Summary of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Rating

10

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Applicable

Recommendation

Stephen R. Covey repackages ancient wisdom, modern psychology and 20th century science and wraps the mix in a distinctively American can-do program of easy-looking steps calling mostly for self-discipline. The result is a worthwhile manual for self-improvement – although some readers may find the prescriptions easier to agree with than to act upon.

About the Author

The late Stephen R. Covey was vice-chairman of Franklin Covey Co., and taught Principle-Centered Living and Principle-Centered Leadership. Covey founded the Covey Leadership Center. He wrote several bestsellers, including  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People which has become a business classic.  

 

Summary

Seven Habits

The seven habits of highly effective people are:

  1. They take initiative. “Be proactive.”
  2. They focus on goals. “Begin with the end in mind.”
  3. They set priorities. “Put first things first.”
  4. They only win when others win. “Think win/win.”
  5. They communicate. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
  6. They cooperate. “Synergize.”
  7. They reflect on and repair their deficiencies. “Sharpen the saw.”

Much of the business success literature of recent decades focused on developing a good personality. This emphasis is misplaced. Developing a sound character is more important and more productive. Your personality can emerge naturally when your character is rooted in and formed by positive principles. Forcing yourself to display a personality that is inconsistent with your character is like wearing a mask. It is deceptive, manipulative and ultimately destructive.

To develop a sound character, you need a sound paradigm, a solid new way of seeing things. Before the theory of germs established a new paradigm, for example, surgeons didn’t wash their hands. When patients ...


