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Covey's 7 Habits

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Seven Habits

Summary of Covey's 7 Habits. Abstract

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Stephen Covey

Steven Covey's 7 Habits (7H) model is a philosophy that is applicable to our personal, social as well as our working life. However the 7H framework is highly applicable for leaders and managers. According to Covey, our paradigms will affect how we interact with others, which in turn will affect how they interact with us. So, Covey argues, any effective self-help program must begin with an "inside-out" approach, rather than looking at our problems as "being out there" (an outside-in approach). We must start by examining our own character, paradigms, and motives.


The Habits of Covey are:

  1. Be proactive. This is the ability to control one's environment, rather than have it control you, as is so often the case. Managers need to control their own environment, using self-determination and the power to respond to various circumstances.
  2. Begin with the end in mind. This means that the manager needs to be able to see the desired outcome and concentrate on activities which help in achieving that end.
  3. Put first things first. Managers need to personally manage themselves and implement activities which aim to achieve the second habit – looking to the desired outcome. Covey says that habit 2. is the first, or mental creation; habit 3 is the second, or physical creation.
  4. Think win-win. This is the most important aspect of interpersonal leadership because most achievements are based on cooperative effort, therefore the aim needs to be win–win solutions for all.
  5. Seek first to understand and then to be understood. By developing and maintaining positive relationships through good communications, the manager can be understood, and can understand the subordinates.
  6. Synergize. This is the habit of creative cooperation - the principle that collaboration often achieves more than could be achieved by individuals working independently towards attaining a purpose.
  7. Sharpen the saw. Learning from previous experience and encouraging others to do the same. Covey sees development as one of the most important aspects in being able to cope with challenges and aspire to higher levels of ability.

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Compare with the Seven Habits: Seven Surprises  |  PAEI model  |  Change Management  |  SMART  |  Path-Goal  |  Leadership Continuum  |  Theory X Theory Y  |  4 Dimensions of Relational Work  |  Results-Based Leadership  |  Result Oriented Management  |  Leadership Styles

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