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Book Review- Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Richards Covey (Born: October 24, 1932, Salt Lake City – Died: July 16, 2012, Idaho Falls) was an American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker. His most popular book was The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

(Wikipedia Online)

In view of the total research made, its clear that the personality himself was more glowing than the writings he made since his articles and books when critically analyzed prove to be with limited extent of vision or clarity, the natural reality that we can not be perfect nor we can say anything with perfection. Unlike other authors, Stephen was an innovative, humble and open personality and infact he wrote a decade of history in his 79 years of age of legacy; his lessons used to end up with “leave a legacy”. My first experience, though the interest was built up to read him when his book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” came into the knowledge.

It was published for the first time in 1990 and made around 12 millions copies published globally a fews years back data reveals. The principles and practices written in this book were proven to be more popular and genuine than the books written so far.

The title “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” seems to be talking about mere personality look growth but it certainly includes personality spirits growth as well. Confined to the ideas and knowledge, an author selects the title and so is the reason why Stephen had to write “The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness” some years after his book. The title, indeed, relfacts whatsoever has been the contents made in the book.

In view of the contents in the book, the worth considering paragraphs are where Stephen quotes a couple of examples, illustrates with cool graphics and always give a pictorial view. Not ignorable, he did committed some wrong methods to formulate the tables and listing such options that ain’t applicable to a general living. Overall, he wrote a true leaderships, common life, professionalism, and many aspects of natural behavior. His findings are too close to reality although sometimes he ignores some facts, maybe due to the reason that he does not want the readers attention betrayed from any main point of views.

Mainly, Stephen R. Covey wrote 3 different categories of 7 habits: first is independent or selft-mastery paradign, second as interdependence or social involvement paradign, third is self-renewal or supporting paradigm. He further examplify, tabulate and graph the things explaining his view points.

“Covey portrays that The Seven Habits lead to effectiveness. After the recap of the fable of “The Goose and the Golden Eggs”, he explains that effectiveness lies in a balance that he calls P/PC. P is the production of desired results, the golden eggs; and PC is the production capability, the ability that produces the golden eggs.”

(Covey 54)

At first glance, an example of a person would be more relevant to the review. Assume a person who needs to reconsider his habits. Important, these seven habits are told to be for “effective people” but they can be implemented on any of the objects that are present all around involved in increasing or decreasing form of actions. This example will further be discussed in each of the habits written below.


Be proactive (environment management) and this is what a human being always be in need of while handling and dealing with situations, events or happenings of any kinds.

“Be proactive not reactive.”


When someone talks to someone and he is asked whether to do something or leave committing it; it does demand a valuable response to the other person otherwise it may go for breakups or destruction in its general sense. To be proactive means not to be efficient but effective. Its the only tool to use own resources in a productive way rather than wasting up the time.

“A way to become self-aware is to look at where we focus our time and energy to.”

(Covey 81)

There is a circle of concern, circle of influence as well as circle of anxiety. The things which ain’t related to emotions or mentality are included in the circle of conern, we can control our circle of influence and how can we control our circle of conern? That depends up the sizes of two first circles, in reality in most of the circumstances the circle of influence is larger than the circle of concern.

“The problems that we face are categorized in three areas, direct control, indirect control, or no control.”

(Covey 85)

As Prophet said, if you love those who love you, what merit you have? Anybody do this. We must not be keep on reacting whatever others do, but always try to lead others ignoring hoots, being more positively to them than what others do to you or even sometimes letting them do and “mind your own business”.

In our example, the person needs not to always keep on thinking of others work but pay his full attention and improve his outputs, instead of becoming sorrowful of how well others are working. In Islam, jealousy is prohibited but the good deeds can be taken as an inspiration to be more active than before.

Criticism this habit excludes considering the natural phenomenon of reaction to actions. “The Law of Karma – cause and effect” has been ignored.

Begin with the end in mind (personal leadership) is to state some destination before walking on the road. Someone should be clear about what to do before taking some measurable steps on it. Create a mission statement and only a life of visualization can be realised.

” It means to start with a clear understanding of your destination and know where you are going.”

(Covey 98)

Create some uniqueness both in satisfaction and shape of your desires. This topic is not well-written and shows a poor stemina while Dr Stephen was writing it. This is simple to understand the fact that a target place is an essential factor to consider while moving forward to some point.

“The best way to begin is to develop a personal mission statement.”

