One of the influential books in my life was The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey.  Though published in 1989, it’s still in print and judged to be one of the best 10 leadership books ever written.  It’s still in publication over 30 years later.

While I highly recommend that you get a copy to read, or download a copy to listen to as you commute, it’s worth sharing a summary of the habits.

As I read them, I recognize how much the habits are incorporated in my approach to leadership and culture.

  • Be proactive – Being proactive sounds a lot like “happen to the world.” Whatever happens to us, we gather ourselves and begin to happen back.
  • Begin with the end in mind – I encourage you not to drift.  I encourage you to pick a target and pursue it.  When you intend to make things happen, things tend to happen.
  • Put first things first; Think win/win – We have a teamwork mentality that focuses on everyone contributing to our success.  We teach.  We train.  We promote.
  • Seek to understand first, before making yourself understood – Listening is a key communication skill.  Assuring everyone is heard and understood puts a premium on listening and learning.
  • Learn to synergize – All of us are smarter than each of us.  Concentrating on getting the most out of knowledge and skill is synergy.
  • Sharpen the saw – Learning, reaching, and growing are critical to lifelong success.  If you aren’t getting better, you’re getting worse.

Feels like we have borrowed a great deal from the Seven Habits book.  Given his philosophy, I suspect that Covey would find it gratifying.