What Are the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People?


Quick Answer

The seven habits, in order, are being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, putting first things first, thinking win/win, seeking to understand before trying to be understood, synergizing and sharpening the saw, or focusing on continual self-improvement. The seven habits are intended to improve overall character.

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Full Answer

The habits are based on the idea that a person must be both independent and interdependent. While being a strong individual is important, a person must also realize that he is part of a larger community. Thus, the first three habits focus on self-mastery, while the next three habits focus on interdependence. The last habit of continual improvement ensures that a person always works toward improving his personal productivity capacity. It ensures a person's value in the future as well as the present.

"The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People" was published in 1989 by Steven Covey, founder of the Covey Leadership Center, and was an immediate success. As of 2014, it has sold over 15 million print copies and 1.5 million audiobooks. In the 1990s, President Bill Clinton requested that Covey come to Camp David to advise him on how to integrate the habits into his presidency. In 2011, Time magazine recognized it as one of the 25 most influential business books of all time.

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