Author Stephen Covey passed away today at age 79. If you’re not familiar, he was the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and a pioneer of the ‘self help’ genre. In his passing, my dad sent me an email with a quick cheat sheet of the 7 Habits. I’ll let him take it from here:
The first three address personal responsibility, the second three address working with others, and the last one is about self-maintenance and renewal… so you can keep doing the first six. Good guidance in 1989 when “7 Habits…” was first published, still good today.
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 theycan do and are responsible for their choices and those consequences.
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 relationship.
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 problems.
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.
If you haven’t read the book, read it. You can get a paperback copy for $10. If you have read the book, read it again or at least revisit it.
I hope I take my own advice on that one. RIP.