The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

First published in 1989 this book by Stephen R. Covey sold over 15 million copies and continues to be a guide for people who wish to take a wholistic approach to their development as a manager and a person.  Based on modelling people who have achieved their highest aspirations, Covey puts forward a model that helps people base their thinking and actions on principles and values, overcoming challenges without undermining or neglecting themselves, or their relationships.

In this book, self-evaluation is seamlessly integrated with the processes for charting your future, and developing and implementing a learning plan.  Suggestions for application, including specific practice exercises, are listed at the end of each chapter.

Covey describes his model as a paradigm shift; paradigm meaning the mental map with which we view the world, by which we interpret and respond to what we understand are our own and others’ motives, and subsequent actions and behaviours.  Covey’s principle-based paradigm focuses on an ‘objective reality’ that helps us expand beyond our personal experience which by its nature limits our world view.

Many of the tools shared in this book are included on this website.  One very practical tool on pages 180 – 181 is a template for organizing and scheduling your priorities for the week according to the specific key personal and work roles you have identified for yourself.  The use of these tools would be enhanced by the understanding of the context you would gain from reading the book itself.


The Weekly Schedule Tool:

Consider the roles you play in your in-work and outside-work lives; Outside work, for example, you may be a spouse, parent, child, volunteer. At work, you might have responsibilities as a supervisor, a team leader, a committee chair, a project manager.

Within each of those roles you will list goals which will extend over their respective timelines. For the weekly schedule, you will identify which of the goals has priority focus for the particular week, with specific related activities identified each day, within speicfic time periods earmarked.

Remember to include the goals related to your personal needs: physical, mental, spiritual and social.