Once this is a book came out in 1979 changed the way the people used to look at and read the books on self-improvement topics, forever.
Of course this became the world best seller but has the distinction to be a book being referred or quoted in the board rooms and during meetings and discussions. Much training often referred this book and this book used to be recommended by the management gurus to the trainees in their trainings. Today even after over 35 years later, it is a book which is a habit of many successful managers and is the most referenced book.
The most interesting feature of this book that I could catch is that from the first page it catches your imagination and relates to every reader is a way that one feels it is a book meant for him only.
One feels the book is written for his improvement and also about the surroundings that he is living and working in as it talks of the personal and professional habits and traits of a common man.
As one continues to read one can relate one’s own good and bad habits to the descriptions in the book and makes you to sit and ponder on your good and bad habits.
The book does not want or prescribes you to leave your bad habits, but invokes you to work on your strengths and good habits. Changing one’s habits not only changes the way you look at yourself but also the way the world looks at yourself.
The book guides you in following powerful tools
· Taking control of your life
· Making not just better decisions but smarter, strategic ones
· Managing and improving your relationships with family and friends
· Overcome bad habits
· Boost your productivity
· Find a healthy work/life balance
· Be your happiest self
The seven habits that Covey talks of and discusses so well in the book are:
- Be Proactive: It challenges you as the person who only can change your life so go and be proactive and do not let the things come to you and then react. As Covey says, it is the most difficult habit to develop.
- Begin with the end in mine: It says once you are taking control of your life, start setting your goals and lead yourself to your own goals, while anticipating the obstacles and problems. You will be surprised how fast and quickly you reach your goals.
- First Things First: Prioritize, once goals are set, set the priorities and cut out the needless work and work as per your plans.
- Think Win-Win: The first three habits teach you to understand and improve and manage yourself and then create a public or team vision and put your good habits to use and create victory for the team. Thus utilize your good habits at your workplace. Take decisions that create an opportunity of win for both the sides.
- Seek First to Understand, then be understood: Through this habit, Covey conveys the importance of listening, trying to develop the understanding and then attempt for a solution. Listening to the ideas of the team makes them more participative and contributing and the help reach the best possible solution.
- Synergize; Covey says the whole is bigger than the sum of the parts. It says develop a common understanding through individual contributions. The know how brought by each individual to the discussion table helps all to reach a more viable and creative solution.
- Sharpen the Saw: This last habit encourages and helps you to grow all of the above six habits through application. Covey calls it the self-renewal and believes that it is the habit which brings the final positive change.
In the end I will say it is not only a must read, but a very good reference book which should be on your desk, every day and in your hand baggage whenever you travel.