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Comment on this summary

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    T. C. 3 weeks ago
    I like how this book was summarized. Great job @Abstract! :)
  • Avatar
    S. A. 2 months ago
    Nice summary
  • Avatar
    A. M. 7 months ago
    Such a good summary
  • Avatar
    A. M. 7 months ago
    Such a good summary ?
  • Avatar
    V. C. 1 year ago
    Perfect and meaningful.
  • Avatar
    V. C. 1 year ago
    So meaningful and great.
  • Avatar
    C. H. 1 year ago
    Great
  • Avatar
    d. v. 1 year ago
    good
  • Avatar
    S. J. 1 year ago
    perfect!!!
  • Avatar
    S. J. 1 year ago
    perfect!!!
  • Avatar
    J. K. 1 year ago
    Insightful, inspirational, I can't wait to get hold of the book!
  • Avatar
    A. 1 year ago
    What a good read! I have learnt that it's imperative to change myself first. Once this is done, changing the world becomes a possible feat. I dare to live in the realm of the possible. I can achieve whatever good thing i desire. All because i am willing to make it happen. It is possible. Thank you for this summary.
  • Avatar
    J. P. 2 years ago
    Covey’s work has become one of my favorite and most impactful annual reading traditions. His focus on character rather than a personality ethic was quite refreshing and really assists the reader in connecting with a model of principle-based living.
  • Avatar
    A. 2 years ago
    Seems like a very interesting book, can't wait to read it
  • Avatar
    A. 2 years ago
    Seems like a very interesting book, can't wait to read it
  • Avatar
    A. 2 years ago
    Seems like a very interesting book, can't wait to read it
  • Avatar
    K. A. 2 years ago
    Looks very interesting and insightful
  • Avatar
    K. K. 2 years ago
    Looks interesting... I'm going to read :-)
  • Avatar
    K. K. 2 years ago
    Looks interesting... I'm going to read :-)
  • Avatar
    M. W. 2 years ago
    You can read it over and over again :-)
  • Avatar
    M. W. 2 years ago
    You can read it over and over again :-)
  • Avatar
    M. W. 2 years ago
    You can read it over and over again :-)
  • Avatar
    B. B. 2 years ago
    Wish I read this book back in high school
  • Avatar
    M. H. 2 years ago
    interesting and important tips
  • Avatar
    R. C. 2 years ago
    Interesting topics
  • Avatar
    A. 2 years ago
    Interesting and its a great book.
  • Avatar
    A. 2 years ago
    Love this book!
  • Avatar
    L. S. 2 years ago
    An all-time favourite
  • Avatar
    D. D. 2 years ago
    My mentor and friend told me about this book. I'm sharpening the saw Dave!
  • Avatar
    D. D. 2 years ago
    My mentor and friend told me about this book. I'm sharpening the saw Dave!
  • Avatar
    D. D. 2 years ago
    My mentor and friend told me about this book. I'm sharpening the saw Dave!
  • Avatar
    D. D. 2 years ago
    My mentor and friend told me about this book. I'm sharpening the saw Dave!
  • Avatar
    M. P. 2 years ago
    Great summary
  • Avatar
    S. P. 2 years ago
    Do anyone have audiobook of this? If yes, share me at sanket.patro@gmail.com
    • Avatar
      PRINCE ALEC DOUGLAS GAISIE 2 years ago
      Go to covey site and you would find audio books and you can learn how to have access.
  • Avatar
    S. H. 2 years ago
    Can't wait to read the book itself.
  • Avatar
    T. C. 2 years ago
    Good read and I am good at reading. thank a lot .
  • Avatar
    O. J. 2 years ago
    Inspiring! i guess i will have to get this book now.
  • Avatar
    O. J. 2 years ago
    Inspiring! i guess i will have to get this book now.
  • Avatar
    O. J. 2 years ago
    Inspiring! i guess i will have to get this book now.
  • Avatar
    M. W. 2 years ago
    Great summary
  • Avatar
    S. S. 2 years ago
    I have heard so many references to this book & never actually read it. The summary really gives me a nice chunk of the meaningfulness of this book. I see why it's quoted so often, much like the Bible.
  • Avatar
    P. G. 2 years ago
    I read the full book more than 20 years ago and it really changed my understanding and perspective of things around me.
  • Avatar
    S. C. 2 years ago
    It's great
  • Avatar
    T. N. 2 years ago
    A great read. Life changing for those ready for a change. Highly Inspiring.
  • Avatar
    J. M. 2 years ago
    Great I like reading it always
  • Avatar
    A. C. 2 years ago
    Definitely one of my fave reads, I highly recommend!
  • Avatar
    C. K. 2 years ago
    A good read!
  • Avatar
    J. F. 2 years ago
    Always good to review!
  • Avatar
    B. M. 2 years ago
    Fantastic book to revisit every few years. Great listen on Audible at 2X speed too!
  • Avatar
    D. Z. 3 years ago
    Let's do it!
  • Avatar
    D. Z. 3 years ago
    Let's do it!
  • Avatar
    V. L. 3 years ago
    Brilliant. Great advice.
  • Avatar
    J. C. 3 years ago
    Always great advice to keep in mind!
  • Avatar
    N. B. 3 years ago
    Great read and timeless advice
  • Avatar
    D. R. 3 years ago
    Such a great book! Well-spent time reading this!
  • Avatar
    J. M. 3 years ago
    Brilliant read, good for personal and work habits. Every manager should encourage these habits!
  • Avatar
    J. M. 3 years ago
    Brilliant read, good for personal and work habits. Every manager should encourage these habits!
  • Avatar
    A. S. 3 years ago
    Having read the full book the summary is incredible good at picking up the key points mentioned. I would highly recommend giving this a read in full. The real life examples really help put things into perspective.
  • Avatar
    S. D. 3 years ago
    Great read, wish I had this years ago
  • Avatar
    D. G. 3 years ago
    A very good read
  • Avatar
    D. T. 3 years ago
    Very profound. A very good read.
  • Avatar
    M. L. 3 years ago
    Must read.
  • Avatar
    K. S. 3 years ago
    Great summary. A condensed version of a condensed version of personality theory and its relation to business. Highly interested in reading this book now!
  • Avatar
    G. C. 3 years ago
    Great to see high synergies between efficacy and strong values
  • Avatar
    C. H. 4 years ago
    This is a great book !
  • Avatar
    C. H. 4 years ago
    This is a great book !
  • Avatar
    T. N. 4 years ago
    Great book
  • Avatar
    G. W. 4 years ago
    Excellent. I just bought the book.
  • Avatar
    C. J. 4 years ago
    Just started reading this ... I'll post another comment later.
  • Avatar
    M. E. 4 years ago
    Fantastic
  • Avatar
    D. S. 4 years ago
    great read. Words of live by for sure.
  • Avatar
    N. K. 4 years ago
    Inspiring
  • Avatar
    X. V. 4 years ago
    let's read it
  • Avatar
    L. Y. 4 years ago
    it seems worth reading the whole book.
  • Avatar
    A. C. 4 years ago
    Based on the summary, it seems to strike a sensible balance between being specific and generalising to be useful for a variety of people and a variety of situations.
  • Avatar
    B. N. 4 years ago
    Inspiring!
  • Avatar
    B. N. 4 years ago
    Inspiring!
  • Avatar
    D. L. 4 years ago
    Good read
  • Avatar
    N. L. 4 years ago
    Great summary
  • Avatar
    M. O. 4 years ago
    Enjoyed reading - a great summary
  • Avatar
    J. M. 4 years ago
    It is always good to read this again!
  • Avatar
    K. W. 4 years ago
    Fantastic summary.
  • Avatar
    A. C. 5 years ago
    great book and great summary. this website is worth every penny for the sub :)
  • Avatar
    R. S. 5 years ago
    Fantastic summary. I need to read the entire book.
  • Avatar
    D. E. 5 years ago
    Looks interesting...its on the list.
  • Avatar
    A. H. 5 years ago
    I have ordered the full book for this, summary was a great read
  • Avatar
    W. S. 5 years ago
    Limi
  • Avatar
    L. M. 5 years ago
    I read the whole book 15 years ago. I wish I'd just read this version and saved myself a couple of weeks of night time reading.
  • Avatar
    J. V. 5 years ago
    Great book. Highly recommended!
  • Avatar
    D. G. 5 years ago
    It was inspiring and a boost to my confidence.
  • Avatar
    J. S. 5 years ago
    I have had this book for several years. It was very refreshing to  use the abstract to refresh my memory on the concepts.
  • Avatar
    N. d. 5 years ago
    Highly recommended!
    Excellent summary.
  • Avatar
    t. d. 5 years ago
    Great book
  • Avatar
    M. A. 6 years ago
    This was a great read. A well written summary for sure.
  • Avatar
    G. D. 6 years ago
    Great summary.
    I need to read whole book.
  • Avatar
    s. m. 6 years ago
    Excellent summary. Highly recommended.
  • Avatar
    S. B. 6 years ago
    " Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." This is something we all need to work! Very imformative!
  • Avatar
    J. A. 7 years ago
    Good summary. I recommend the whole book.
  • Avatar
    S. S. 7 years ago
    Great summary of the book. I loved this quote "This is the single most important investment we can ever make in life — investment in ourselves,in the only instrument we have with which to deal with life and to contribute.”
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    J. S. 7 years ago
    simple common sense messages, not always common practice. Whilst this book was first published ages ago it remains in the best seller lists as its content is timeless. The 8th habit book which arrived much later does not deserve a whole book
  • Avatar
    T. S. 7 years ago
    Excellent summary of the book and also brings in all essentials in the book in to the summary.
  • Avatar
    L. C. 7 years ago
    Great article! Better start to focus on building up character, not personality!!
  • Avatar
    C. F. 7 years ago
    Hello Roy! I am the dedicated Learning Consultant assigned to Walgreens and in looking at your account, I have an idea why you could not download our content. It appears that your account was inactive but it has been reactivated. I will send you a personal email to ensure that you are able to access now.

