Stephen Covey, author of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," dies yesterday. His advice is worth reflecting on at least one more time.
RIP Stephen Covey: A Busy Person's Guide to the Seven Habits has this to say:
"Management guru Stephen R. Covey died Monday at age 79.
Dr. Covey was the author of the 1989 publishing juggernaut “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and
other books which have together sold more than 20 million copies in 38
languages, according to his website. Among his other achievements, he was also the founder of a consulting
firm and time-management products company, aimed to help individuals
and businesses implement his principles.
Former Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black, quoted in The Journal in 2007, succinctly described what made Covey’s
message so appealing:
“You will flourish by concentrating on the aspects of life that you can
control rather than by reacting to external forces. The seven “habits” covered
in the book may seem so simple as to be obvious (“Be Proactive,” “Put First
Things First,” etc.), but Stephen Covey weaves them into a principle-based
philosophy that emphasizes the importance of relying on your own character and
intrinsic beliefs as you pursue any goal. I’ve found that even if you’re able to
take on board only a couple of the book’s seven habits, you will still notice
their beneficial effect on life both in and out of the office.”
In the spirit of efficient (and hopefully, highly effective) time
management, here’s a crib sheet to the “7 Habits” for those too busy to actually
read the book. The first three habits focus on individual independence, the
second three goals involve how to work best with others and the final goal
concerns self-maintenance and renewal.
Habit 1: Be
Proactive. Choose your own course. Highly effective people don’t dwell on
the things they can’t do and aren’t reactive to outside forces; instead they
focus on what they can do and are responsible for their choices and
Habit 2: Begin with
the End in Mind. Determine what your end goal is, including your broader
life goals, so you know what you are working toward.
Habit 3: Put First
Things First. Prioritize tasks based on importance, rather than urgency,
and make sure your plan drives you toward the goals you outlined in Habit 2.
Once you’ve prioritized tasks, execute accordingly.
Habit 4: Think
Win-Win. Aim for solutions that mutually benefit both parties in a
Habit 5: Seek First
to Understand, Then to be Understood. Try to really listen to other
people and be open to influence–which should help them do the same for you — in
order to help create a more respectful environment and better solve
Habit 6: Synergize. Use teamwork to reach
goals unattainable by one person working alone. To get the strongest performance
out of team players, encourage meaningful contributions and end goals.
Habit 7: Sharpen
the Saw. To be more effective over the long-haul, make sure to keep your
body, mind and spirit fit and refreshed, via exercise, prayer or meditation,
community service and stimulating reading."
Have a great day.