind of penetrating truth about human nature that
is usually found only in fiction. At the end, you will feel not only that you
know Covey, but also that he knows you."
- ORSON SCOTT CARD, winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards
"Stephen Covey adds great value to any individual or organization, not
just through his words. His vision and integrity - his personal example move people beyond mere success."
- TOM F. CRUM, cofounder, The Windstar Foundation, and author of The
Magic of Conflict
"With all the responsibilities and demands of time, travel, work, and families
placed upon us in today's competitive world, it's a big plus to have Stephen
Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to refer to."
- MARIE OSMOND
"In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey serves up a
seven-course meal on how to take control of one's life and become the
complete, fulfilling person one envisions. It is a satisfying, energetic, step-bystep book that is applicable for personal and business progress."
- ROGER STAUBACH, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback
"The conclusions he draws in this book underscore the need to restore the
character ethic in our society. This work is a valuable addition to the literature
of self-help." - W. CLEMENT STONE, founder, Success Magazine
"Stephen Covey's deliberate integration of life and principles leads to squaring
inner thought and outward behavior, resulting in personal as well as public
- GREGORY J. NEWELL, U.S. Ambassador to Sweden
"This book has the gift of being simple without being simplistic."
- M. SCOTT PECK, author of The Road Less Traveled
"I am reading it with profit. ... It is most thoughtful and enlightening."
- NORMAN VINCENT PEALE, author of The Power of Positive Thinking ALSO BY STEPHEN R. COVEY The 8th Habit
Living the 7 Habits
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families The Nature of Leadership
First Things First
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Personal Workbook The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Journal ALSO FROM FRANKLINCOVEY CO. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens Workbook The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens Journal Life Matters
What Matters Most
The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management The Power Principle
Breakthrough Factor The 7 HABITS of HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE
Restoring the Character Ethic Copyright © 1989, 2004 by Stephen R. Covey Library of Congress Catalogingin-Publication Data
Control Number: 2004057494
ISBN: 0-7432-6951-9 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Interdependence is a higher value than independence.
This work is a synergistic product of many minds. It began in the middle
seventies as I was reviewing 200 years of success literature as part of a
doctoral program. I am grateful for the inspiration and wisdom of many
thinkers and for the trans-generational sources and roots of this wisdom.
I am also grateful for many students, friends, and colleagues at Brigham
Young University and the Covey Leadership Center and for thousands of
adults, parents, youth, executives, teachers, and other clients who have tested
this material and have given feedback and encouragement.
The material and arrangement has slowly evolved and has imbued those who
have been sincerely and deeply immersed in it with the conviction that the
Seven Habits represent a holistic, integrated approach to personal and
interpersonal effectiveness, and that, more than in the individual habits
themselves, the real key lies in the relationship among them and in how they
For the development and production of the book itself I feel a deep sense of
--to Sandra and to each of our children and their spouses for living lives of integrity and service and for supporting my many travels-and involve-ments
outside the home. It's easy to teach principles loved ones live.
--to my brother John for his constant love, interest, insights and purity of soul.
--to the happy memory of my father.
--to my mother for her devotion to her more than 87 living descendants and
for her constant demonstrations of love.
--to my dear friends and colleagues in the business, especially:
--to Bill Marre, Ron McMillan, and Lex Watterson for feedback,
encouragement, editorial suggestions, and production help.
--to Brad Anderson, who at great personal sacrifice for over a year, developed
a Seven Habits video-based development program. Under his leadership this
material has been tested and refined and is being implemented by thousands of
people across a broad range of organizations. Almost without exception, after
initial exposure to this material, our clients desire to make it available to
greater numbers of employees, underscoring our confidence that it "works."
--to Bob Thele for helping to create a system for our firm that gave me the
peace of mind to enable me to really focus on the book.
--to David Conley for communicating the value and power of the Seven Habits
to hundreds of business organizations so that my colleagues, Blaine Lee, Roice
Krueger, Roger Merrill and AI Switzler, and I have the constant opportunity to
share ideas in a large variety of settings.
--to my proactive literary agent Jan Miller, and my "can do" associate Greg
Link and his assistant Stephanni Smith and Raleen Beckham Wahlin for their
creative and courageous marketing leadership.
--to my Simon and Schuster editor Bob Asahina for his professional
competence and project leadership, for his many excellent suggestions and for
helping me to better understand the difference between writing and speaking.
--to my earlier devoted assistants Shirley and Heather Smith and to my present assistant Marilyn Andrews for a level of loyalty which is truly uncommon.
--to our Executive Excellencemagazine editor Ken Shelton for his editing of
the first manuscript years ago, for helping refine and test the material in
several contexts, and for his integrity and sense of quality.