(Covey 106)

Examplify that person, he needs to go Pearl Continental hostel. For this he needs to get enough meal, enough money and enough conveyance. He will reach at PC and the end.

Criticism this is the most badly written topic in the whole book, along with the distraction from the relevant title of the topic. Dr Stephen does not write write relevant data here but strays.

Put first things first (personal management) is extremely important third habit. It supports the second habit stated above with the fact  “importance rather than urgency.” It also fulfills the soul of first habit.

It is the exercise of having independent will toward becoming principled centered.”

(Covey 147)

First pitch the ideas into mind, document them, be prepared about the goals then launch them on ground. This chapter is most wonderful of all the written in book.

“The focus is being more effective, not efficient.”

(Covey 178)

Prioritise every task in your life and this what someone has to do.

Example here works when the person is going to have an option to work for preparation of his interview, watch TV, use facebook, chat with friends, hang out at parties; then he needs to think of most important of all and at the last the least important tasks.

Criticism does not be fit here except the exploitation made by huge content under this topic. The explanation given is too much.


Think Win/Win which is the most widely acceptable reality and worst widely applied truth. Dr Stephen covers 6 such examples which tells how it is acceptable in both personal as well as professional leadership. Infact, its a long-term vision that you want others prosper plus think of yours to be better and better.

“A Win/Win philosophy is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks benefit in all human interaction.”

(Covey 207)

Do not wish others to get betrayed or you will be made betrayed in your own life. Islam makes us keep away from jealousy.

Example is the person should be extremely positive while working in a professional environment that his peers may be even better than him if they work harder. He should also strive to be better and better.

Criticism is nothing but its written beautifully in its original way.

Seek first to understand, then to be understood means “both of the speakers can’t hear each other at a single point of time”. In professional life, its a very basic ethic to follow that we must not be interrupting while working or watching others work.

“Open your mind before you open your mouth.”


It a normal paradigm environment anyone finds it too difficult to establish such an attitude.

“We should first seek to understand, then to be understood.”

(Covey 240)

First part needs empathic listening, the second requires credibility, feelings and logics. We need to have ears with a brain and mind working with it.

“According the sociologist Kurt Lewin, synergy can work in a “Force Field Analysis”. This describes any current level of performance or being as a state of equilibrium between the driving forces that encourage upward movement and the restraining forces that discourage it.”

(Covey 279)

Example is the person should first be clear about what to do then learn how to do from the environment or resources he owes to learn it.

Criticism is that Covey could give more examples and explain in a little different plus impressive way.

Synergy is a type of compromise to get a win-win situation. This term became a popular phrase in business industry after Dr Stephen used it in his book.

“The more genuine the involvement, the more sincere and sustained the participation in analyzing and solving problems, the greater the release of everyone’s creativity, and of their commitment to what they create.”

(Covey 283)

It is a crowning achievement of all the remaining tasks. Good point is that the author does not let us be bored briefing on this topic. So is this becomes a good for though too.

“Unity is strength.”


The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects. (Oxford dictionary online)

Example is the person needs to conduct an activity of social welfare in his campus, he will better be doing if he has some good people like him who may assisst him in this purpose.

Criticism is not applicable for such a wisely written topic.

Sharpen the saw means keeping yourself active in physical, mental, social and spiritual factor of work. Its an art to balance and sustain your life in an effective way. Product capability (PC) is improved here. Its refining the potential of doing more.

” It is the PC, renewing the four dimensions of one’s nature- physical, spiritual, mental, and social/emotional.”

(Covey 288)

With due exercise which is prayer, gym, yoga, learning activities or relevant programs, anyone can be achieving the good muscles which are emotions, love, characyer, power and energy. Someone need to keep them up-to-date.

Example is the person is required to manage his time and activities thus balance both of them to keep himself strong and active enough to take further activities in life.

Criticism It’s not been well explained and the habit or the title has not been focused but the discussion betrayers the reader’s attention towards other visionary chronologies.


The complete book is both effective as well as imperfect for readers.


Stephen Richards Covey has dramatically produced wise principles for common and professional people. He has written most widely acceptable, long-term, exchangeable and searchable ideas into his book. There is no question against the wiseness he has used but the beauty and authenticity he ought to have made is not present. Overall, this is a versatile nature study that makes your work and be motivated to work for perfection of yourself as well as your

Cover of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effectiv...

Cover of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People


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