So as we re-enter the new year, we could look at a great resource that is applicable no matter what is taking place externally. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by

Back in 1989, Dr. Stephen Covey published his now famous classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This book transformed the concepts of business and management about the same time as the internet was taking hold of the world. Netscape, AOL and other companies were taking their places as the world began to globalize on a digital platform.

Covey’s book gives us seven principles that can be applied to both business and personal life management.

In doing leadership development training over the years, I have relied upon this book on a number of occasions, especially when there is a significant disruption in the economy, as in the case of the Great Recession of 2008. Here are the seven principles.

The 7 Habits

H1 Be Proactive
Our mental agility is critical when dealing with unfamiliar situations and can often produce a more favorable outcome. Decision making is a critical leadership skill that requires continual development. It is not so much taking control but rather being willing to explore options outside of a box of comfort that produces innovation.

H2 Begin with the End in Mind
Our vision and goals need to be the lens through which we move and act so that we don’t veer off course. By consistently reviewing our goals, productivity is often enhanced.

H3 First Things First
One’s capacity for mental organization to follow a set of actions that result in the goal to be achieved will result, more often than not, in the goal desired.

H4 Think Win-Win
Synergy and cooperation are the ingredients of any truly successful initiative. Any significant goal achieved is always achieved through the assistance and help of others. Learning how to engage with others for a common goal and a common good is also a learned leadership skill.

H5 Seek to Understand, Then to be Understood
Learning to listen with the acuity of an owl is critical when disruption is affecting the paradigm of the current business model. Good relationships are always the end and not just the means.

H6 Synergize
Synergy is based upon the law of multiplication, where two horses can pull the weight of four horses. Multiplication is always a high priority in every project.

H7 Sharpen the Saw
Improvement is always possible. Dr. Covey refers to this seventh habit as the habit of self-renewal. This is not only a principle based upon humility but integrity and transparency.

Anthony DiMaio
Personal Development Trainer