The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey gives you a compass for being effective in business, home and everywhere else. You are challenged to take on a different perspective on life which is introduced via the seven habits. The book is based on years of research by Covey, and with more than 35 million sales can be considered quite the bestseller.

The habits are divided into three categories. The first features three habits that are focused towards independence or self-mastery. They elaborate on 1) being proactive, 2) beginning with the end in mind, and 3) putting the first things first. The second set of three habits focus on interdependence. In conflicts think 4) win-win, 5) seek first to understand the other, only then wish to be understood, and 6) synergize (1+1=3). After discussing both the internal en external habits one key habit remains. That is to 7) sharpen the saw, to balance and renew your energy every once in a while.

Whilst the principles are easy to understand and are accessible the book does a very good job of elaborating on the thoughts and science behind them. This is strengthened even more by providing the reader with a large supply of examples from both personal and business life.

Now in memory, Stephen R. Covey (October 24, 1932 – July 16, 2012) has been one of the (25) most influential people of the last century. Next to a range of best-selling books, leadership institutes all around the world have erupted that practice the 7 principles. And also in the domain of family life, the book: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families has become known worldwide.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is a must read for anyone. While the size of the novel may seem like a big chunk to read through, you will have read the whole thing within a week. Next to that, you can easily pick it up every year just to refresh your memory of it.


I wrote this review in 2013 and I think I first encountered the book maybe a few years before that. After that I’ve relistened to it again in 2015 or 2016. I still think the core ideas are great and very useful. I do also agree a bit with this review that argues that there is much fluff in the book and that others (like Triggers) may be a better way to start with self-improvement.


The Book:

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey – ISBN 0762408332


More on The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Stephen R. Covey on the 7 habits Stephen R. Covey on finding your voice and inspiring others to do so Graig Harper on fifty habits of highly successful people