The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

by Stephen R. Covey


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The priceless wisdom and insight found in the bestselling The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (more than 10 million sold!) is distilled in this palm-size Running Press Miniature Edition™. It's full of advice on taking control of your life, teamwork, self-renewal, mutual benefit, proactivity, and other paths to private and public victory. Steven R. Covey is chairman of the Covey Leadership Center and the nonprofit Institute for Principle-Centered Leadership.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762408337
Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
Publication date: 09/28/2000
Series: RP Minis Series
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 24,979
Product dimensions: 2.87(w) x 3.37(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Stephen R. Covey


Provo, Utah

Date of Birth:

October 24, 1932

Date of Death:

July 16, 2012

Place of Birth:

Salt Lake City, Utah

Place of Death:

Idaho Falls, ID


B.S., University of Utah, 1950; M.B.A., Harvard University, 1957; Ph.D., Brigham Young University, 1976

Read an Excerpt

Habit 4: Think Win/Win

...When a boss becomes the first assistant to each of his subordinates, he can greatly increase his span of control. Entire levels of administration and overhead can be eliminated. Instead of supervising six or eight, such a manager can supervise twenty, thirty, fifty, or more.

In Win/Win performance agreements, consequences become the natural or logical result of performance rather than a reward or punishment arbitrarily handed out by the person in charge.

There are basically four kinds of consequences (rewards and penalties) that management or parents can control-financial, psychic, opportunity, and responsibility. Financial consequences include such things as income, stock options, allowances, or penalties. Psychic or psychological consequences include recognition, approval, respect, credibility, or the loss of them. Unless people are in a survival mode, psychic compensation is often more motivating than financial compensation. Opportunity includes training, development, perks, and other benefits. Responsibility has to do with scope and authority, either of which can be enlarged or diminished. Win/Win agreements specify consequences in one or more of those areas and the people involved know it up front. So you don't play games. Everything is clear from the beginning.

In addition to these logical, personal consequences, it is also important to clearly identify what the natural organizational consequences are. For example, what will happen if I'm late to work, if I refuse to cooperate with others, if I don't develop good Win/Win performance agreements with my subordinates, if I don't hold them accountable for desired results, or if I don't promote their professional growth and career development?

When my daughter turned 16, we set up a Win/Win agreement regarding use of the family car. We agreed that she would obey the laws of the land and that she would keep the car clean and properly maintained. We agreed that she would use the car only for responsible purposes and would serve as a cab driver for her mother and me within reason. And we also agreed that she would do all her other jobs cheerfully without being reminded. These were our wins.

We also agreed that I would provide some resources-the car, gas, and insurance. And we agreed that she would meet weekly with me, usually on Sunday afternoon, to evaluate how she was doing based on our agreement. The consequences were clear. As long as she kept her part of the agreement, she could use the car. If she didn't keep it, she would lose the privilege until she decided to.

This Win/Win agreement set up clear expectations from the beginning on both our parts. It was a win for her-she got to use the car-and it was certainly a win for Sandra and me. Now she could handle her own transportation needs and even some of ours' We didn't have to worry about maintaining the car or keeping it clean. And we had a built-in accountability, which meant I didn't have to hover over her or manage her methods. Her integrity, her conscience, her power of discernment and our high Emotional Bank Account managed her infinitely better. We didn't have to get emotionally strung out, trying to supervise her every move and coming up with punishments or rewards on the spot if she didn't do things the way we thought she should. We had a Win/Win agreement, and it liberated us all.

Win/Win agreements are tremendously liberating. But as the product of isolated techniques, they won't hold up. Even if you set them up in the beginning, there is no way to maintain them without personal integrity and a relationship of trust.

A true Win/Win agreement is the product of the paradigm, the character, and the relationships out of which it grows. In that context, it defines and directs the interdependent interaction for which it was created.


Win/Win can only survive in an organization when the systems support it. If you talk Win/Win but reward Win/Lose, you've got a losing program on your hands.

You basically get what you reward. If you want to achieve the goals and reflect the values in your mission statement, then you need to align the reward system with these goals and values. If it isn't aligned systemically, you won't be walking your talk. You'll be in the situation of the manager I mentioned earlier who talked cooperation but practiced competition by creating a "Race to Bermuda" contest.

I worked for several years with a very large real estate organization in the Middle West. My first experience with this organization was at a large sales rally where over 800 sales associates gathered for the annual reward program. It was a psych-up cheerleading session, complete with high school bands and a great deal of frenzied screaming.

