The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Posted by jack_miller | Published a year ago

With 9713 ratings

By: Stephen R. Covey and Simon & Schuster Audio

Purchased At: Or $6.41 to buy

Stephen R. Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has been a top seller for the simple reason that it ignores trends and pop psychology for proven principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. Celebrating its 15th year of helping people solve personal and professional problems, this special anniversary edition includes a new foreword and afterword written by Covey that explore whether the 7 Habits are still relevant and answer some of the most common questions he has received over the past 15 years.

This audio edition is the first ever unabridged recording of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

I finally decided to read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I had purchased it some time ago and recently determined that now was the time to read this self-help classic. What a COLOSSAL disappointment! I am amazed that this mediocrity is so popular. I found it to be little more than 1980s managerial balloon juice.

From “paradigm shift,” to “think Win/Win,” to (ugh) “synergy,” there is no empty self-help cliché left unturned. I should have stopped reading the first time I saw the word “synergy.” (I get countless “business proposals” in my email every day and, if I bother to skim any of them at all, I delete them as soon as the word “synergy” makes an appearance.) No word represents the trite emptiness of this book better than “synergy” – except maybe the verb form of the word: “synergize,” or the adjective “synergistic,” or the adverb “synergistically.” But they are all here. (The author also repeatedly refers to “things that are learned” as “learnings.”)

The book doesn’t even try to live up to its title. There is no argument at all to support the idea that these are seven actual habits that real people have used anywhere in the world to achieve real success. In fact, these seven so-called habits appear to be nothing more than seven things that the author thinks are really good ideas, with weird examples of how they helped him deal with his kid being bad at baseball and also helped his kid learn the value of cleaning up the yard. The book’s title doesn’t match the book itself, but then no one would spend their money on a book called, “The Seven Things Some Random Guy Thinks are Really Nifty-Keen.”

Here’s some useful self-help/time management advice for you: do not waste your precious time with this book. There are dozens and dozens, if not hundreds, of better self-help books out there. Synergize your win/win paradigm shifts with some of those.

- brysen_hall

Bought this book for my class, and it was painful to read. Reading the book is like reading Instagram inspirational posts. Don’t really have to use your brain when you read it because basically the author is just going circle and repeating himself while making up new words to make it seem fancy. His argument is very poorly supported. The 7 habits mentioned are what HE THINKS effective people have. He even used bible character to support his points of view, so....Good for people who are lost and need directions. But if you are intelligent, you probably already knew most of the things the author says.

- alexander_gonzales

I rarely if ever leave reviews on purchases, but I felt the need to share this one. I've spent the past several years trying to figure out what I was doing wrong when it came to happiness. I had every reason to be happy, but yet felt this deep hollowness inside. I've tried all the positive thinking quick fixes, meditation, law of attraction, etc. Nothing seemed to click or "cure" this aching inside. It wasn't until I read the 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, that the fog finally lifted. This book taught me why all those quick fixes don't work and how my happiness depended on my own internal work and efforts. I encourage anyone who is struggle with a similar situation or everyone for that matter to read this book. It'll change your perspective on life!

- andrew_flores

I don't understand the popularity of this book. It is in corporate-eze and makes little sense. The popularity of these books that repackage common sense and classism makes me queasy. Act compassionately and die knowing you didn't fleece your neighbors. It really is that simple.

- camille_gomez

This is, hands down, one of the best and most powerful books I've ever read in my life. I have recommended it to countless people. The fact that you're seeking it out says volumes about your level of self-awareness as it is and this book builds on that. Very seldom do books really make me get involved when I read them, but this book made me break out my highlighter and notepad. There was so much good stuff I just had to take notes I could quickly reference. You know how some books make you say things out loud? You'll read something and say, "YES! EXACTLY!" or read something profound and just sit dumbfounded, going "Wow," and you have to take a moment to reflect on it? This book is full of moments like that.

There is a lot of practical stuff in here, too. Challenges for you. Ways you can start to shift your thinking by taking an emotional inventory of your life and what you're doing/feeling every day. Just writing about it makes me want to go back and read it again. If you're here looking for a book that will help you harness that little spark inside of you that's saying, "You can be better" then this book is it. You're not an animal. Life doesn't condition you like a dog. This book is about the untouchable part of your human spirit that no one besides you controls. This book is about carrying sunny weather with you where ever you go, learning how much a proactive attitude benefits you, and really how sad and wasteful it is to walk through life allowing things to ruin your day. Things don't ruin your day. YOU ruin your day. You are always in control.