--to Rebecca Merrill for her invaluable editing and production assistance, for
her inner commitment to the material, and for her skill, sensitivity, and
carefulness in fulfilling that commitment, and to her husband, Roger, for his
wise, synergistic help.
--and to Kay Swim and her son, Gaylord, for their much appreciated vision
which contributed to our organization's rapid growth. FOREWORD
The world has changed dramatically since The 7 Habits of Highly Effective
People was first published. Life is more complex, more stressful, more
demanding. We have transitioned from the Industrial Age into the Information
Knowledge Worker Age - with all of its profound consequences. We face
challenges and problems in our personal lives, our families, and our
organizations unimagined even one and two decades ago. These challenges are
not only of a new order of magnitude, they are altogether different in kind.
These sweeping changes in society and rumbling shifts in the digitized global
marketplace give rise to a very important question - one I'm asked fairly often:
"Are The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People still relevant today?" And for
that matter, "Will they be relevant ten, twenty, fifty, one hundred years from
now?" My answer: the greater the change and more difficult our challenges,
the more relevant the habits become. The reason: our problems and pain are
universal and increasing, and the solutions to the problems are and always will
be based upon universal, timeless, self-evident principles common to
every enduring, prospering society throughout history. I did not invent them
and take no credit for them. I've simply identified and organized them into a
One of the most profound learnings of my life is this: if you want to achieve
your highest aspirations and overcome your greatest challenges, identify and
apply the principle or natural law that governs the results you seek. How we
apply a principle will vary greatly and will be determined by our unique
strengths, talents, and creativity, but, ultimately, success in any endeavor is
always derived from acting in harmony with the principles to which the
success is tied.
Many people do not think this way, at least consciously. In fact, you will
increasingly find that principled solutions stand in stark contrast to the
common practices and thinking of our popular culture. Allow me to illustrate
this contrast with a few of the most common human challenges we face. Fear and insecurity. So many people today are gripped with a sense of
fear. They fear for the future. They feel vulnerable in the work-place.
They are afraid of losing their jobs and their ability to provide for their
families. This vulnerability often fosters a resignation to riskless living
and to co-dependency with others at work and at home. Our culture's
common response to this problem is to become more and more
independent. "I'm going to focus on 'me and mine.' I'll do my job, do it
well, and get on to my real joys off the job." Independence is an
important, even vital, value and achievement. The problem is, we live in
an interdependent reality, and our most important accomplishments
require interdependency skills well beyond our present abilities.
"I want it now." People want things and want them now. "I want money. I
want a nice, big house, a nice car, the biggest and best entertainment
center. I want it all and I deserve it." Though today's "credit card" society
makes it easy to "get now and pay later," economic realities eventually set
in, and we are reminded, sometimes painfully, that our purchases cannot
outstrip our ongoing ability to produce. Pretending otherwise is
unsustainable. The demands of interest are unrelenting and unforgiving.
Even working hard is not enough. With the dizzying rate of change in
technology and increasing competition driven by the globalization of
markets and technology, we must not only be educated, we must constantly
re-educate and reinvent ourselves. We must develop our minds and
continually sharpen and invest in the development of our competencies to
avoid becoming obsolete. At work, the bosses drive results, and for good
reason. Competition is fierce; survival is at stake. The need to produce
today is today's reality and represents the demands of capital, but the real
mantra of success is sustainability and growth. You may be able to meet
your quarterly numbers, but the real question is, are you making the
necessary investment that will sustain and increase that success one, five,
and ten years from now? Our culture and Wall Street scream for results
today. But the principle of balancing the need to meet today's demands
with the need to invest in the capabilities that will produce tomorrow's
success is unavoidable. The same is true of your health, yom marriage,
your family relationships, and your community needs.
Blame and victimism. Wherever you find a problem, you will usually find the finger-pointing of blame. Societyis addicted to playing the victim.
"If only my boss wasn't such a controlling idiot If only I hadn't been born
so poor ... If only I lived in a better place If only I hadn't inherited such a
temper from my dad ... If only my kids weren't so rebellious ... If only the
other department didn't mess up orders all the time ... If only we weren't in
such a declining industry ... If only our people weren't so lazy and without
drive ... If only my wife was more understanding... If only ... .If only."
Blaming everyone and everything elsefor our problems and challenges
may be the norm and may provide temporary relief from the pain, but it
also chains us to these very problems. Show me someone who is humble
enough to accept and take responsibility for his or her circumstances and
courageous enough to take whatever initiative is necessary to creatively
work his or her way through or around these challenges, and I'll ...
View Full Document
- Fall '17
- The Bible, Test, Nature, The Crucible, The Maids, Pygmalion, Speak, Stephen Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Stephen R. Covey, Old Testament | Hebrew Bible, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Declaration of Independence, “America”