Out of the 800 people there, around forty received awards for top performance, such as "Most Sales," "Greatest Volume," "Highest Earned Commissions," and "Most Listings." There was a lot of hoopla-excitement, cheering, applause-around the presentation of these awards. There was no doubt that those forty people had won; but there was also the underlying awareness that 760 people had lost.

We immediately began educational and organizational development work to align the systems and structures of the organization toward the Win/Win paradigm. We involved people at a grass roots level to develop the kinds of systems that would motivate them. We also encouraged them to cooperate and synergize with each other so that as many as possible could achieve the desired results of their individually tailored performance agreements.

At the next rally one year later, there were over 1,000 sales associates present, and about 800 of them received awards. There were a few individual winners based on comparisons, but the program primarily focused on people achieving self-selected performance objectives and on groups achieving team objectives. There was no need to bring in the high school bands to artificially contrive the fanfare, the cheerleading, and the psych up. There was tremendous natural interest and excitement because people could share in each other's happiness, and teams of sales associates could experience rewards together, including a vacation trip for the entire office.

The remarkable thing was that almost all of the 800 who received the awards that year had produced as much per person in terms of volume and profit as the previous year's forty. The spirit of Win/Win had significantly increased the number of golden eggs and had fed the goose as well, releasing enormous human energy and talent. The resulting synergy was astounding to almost everyone involved....

Table of Contents

The Seven Habits -- An Overview


Habit 1 Be Proactive
Principles of Personal Vision
Habit 2 Begin with the End in Mind
Principles of Personal Leadership
Habit 3 Put First Things First
Principles of Personal Management


Paradigms of Interdependence

Habit 4 Think Win/Win
Principles of Interpersonal Leadership
Habit 5 Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Principles of Empathic Communication
Habit 6 Synergize
Principles of Creative Cooperation

Part Four: RENEWAL

Habit 7 Sharpen the Saw
Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal

Inside-Out Again

Appendix A: Possible Perceptions Flowing out of Various Centers

Appendix B: A Quadrant II Day at the Office

Problem/Opportunity Index


What People are Saying About This

Skip LeFauve

Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People played a major role in the development of Saturn's operating systems and philosophy. Our commitment to quality and to our customers has its roots in The 7 Habits.

John Pepper

I've never known any teacher or mentor on improving personal effectiveness to generate such an overwhelmingly positive reaction....This book captures beautifully Stephen's philosophy of principles. I think anyone reading it will quickly understand the enormous reaction I and others have had to Dr. Covey's teachings.

Warren Bennis

Stephen Covey has written a remarkable book about the human condition, so elegantly written, so understanding of our embedded concerns, so useful for our organizational and personal lives, that it's going to be my gift to everyone I know.

Ken M. Radziwanowski

Picture someone going through the best experience they've ever had in terms of training—that's what they say. People credit The 7 Habits with changing their lives, with getting back on track personally and professionally.