Seriously, read this book. You won't regret it.

- greysen_edwards

This is a life changing book and the best habit forming book. You must really have patience and concentration to read this book and to understand it completely.


Author Stephen R Covey explain about how we see the world that is our paradigm.

And how is change in our paradigm can lead to a change in our positive mental attitude(PMA) and human and Public Relationship.

Author gives many stories to explain the concept very clearly.

He tells that we need to live a life of integrity, to contribute & make a difference in the world and raise to the greatness that lies within each one of us.

The Seven Habits are
1.Be Proactive.
2. Begin with the end in mind.
3. ‎Put First Things First.
4. ‎Think win win.
5. ‎First seek to understand, then to be understood.
6. ‎Synergize.
7. ‎Sharpen the saw.

Be Proactive:

It is about taking responsibility and initiatives
I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.

Begin with the end in mind:

It means we need to have a goal for everything. It is a sort of vision. How we wish to see in every aspect of our life like with spouse, family,money,work,friend pleasure, enemy.

Put First Things First:
Author divides our entire time into 4 quadrants.
Important and urgent-Q1
Important and not urgent-Q2
Not important and urgent-Q3
Not important and not urgent-Q4.

Important are goals kept in the Habit 2.

Think win win

Author tells in every situation we need to think about the benefit of our self and others. how can a outcome be useful to all the partiers. It's innovative thinking.

First seek to understand, then to be understood:

Stephen presses on the issue that first we need to understand others their situation, feelings and thoughts then directly telling how we feel or what is our decision directly.

Most important of all the habits. It's most difficult to cultivate.


It means a whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
The essence of synergy is to value differences- to respect them,to build on strengths & to compensate for weakness.
Synergies everywhere in the nature.

Sharpen the saw.

It deals with the four aspects of life.
Physical, mental, social/emotional, spiritual.
It's about preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have.

It's a quadrant 2 activity.

Thank you.

- jenna_bennet

I didn't like this book. I read it as an 18 year old medical student. I had so much on my plate at the time, that going by the title, i expected it to make my life easier.

Wrong! It appears to be (on the surface) a book on efficiency (which is what i read it for). I was desperately looking for short term, rapid solutions to my problems.

This book made me trawl through 400 pages of disjointed, badly written pseudo-science, philosophy & religion. Far from meeting my needs... it was positively misleading. It did not do, what it said on the cover. It ought to be reported to trading standards, for false advertising.

It should not be recommended to young people, who require 'substance', and help, at trying times in their lives.

The book, is a false beacon... and a waste of time. It may, or may not be well-intended... But for me, Covey is a false prophet, making money off naieve young people's problems & anxieties.

It could've been summarised in 10 pages... Am not impressed... and am actually bitterly disappointed.

- caylee_morgan

You sent me dummy copy. It's not an original version. It looks dull and old book. You can see the difference in quality of pages.

- kayden_ross

Some interesting suggestions for sure, I found it a bit boring to be fair and too much full of biblical and religious references

- calliope_gonzales

I have just completed the most popular and widely-recognized self-help book ever written. Its impact and cultural relevance is real; even non-readers acknowledge it after a glance at its cover.

To be frank, I was not blown away by this book. Yes, there are tidbits of wisdom, but they are scattered sparingly in a seamless array of personal anecdotes, mixed with lengthy phrases in no way aiding what was originally a bald point.

I recovered from the book two very important points which could bring value to most intellectuals: a potential new time-management schedule built on a weekly framework which I will definitely try! The second stresses the essence of self-improvement through continuous reading to live life in crescendo as Mr. Covey so magnificently put it.

I did find the 7 habits to be applicable and relatable. I saw my own values and principles in most of them. Maybe I just did not enjoy the dry writing style and the over-usage of anecdotes. I was maybe hoping for more deep-diving in philosophical which ironically begins to appear at the end of the book in the Final Interview with the author. Overall, I give it 3 stars.

- dulce_gutierrez

Motivational books and these self-help related material are never something that worked with me when I seek inspiration or help or something to resonate with.

