The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen R. Covey

by contributor

Jack Shields

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Context

Introduction

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is a motivational book that was authored in the 90s to enhance productivity particularly in human resource in America. The book, as the title states, is a motivational book that enhances personality change to improve sustainable attitude improvement for overall success. Covey conveys the message of attitude change on the foundation that habits form as a consequence of repetitive actions and a persistent level of commitment. The book illustrates the fundamentals of habit formation through which the maturity continuum is achieved permanently. The book offers a great explanation of the human habits and the process through which it takes shape depending on the knowledge acquired the skill and finally the psych towards motivation.

Throughout the book, Covey projects the idea of the effectiveness of the approach used to attain one's objectives by the alignment of one’s call to their real worth and principles that are grounded on character ethics. The author presents a universal and timeless formula of seven habits that need to be followed to achieve the ultimate success in family and work life as well as personal growth. The book offers a relatable definition of effectiveness as the equilibrium of producing best results having in mind the means to achieving the success which is illustrated by the analogy of the goose with the golden eggs.

Covey’s motivational book achieved the pinnacle of success by attaining the title of the best seller having sold more than 25 million copies. The book also set a record of being the first non-fiction to have an audiobook in the US. The author gains popularity by addressing new and relatable ways of solving personal struggles and dilemmas. Covey’s counters the prevalent idea personality superficiality and advocates for character ethic which helps align one's values to the existing principles of nature. The review of this book thus compiles a deliberate and mindful sunder of principles and values which play a part in habits and success.

The Historical and Current Context of the Book

The author of Seven Habits dedicated his entire life to the task of constructing a profound and straightforward guide that people can use control their lives positively. Covey is a description of a boiling well of positive energy from which more than 25 million people worldwide have quenched the thirst of the need to succeed. The memories might fade, and also people pass away but the inspiration left on people never ceases to impact lives. The latter description fits perfectly on Stephen Covey who passed away in 2012 due to the complications of the injuries he sustained in a bike accident. Stephen Covey's book is an inspirational text that ignores the cliché trends and uniquely follows the timeless principles of fairness, dignity, justice and human instincts. Stephen Covey is an outstanding character that authored many motivational books in his lifetime causing a surge of change in the ordinary channels of success to original thinking. His lifetime achievements are described as a revolution to the business sector and the corporate world such that his work simplified business by making strong ideas simpler to handle.

 Covey never shied away from putting his lantern out there for all to see. He was not only a candle that lights others up but also philanthropic with his knowledge. He served the masses throughout his life not as a critic but as an open-minded person who saw the best in all people. Cynthia Haller describes Covey as one person who would never partake in the table of mediocrity. As people were badmouthing Clinton during his presidential run, they sought a hateful opinion from Covey, but he responded that he could not manage to criticize Clinton since he has never had an opportunity to influence Clinton. Stephen Covey created a rapport with the president such that Stephen got a call from Clinton informing Stephen of his desire to integrate the seven habits during his tenure.

The author presents a holistic and integrated design in solving one’s personal, family and professional problems. Covey creatively utilizes penetrating insights and relatable anecdotes to convey the stepping strategy of achieving success through the natural principles and values. The author of the book had the intention of being a self-help book for the adults. The author formulated a comprehensive program intended for people seeking to change their perspective on life by creating awareness. During Coveys lifetime, he authored a list of books with a similar agenda to the seven habits that is changing people’s lives to the direction of success. He also engaged in other inspirational activities in a bid to improve and change people’s lives such as Covey’s online community which he used it to teach leadership.

Covey is a passionate person, and he would travel worldwide to spread his message of what it takes to achieve real success. In his lifetime, covey addressed heads of states worldwide and became a professor so that he could rub off his wisdom to all. Consequently, Stephen Covey gained many accolades and ten honorary doctoral degrees as an appreciation of his immense inspiration to the world. He became recognized by media and magazines such as The Times magazines as the twenty-fifth most influential Americans. The intensity of his teachings has been experienced far and wide by people of all calibers from all walks of life and have experienced coveys approach to empowerment.

Stephen Covey is not physically present to influence the world but his works during his lifetime will continue to impact on lives. He drew his inspiration to write the seven habits from the need to find a lasting solution to the process of success. Covey was influenced to a great extent Peter Drucker as well as Carl Rogers who are also personalities who have contributed to inspiration on the topics of decision making and managerial courses. Among the many influencing factors to the authoring of seven habits is the intensive study and analysis he conducted on the self-help books in the US during his doctoral dissertation. His studies during the research of his dissertation gave a deeper insight to explore the limits towards success, and this inspired a comprehensive compilation of the book on seven habits. Stephen Covey was an industrious and diligent character that yearned for information and a better understanding of human behavior and ways to influence it. As an ardent family man, covey draws his inspiration to write seven habits from the occurrences and the experiences from his family life. He uses the solutions to most of the family experiences to help and guide other people on the ‘aha’ experience of realization of better ways of achieving success.

Stephen was also influenced by his Mormon beliefs when drafting the book whereby he incorporates his views of human instincts and values that acclaimed in religion as some of the key ingredients to success. Clayton Christensen describes the influence of Stephen Covey on Mormonism as a pivotal influence on his works. Clayton further states that the seven habits authored by covey are a secular connotation of the values that guide Mormons. However, Covey had his weaknesses which he admits in the first part of the seven habits books that he is a forceful person who needs things done his way. This brings out the aspect of manipulation of results especially when he narrates the story of his daughter and toys. As much as it is a vice, covey puts effort to help his persistence and manipulation towards the direction of change.

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