Book Review: the 7 habits of highly effective people, by Stephen Covey

This is the first in a series of articles providing a chapter-by-chapter in-depth “book club” reading of Mr. Stephen Covey’s classic “the 7th habits of highly effective people”.
I’m reading from the 2004 Free Press paperback edition. This entry covers the first chapter, “The inside Story” .

At the beginning, Covey writes about the personality and character ethics, the former emphasizing that success is more a function of personality, public image, attitudes and behaviours, skills and techniques.
The latter more that values are the foundation of success: things like integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, courage, justice, patience, industry, simplicity, modesty.

Principles like fairness, integrity, honesty, dignity, service, quality, potential, growth are natural laws, impossible to break or move around (principles are the territory, values are the map; the more closed our paradigms are aligned to the natural principles the more functional they are).

The approach from Covey is a principle-centered, character-based, “inside-out” approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness.

Inside-out means to start first with self, with the most inside part of self (your paradigms, character motives), e.g. if you want to have more freedom in your job, be first a more responsible, helpful, contributing employee.


A habit is the intersection of knowledge (what and why to do), skill (how to do) and desire (want to do).
The 7 habits of effectiveness are progressing from dependence via independence to interdependence:

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5 thoughts on “Book Review: the 7 habits of highly effective people, by Stephen Covey

  1. Pingback: Book review: the 7 Habits by Stephen Covey – Habit 2 or Begin with the end in mind « Look back in respect

  2. Pingback: Book: the 7 habits – Habit 4 or Think win/win « Look back in respect

  3. Pingback: Book: the 7 Habits – Habit 3 or Put first things first « Look back in respect

  4. Pingback: Book: the 7 Habits – chapter one « Look back in respect

  5. Pingback: Book: the 7 habits – Habit 5, 6 and 7 « Look back in respect

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