The Get Ahead Book Club

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People -- first published in 1989 -- Steven R. Covey promotes 7 principles or habits we should develop to be most effective in life.

These principles are:

  1. Be proactive. Reactive people focus too much on things that cannot control, whereas proactive people focus on what they can control.
  2. Begin with the end in mind. Imagine being on your death looking back over your life. What do you want to say you did with your life? Once you know that, can you honestly say what you're doing day-to-day is contributing to that?
  3. Put first things first. If someone is truly important to do, then do it first in your day.
  4. Think win-win. Not everything is a zero-sum game. Look for opportunities where people can help you get ahead by offering them something of value too. You don't have to destroy your competitors to do better in your business.
  5. Seek first to understand then to be understood. It's better to let someone talk first and really hear what they have to say in order to get your point across to them later.
  6. Synergize. Look for ways to work for others so that you both gain. The example given is two people who can't reach apples individually. If they work together, then they both get apples. If they do not, then neither gets what they want.
  7. Sharpen the saw. Don't be afraid to take time away from work to improve yourself, do exercise or otherwise make yourself more effective. Even 30 minutes a day is enough.


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