Summary (from the publisher): In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity — principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.
This has been on my To Read list for such a long time, because as far as self-help books go, 7 Habits is one that almost everyone is familiar with. I was looking forward to gleaning lots of useful info out of Covey’s work, but was somewhat disappointed with the result. All of his advice seemed to stem more from common sense than any exclusive insight, so I had to wonder what was the point.
He gives each of the 7 habits a descriptive name, such as “Sharpen the Saw” or “Synergize,” but these actually just mean “take care of yourself” (e.g. exercise, study, etc.) and “teamwork.” In fact, the other habits can similarly be distilled to more familiar concepts like time management, prioritizing, and listening. Well, yeah, no kidding that’s how to be more effective!
To Covey’s credit, he doesn’t claim to have invented or discovered these habits. Instead, he says that he just put them together into a plan aimed at helping people lead more productive lives. Still, I sort of wonder what all the hullabaloo was about.
I guess maybe the fact that I’m reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 25 years after its initial publication might have something to do with my perception of Covey’s habits. They seem so commonplace and ingrained that I have a hard time figuring out what new things I’m supposed to take from the book. To me, there was nothing groundbreaking here; however, if you’ve never had any exposure to efficiency training or time-management skills before, this might do you some good. I give the book 3 stars out of 5.