  • Avatar
    R. W. 7 years ago
    Thank you. I do not see a pdf symbol to click on. I see a green button, "Get the full summary". I click on that and it takes me to a subscription page.
  • Avatar
    R. W. 7 years ago
    I also am unable to read this summary and others.
    • Avatar
      Pat Brigger 7 years ago
      Dear Roy,

      I would be glad to help. Are you getting an error message? When you click on the PDF symbol above, this will open a new tab in your browser and display the summary.
  • Avatar
    R. C. 7 years ago
    i am not able to see the summary!!!
    • Avatar
      Erica Rauzin 7 years ago
      Dear Mr. Chang,

      I sure there is a fast technical fix for this problem, but I'm an editor and not much of a technician. However, I am working on Saturday night and I am glad to help you. If you will send your email address to me at erica.rauzin@getabstract.com, I will email the pdf of this abstract to you. Erica Rauzin, Managing Editor
  • Avatar
    R. M. 7 years ago
    I read the great book, but unfortunately I can't find time to read it once again. But I summarize it through this abstract & focus on required chapters.
  • Avatar
    M. M. 7 years ago
    a great abstract for a young person looking to zero in on principles of spiritual, professional, and personal growth.
  • Avatar
    G. S. 8 years ago
    A fantastic summary of a Covey master work. The best way to learn these habits is to live and teach them!
  • Avatar
    J. W. 8 years ago
    Great summary, opened my eyes to a great book which I rejected so far because of my dislike of self help books.