Amid news of the drought and soaring temperatures, the world lost a great thought leader yesterday. Author Stephen Covey, whose "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" sold more than 20 million copies, died yesterday at age 79.
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" has been named one of the most influential management books by several organizations, including Time and Forbes magazines. The audio book is the best-selling nonfiction audio in history. Have you ever read it? I personally think it’s a must read for anyone who wants to be better – at work, at leading, at life, at anything. I’ve read this book several times but every time I review the list I think about something I can work on.
What does this list have to do with finding a job? Staffing? Hiring and managing talent? Pretty much everything, considering the world of talent is all about people, relationships, development, teamwork, being proactive, and trying to achieve success …
So today, in honor of Stephen Covey, here’s a summary of the Seven Habits. Perhaps this will provide some inspiration for you today.
Independence or Self-Mastery
The First Three Habits surround moving from dependence to independence (i.e., self mastery):
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life's principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences that follow.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life. Create a mission statement.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Prioritize, plan, and execute your week's tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluate whether your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you toward goals, and enrich the roles and relationships that were elaborated in Habit 2.
The next three have to do with Interdependence (i.e., working with others):
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a "win" for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, respect, and positive problem solving.
Habit 6: Synergize
Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone. Get the best performance out of a group of people through encouraging meaningful contribution, and modeling inspirational and supportive leadership.
The last habit relates to self-rejuvenation:
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes on exercise for physical renewal, prayer or meditation, and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to the society for spiritual renewal.