This book, however; even if I needed to 'endure' an unconvincing start, was revolutionary in helping me rewrite my life, help find purpose and deal with my mental health issues also.

I would summerise this book as: ''applied, logical wisdom'.

- cesar_hernandez

This book has been life changing!

I've seen it a few times but hesitate as I thought it would be another self-help rubbish. After reading an abstract of it I was very impressed and decided to buy it.

I was going through some personal difficulties in my personal and professional life and this book has changed my whole outlook on life. The reason 7 Habits is different from all other self-help books is that instead of focusing on the outside e.g. negotiating skills or building your reputation it delves deep into your core. The book helps you realize how we as human beings can change how we react, feel and see the world. It helps you understand what really is important to you in life. The book shows you how to be a pro-active person who lives in harmony with others. There really is soo much I've taken away from this book that this review won't do it justice!

This book is still on my bedside table, i refer to it and if I have children I will pass these book onto them!

This book gives a set of rules on how to live a productive, harmonious and happy life- to me this book is a bible!

- sonny_kim

Regarding the character ethic and the personality ethic - 200 years ago we mainly lived in villages so you knew a few people for a lifetime so you couldn’t get away with false impressions so investing in your character was the right thing to do. However 100 years ago people started travelling a lot more and meeting a lot of people for much shorter periods of time hence the rise of the short term personality “deceptions” - personality ethic. Now with the global Internet and social media we are going back more to a village mentality where the world is a village because so much is known about so many people via Feedback on the Internet and so we are going back to the importance of truth about our characters.

- shepherd_long

Absolutely love this book, so happy I bought it. There are hundreds of books with similar messages out there now but this is one which i'll continue to read and revisit. The messages relate to all aspects of life with relatable content and stories. I have started to act on some of the principles straight away with immediate results

- ishaan_wilson

This book suggests a journey to become effective people that I recommend everyone to go through. As one reads through it, a clear vision forms: build your private victory by being proactive, have a set of values and principles that deeply touch who you are and only after that build synergy with the people around you by listening with the intent to understand first and then thinking Win-Win. Finally, keep practicing the entire journey again and again.

- zechariah_baker

The reason for purchasing the audio version was so that I could focus on actually absorbing Stephen Covey's explanation of what makes people "effective" - in my car on the way to/from work, away from the hustle and bustle of life.

One of the best decisions of my life (only reason for 4 stars is that it only plays on a single track so bit trickey if you really want to focus on a specific habit which is 25 minutes into track 1).

The initial introduction creates the foundation for delivering the content by explaining that a habit is an overlap of knowledge, skillset and attitude. Therefore to develop a habit, one must know what to do (knowledge), how to do it (skillset) and why/want to do it (attitude). He also explains the journey that we must ensue to become effective, learning to understanding our own "paradigms", developing through from being dependent on others, to being independent and then finally achieving interdependency. This journey is critical to understanding the 7 habits as they support you in each of these stages.

If you take on board what is said, truly understand it, absorb, digest and make it life changing experience, then you will start to discover, how being effective can lead to a more productive and fulfilling life.

A new, powerful way of thinking, highly recommended.

- andi_hall

An IT Director recommended that I read this book and I have been truly taken by it I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to achieve more and get more out of their lives.

This book really helps to break down what matters in life and how to organise your mindset to achieve your goals efficiently and effectively.

Given the fact that we are in the digital age this book is even more necessary as without the information in this book you will find that it can be quite easy to be come outdated by industrial age working methods.

- camila_thompson

What a book. If you have not read this book, then i highly recommend to do so. I have read so many books in my life and this is definitely on my top 5 books of all time. This will totally changed your life. The way this book is written, no one should struggle to understand it. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. You will achieve 100 times more knowledge reading this book than the price you will be paying. I wish i had read this book sooner.

- eden_hill

Fraud Seller Chandrika-A1TOCP3U6M89CD.
Low quality b/w offset printing like a leaflet.
Amazon should take care of such fraudulent practices. Amazon cannot deny their responsibility.

Moreover there is no option for returning it. Sucks.

- harlow_hughes

This book, although first published in 1989, is excellent so far! I am thoroughly enjoying it. It has been written from a rich diet: 200 years of success literature and 25 years of experience as a businessman, academic, family and marriage settings. The reason I am reading it is because it has been highly recommended by many successful people in the world currently.

- amiyah_rogers

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