Passion-Filled Motivation for Start up Founders

The 7 habits of effective people


The 7 Habits of Effective People – Stephen R Covey

18 Sep , 2016  

Author Background

Stephen Richards Covey was an American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker. He wrote First Things First, The 8th Habit and of course The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. 

Book Description – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 habits of effective people


This book describes 7 habits that people should follow in order to become more effective. Stephen advised following those habits because it is essential to work on yourself before dealing with other people. In fact, if you are not ready in your mind, other people will see it.

The 7 habits of effective peopleAccording to the graph, There are 3 stages that people are going through to become more effective and influential.

  1. Dependence: someone that does not want to take any responsibilities. The best example of that type of behavior is a child that depend on their parents to survive. Without them, they cannot live for a long time.
  2. Independence: someone that take responsibilities and take action. This person can survive by himself and create opportunities where others do not see them.
  3. Interdependence: several people that combine their talents and abilities to create something greater together. For example, several individuals combine their skills to start a company.

Before to become interdependent, we need to first move from dependence to independence. The habits 1 to 3 of this book aim to train you to become independent. Then, the habits 4 to 6 will guide you toward understanding how to understand other individuals. Habit 7 is the constant recursive to keep improving along the way.

Dependence to Independence

1st habit – Be proactive

Proactive stands for acting in anticipation of future problems.

Reactive People (someone you should not be)

When you are reactive, your circle of influence decrease and you circle of concern increase. Reactive people are not willing to take responsibilities and feel victimized. They blame other people or any other external factors so that the situation plays toward their favor. They focus on the weakness of other people. Ex: I can’t, there is nothing I can do…

Proactive People (someone you should be)

When you are proactive, your circle of influence increase and your circle of concern decrease. Proactive individuals take responsibilities. They work on the things they can do something about. They produce based on their value rather than on their feeling. Ex: I choose, let’s look at the alternatives.

Try to differentiate yourself from other people that blame external factors. Focus on things you can control.

2nd habit – Begin with the end in mind

Habit 2 helps your mind have definite goals and is based on principles. We become more effective when we begin with the end in mind. Do not overreact in an unpleasant situation where you loose control and start yelling at everyone. In other words, do not think short term and react according to your mood or crises, instead think long-term and stay calm. If you ask yourself if this was your last week, your reaction would be really different. In fact, the author asked students what they would do if this was their last week. the student answers were to send love to their friends, family… All the “enemies” or people you disliked are not so important if today was the last day of your life.

Create a mission statement, if there are no involvements there are no commitments

3rd habit – Put first thing first

This habit focuses on taking the right actions. It helps to improve your time management and how to become more efficient. Instead of focusing on what is urgent, you should focus on tasks that are important. In other words, you should not neglect the tasks that will benefit you in the long-term. And minimize the ones that focus on short-term fixes or that keep you busy but does not make you efficient.

Independence to Interdependence

4th habit – Think Win/Win

6 Paradigms of interaction

  • Win/Win
  • Win/Lose
  • Lose/Win
  • Lose/Lose
  • Win
  • Win/Win or No Deal

There are situations where there is no choice other than Win/Lose, for example, competitions do not allow everyone to win but only one winner. In business, however, it is not recommended for an individual to Win whether the other person included in the deal loses or wins. Successful businesses often use a Win/Win or No Deal situation when they do business for the first time. In the long run, The best strategy in most cases in to create a Win/Win situation. In fact, It builds a relationship and trust between 2 businesses.

5th habit – Seek first to understand, then to be understood

Often, people make a judgment based on their situation but without analyzing the other person’s situation. If you visit the doctor, you expect him to diagnose first and prescribe the right drug. If the doctor does not even ask you any questions or check anything, you doubt what he will prescribe you will cure you. Thus, listening to the other person’s problem will allow that person to share more information and, give you the opportunity to make the right judgment that you want him to take. If you do not listen, the other person will feel rejected and is not going to listen to your opinion, or even worst, he will do the exact opposite on what you recommend him to do.

6th habit – Synergise

This habit has the more effect on people. It allows individuals to unify and create miracles. When a new group is forming, first they do not open themselves much as they are defensive. But, after discussing for few a few days, the group will be more open which will lead to a more trusty and cooperative conversation. With more trust and cooperation, the group will be more likely to create a Win/Win situation. Of course, that does not always happen. Sometimes, some groups might encounter various disagreement which will create a lack of trust. Synergise might come up with exponential results or might not create any results. It depends on how people will interact with each other.

7th habit – sharpen the saw

In order to apply the 4 dimension of renewal described below, you need to be proactive and carefully manage your time which is what the author describe in habits 1 and 2.

4 dimension of renewal:

  • Physical – habit 3: Spend some of your time doing exercises, at least a few times a week. Then, Stay healthy by carefully looking at what you eat. Finally, focus on long-term goals rather than working on everyday quick fixes.
  • Spiritual – habit 2: create a personal mission statement in order to visualize how your future will look like.
  • Mental – habit 3: Keep some time to study and write, even after university. Take some time to read books that increase your knowledge in the fields of your interest.
  • Social/Emotional – habits 4, 5, 6: this dimension focuses on how to interact with others.

By applying the 4 dimensions of renewal, you will be reusing the 7 habits learned throughout the book.Following this principle will allow you to be more efficient and productive on an everyday basis.

To conclude, this book includes some of the most interesting principles I have read so far. It gives a good understanding how to set your purpose in life and intelligently work with others.


About alexis

Alexis is passionate about writing content in order to help startup founder to get their business started. Moreover, he is a web developer that love building useful websites.

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