Customer Reviews

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Irresistible Minature Edition Series) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
kdash More than 1 year ago
I wanted a audio book that would motivate and encourage me and this did just that! I would recommend it to any person who either needs a kickstart or a boost!
Anonymous 11 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was recently shopping online for the 7 Habits books for my children. I found these and was pleasantly surprised by what looked like an extremely good deal on your website so I placed an order. The books arrived in a timely fashion. What I did not realize when I place the order is that these weren't the actual books, they were watch pocket-sized miniatures containing only extremely limited excerpts from the original text. Discovering this, I planned to send them back. When I looked at my sales receipt I noticed what I had actually been charged. The books were $4.95 each and I ordered 4 of them for about $20. The shipping and handling charge was $24.45. These are TINY books. There was an additional $1.81 tax for a grand total of $46.06. I recognize that I should've been more vigilant, but I also recognize that when dealing with a respected company, such as yours, a customer shouldn't be placed in such a position and there should be a reasonable course for resolution. Needless to say, this was a "LOSE/WIN" situation. I am deeply disappointed.
Soultalk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have read this book numerous times and come away convicted to work harder at being more effective every time I read it. I think that the content and principles in this book are, for the most part, spot on and very helpful. The deficit that this book carries is that these are seven habits for a very specific personality group and mindset. If you are a flighty, creative type save yourself the frustration of trying to cram yourself into a different shaped mold. Read it once, figure out a personal application, and then turn it into paper mache.
jeaneva on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In these days, a lot of people are wondering what Mormons' religious beliefs lead to as a philosophy of life. Read Covey. Wholesome, motivating, inspiring.
ezwicky on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Much of the advice is good. Unfortunately it is couched in sexist, dated, annoying terms that make me want to fling the book at the author's head, even when I agree with him. Which I don't, always; some of this also is personality-dependent, and isn't going to work for my style. The author appears to believe that's my fault.
bhwong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got this book about 15 years ago as a gift from a publisher, lend it to a friend who lost it and brought a new copy for me. Still, I didn't touch it until I am searching for important answers to life this year.In summary, the author believes that to be truly effective, our center of life must be based on timeless principles, because money, church, friends, family, work, pleasure or even self are inconsistent and unreliable. If you depend on these insecured sources as your center, you will end up reacting according to their ever changing action upon you. You feel good only when these factors are in good conditions.In time management, there are quadrants:1. Important and Urgent (Deadline-driven projects)2. Important but Not Urgent (Relationship building)3. Not Important but Urgent (Phone calls)4. Not Important and Not Urgent (Pleasant activities)We always end up busy in Quadrant 1 and 3 because these are urgents. Yet to be truly effective, we need to invest time in the important Quadrant 2 activities. In fact, by investing in Quadrant 2, we are preparing ourselves to handle future Quadrant 1 activities. For example, if we invest in building up our knowledge and upgrading our skills (Quadrant 2 activities), we can avoid making ignorance mistakes that will lead us into handling Quadrant 1 activities such as correcting those mistakes.The author gave a very good example :-Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree and asked him "What are you doing? You look exhausted!". He replied "Can't you see? I'm sawing down this tree for over five hours!". You suggested him to take a break and sharpen that saw, but he replied "I don't have time to sharpen the saw, I'm too busy sawing!"Sharpening the saw is Quadrant 2 activity that will prepare you to work more effectively in sawing down that tree, which is a Quadrant 1 activity.
butterkidsmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite non-fiction books
aarondesk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great book on how to live the good life. The principles really get to the heart of the human experience and go beyond quick and easy measures to increase one's productivity. If you want to maintain a happy, peaceful balanced life in an increasingly chaotic world, then this book is for you.
aethercowboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't normally read self-help books, partly because I didn't need any help, but after I picked up The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and read through it, I realized it wasn't all just self-help.In Seven Habits, Covey doesn't give a feel-good panacea for all your troubles. Instead, he introduces habits that you must develop if you want to improve your interpersonal skills.The habits themselves make sense, but applying them to your daily life is the challenge. Though, if you're applying them just to be more effective, and not to actually be a better person, you're missing the point.Recommended for business managers and others who wish to make people feel good in their presence.
Fluffyblue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent book which really makes you feel positive and like you can become a better, more organised and happier person.
all4metals on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What can I say. This is the classic book on leading an effective life.
LTW on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change was a groundbreaker when it was first published in 1990, and it continues to be a business bestseller with more than 10 million copies sold. Stephen Covey, an internationally respected leadership authority, realizes that true success encompasses a balance of personal and professional effectiveness, so this book is a manual for performing better in both arenas. His anecdotes are as frequently from family situations as from business challenges. Before you can adopt the seven habits, you'll need to accomplish what Covey calls a "paradigm shift"--a change in perception and interpretation of how the world works. Covey takes you through this change, which affects how you perceive and act regarding productivity, time management, positive thinking, developing your "proactive muscles" (acting with initiative rather than reacting), and much more.
PghDragonMan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The best time management system and certainly the most publicized. There's no big secret in what Covey has to say, it's how he says it that makes it worth while.
AlexTheHunn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a highly effective book for getting your life turned around and on a path toward professional and personal success. This is certainly no a cure-all; no promised panacea here. You have to make a sincere and sustained effort. You have to apply what Covey teaches. But even failed attempts, even imperfect applications should result in improvement.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intriguing read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read. Forces you to question your position in life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book gave me some great insight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All the pages of the Fireside Edition has turned yellow, as it was printed on low quality paper, while the Barnes and Noble receipt, from 9/30/1994 remains pearly white. The book is base upon religion, which is finally mentioned, in the last page of the last chapter, quite deceptive, from someone advocating living a Principle-Centered paradigm. Bought this book, from a Barnes and Noble Book store, eon ago, and left it unread, until a recent de-cluttering initiiative. Better late than never.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
                    GREAT: I enjoyed the book.I believe it is very important think to have read at the some point in my life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book contains a few useful recommendations. The only problem is that if you’re not naturally inclined to behave the way “highly effective people” do, it’s going to be really difficult to use the author’s advice. There’s one book that’s been recently published, Secret Techniques for Controlling Sadness, Anger, Fear, Anxiety, and Other Emotions by Vlad Koros, and it teaches how to adjust any character traits that don’t let you behave the way you want or need. In my opinion, these two book work very well together, if you’re serious about changing your habits for better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago