Thought leader extraordinaire.
I have just heard the sad news that Dr Stephen Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has died. Published in 1989, he sold more than 20 million books in 38 languages so it would be safe to say that Dr Covey must have helped millions of people from leaders and captains of industry to young people starting out in the workplace. He taught principle-centred leadership at a time when, as far as I was aware, no-one else was talking about it. And his work has stood the test of time.
He taught people to reframe our thinking and how to view a dhastly situation, problem or setback differently. The paradigm shift. That’s what it was.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®
Stephen R. Covey‘s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®, has been a top-seller for the simple reason that it ignores trends and pop psychology for proven principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. Celebrating its fifteenth year of helping people solve personal and professional problems, this special anniversary edition includes a new foreword and afterword written by Covey exploring the question of whether the 7 Habits are still relevant and answering some of the most common questions he has received over the past 15 years.
The fact that Dr Covey was a consultant to Fortune 500 companies didn’t stop his work from being relevant to parents at home and young people searching for practical answers on living a life that feels great and true to oneself.
I believe conflicting and diverse viewpoints are a gift…What I mean is thoughtful people will always differ from each other. If they care enough to express their differences with passion, that’s an offering that ought to be accepted eagerly. Diversity of viewpoint, background, position. These make for a much more robust solution than if everyone thinks alike. If I am a third alternative thinker, I am fascinated, not threatened, by the gap between us.
I thought I’d share the 7 Habits here, in brief. It taught me things that I thought I already knew and lived by. It sharpened my saw, so to speak.
Habit 1 : Be Proactive
Your life doesn’t just “happen.” Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you. The choices, after all, are yours… Habit 1: Be Proactive is about taking responsibility for your life…Proactive people recognize that they are “response-able.” …
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
So, what do you want to be when you grow up? That question may appear a little trite, but think about it for a moment. ..Habit 2 is based on imagination–the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes. It is based on the principle that all things are created twice. ..If you don’t make a conscious effort to visualize who you are and what you want in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape you and your life by default.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
To live a more balanced existence, you have to recognize that not doing everything that comes along is okay. There’s no need to overextend yourself. All it takes is realizing that it’s all right to say no when necessary and then focus on your highest priorities.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win (love this)
Think Win-Win isn’t about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration…Win-win is a frame of mind and heart.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Communication is the most important skill in life. You spend years learning how to read and write, and years learning how to speak. But what about listening? What training have you had that enables you to listen so you really, deeply understand another human being?
Habit 6: Synergize
To put it simply, synergy means “two heads are better than one.”…It is teamwork, open-mindedness, and the adventure of finding new solutions to old problems.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw (my favourite)
Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you.
To learn more, go to Stephen Covey’s website
So there you have it. I love how he has translated age old wisdom and reshaped it into modern day words that are easily digestible. Rest In Peace Dr Covey and thank you so very much for sharing your gifts and talents with people like me.