Book review “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey

Subject: Literature
Pages: 4
Words: 916
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College


This manuscript is the single most popular leadership and management book that has ever been published in modern times. The main maxim in the book’s caption is that it is dedicated to people’s well-being. Rather than embarking upon specific difficulties or making outward changes to procedures and schemes, Covey’s methods of leadership and management in this book help people focus on improving themselves beside their relations with others. The book was initially published in the year 1989, but the most-recent publication dates back to the year 2004 (Covey 12). The book expounds on valuable sets of administrative philosophies, which are meant to assist people change individually as well as professionally, and subsequently become operational.

Stephen Covey defines three distinctive phases of personal development that people progress through as they advance in the seven habits. The first phase is dependence. According to Covey, all people begin at this phase. At this phase, people depend upon others to be effective. In addition, Covey articulates that deprived of personal growth people would remain at this phase. The second phase is independence. Covey articulates that throughout the course of individual growth, people become more autonomous and take charge of their activities, yet they are not completely efficient. The third and last phase is interdependence. According to Covey, during this phase people develop the understanding that even if they are independent, they nonetheless require other folks to realize their goals. For the duration of the interdependence phase, people embrace the understanding of teamwork for better outcomes in their personal environment, places of work and social settings (Covey 46). Covey thought out these habits hard enough, and this is the reason they have become extremely prevalent in the managing domain.

The “Seven Habits” in Brief

Habit 1: “Be proactive”

Covey describes this habit, as the capacity to govern one’s surroundings, rather than have the habit regulate them as is routinely the case. Being proactive means having the freedom and choice, and the authority to decide, respond to inducement and circumstances besides the surroundings.

Habit 2: “Begin With the End in Mind”

Stephen Covey describes this as the practice of own leadership. It means the ability to direct oneself towards what one considers his or her goals. By acquiring the habit of focusing on pertinent activities, an individual can develop a course of action to avoid interruptions and become extra industrious and effective.

Habit 3: “Put First Things First”

Stephen Covey describes this habit of individual management as concerning consolidating and realizing actions in line with the goals recognized in habit two. Covey articulates that the second habit is the most important or conceptual creation, while habit number three is the succeeding or bodily conception.

Habit 4: “Think Win-Win”

Covey describes this habit as the one focused on interpersonal management. According to Covey, this habit is essential because accomplishments are principally reliant on mutual strength of character with other people. Covey articulates that the habit “Think Win-Win” is grounded on the notion that there are sufficient resources for everybody, and that accomplishments follow a team approach more logically than the conflicts of the win-lose situation.

Habit 5: “Seek First To Understand and Then to Be Understood”

This habit as developed by Covey is one of the grand aphorisms of the contemporary era. Covey describes this habit as a habit of communication. In his view, the idea in this habit is extremely authoritative. Covey serves to clarify this in his modest correspondence that demands that a person must first diagnose a situation before prescribing a solution. This habit is simple, operative, and vital for evolving and upholding positive associations in all facets of life.

Habit 6: “Synergize”

Covey articulates this habit as the habit of inspired teamwork. The philosophy in this habit is that the whole is better than the summation of its constituents, which indirectly puts down the challenge to understand the moral as well as the potential in other people’s input or efforts.

Habit 7: “Sharpen the Saw”

Covey expresses this practice as self-regeneration, as it essentially borders the other six habits, empowering and inspiring them to materialize and develop. Covey construes the self into four aspects, the pious, the psychological, the bodily, the social and the expressive, all which require nourishing and developing.

Application of the Seven Habits in Law Enforcement

An effective agency is driven by the strong points of individuals within. Unfortunately, many individuals in many organizations such as the law enforcement, fail to be effective as a result of everyday disturbances, incompatible priorities, uncertain goals, deprived communication, in addition to lack of confidence. These and other life aspects may force law enforcement authorities to stress and lose their motivation.

The seven habits can be applied to support law enforcement authorities in becoming more effective. The seven habits when applied to law enforcement facilitate the individuals in these agencies to be resourceful as well as a responsible group. In addition, the seven habits can help law enforcement officers overhaul their mission, foresight, morals, balance important professional and their own priorities, as well as develop interactive communications. The seven habits can also help in leveraging creative teamwork, encouraging dependence, and collaboration in the agency as well as within the society. Finally, the seven habits can be applied to achieve and maintain emotional, psychological and physical well-being. The seven habits have been tested and proven as valid management and leadership tools that improve organization’s effectiveness. Therefore, their application to the law enforcement agency in question will lead to positive outcomes.

Work Cited

Covey, Stephen R. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic. New York: Free Press, 2004. Print.