The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a personal development book written by Stephen Covey. A fairly long read, this book covers in some depth 7 habits that Covey articulates to be important for the development of an individual from dependence on other to interdependence. In addition to the writing, the book also includes several exercises for people who are looking for ways to implement the habits in their own lives.
The 7 habits are:
1. Be Proactive
2. Begin with the End in Mind
3. Put First Things First
4. Think Win/Win
5. Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood
7. Sharpen the Saw
This book was just alright. I was slightly disappointed as I have had this book recommended to me by countless people so I had higher expectations from this book. I’ve started reading this book with great expectations. But while reading, I see that it was repeating itself. It is needlessly long, and telling the same things over and over again. I felt it could have been summarized to a quarter of its size easily, and the core of the book is “change your paradigm”. If you want to read this book, just find a summary and read it. It will be enough to learn the concept of this book.
There were so many anecdotes and side stories that I almost forgot the point of the book. I was totally shocked that the book was so long and winding! The point was 7 Habits, but I did not get habit #2 until chapter 34!!! The author has a very special skill with words. He can drag a concept that could be explained in 1 paragraph to 7, or a chapter that’s worth 1-2 pages to 20. And I admire him for that. If I had had the skill, high school and college would have been a breeze.
And as far as the 7 habits is concerned. Basically common sense. But I think Mr. Covey tried to make this book better than it really was by adding so many stories but unfortunately for me that did not work. If you are making a point, state your point/purpose give a story or situation to back it up and then move on. I do not need 6 stories and 8 subchapters to drive home one point.
I guess it will stay a classic (like the “how to win friends” book). But there are much better and more concise books available on this topic today, that also match modern language and terminology if you work in management or read other literature. I did give it 2-stars though; because there were parts I found useful and interesting, especially the section about writing a mission statement for oneself.
My Rating : 2/5