- Highly effective people take the initiative. They are proactive.
- They do not impose limits on themselves that prevent them from acting.
- They recognize that they have the freedom to determine the kind of character they will have.
- They may not be able to control their circumstances, but they can decide how to make the best use of those circumstances
2. Begin with the end in mind
- Effectiveness is not just a matter of reaching a goal but rather of achieving the right goal.
- Imagine ourselves sitting in the back of the room at our funeral. Imagine what people could honestly say about us based on the way we are now.
- Do we like what we hear? Is that how we want to be remembered?
- If not, we must change it. We must take hold of our life.
- We can begin by drafting a personal mission statement that outlines our goals and describes the kind of person we want to be.
3. Put first things first
- We should never let our most important priorities fall victim to the least important.
- We spend our time reacting to urgent circumstances and emergencies, and never invest the necessary effort to develop the ability to prevent emergencies in the first place.
- We confuse the important with the urgent. The urgent is easy to see. The important is harder to discern.
- We must spend more time on planning, avoiding pitfalls, developing relationships, cultivating opportunities and recharging ourselves.
- We must focus on “important but not urgent” activities.
4. Think Win/Win
- Highly effective people strive for win/win transactions.
- They try to ensure that all the parties are better off in the end.
- They know that any other kind of transaction is destructive, because it produces losers and, therefore, enemies and bad feelings, such as animosity, defeat and hostility.
- A Win-Win mindset can help us multiply our allies.
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood
- To develop win/win relationships, we must find out what the other parties want, and what winning means to them.
- We must always try to understand what the other people want and need before we begin to outline our own objectives.
- We must not object, argue or oppose what we hear.
- We must listen carefully, and think about it.
- We must try to put ourselves in the other party’s shoes.
- Effective synergy depends on communication.
- We often don’t listen, reflect and respond but, instead, we hear and react reflexively.
- Our reactions may be defensive, authoritarian or passive.
- We may oppose or go along — but we do not actively cooperate.
- Cooperation and communication are the two legs of a synergistic relationship.
7. Sharpen the saw
- We must take care of our bodies with a program of exercise that combines endurance, flexibility and strength.
- We must nourish our souls with prayer, meditation, or perhaps by reading great literature or listening to great music.
- Mental repair may mean changing bad habits, such as the habit of watching television.
- We must work to develop our heart, our emotional connections and our engagement with other people.
8. Finding your voice and helping others find theirs
- “Voice” is the unique personal significance each of us offers, and can bring to bear at work.
- The 8th habit is all about moving from effectiveness to greatness
- Finding our unique voice means fulfilling our innate potential.
- Finding our voice, involves the four elements of a whole person: mind, body, heart and spirit.
- Mind = Vision
- When the mind is fully developed we gain vision, the ability to discern the highest potential in people, institutions, causes and enterprises.
Body = Discipline
- We need discipline to transform vision into reality. Discipline comes by combining vision and commitment.
Heart = Passion
- When we develop a wise heart we will feel the passionate fire of conviction, the flame that sustains the discipline needed to achieve the vision.
- Passion flows from finding and using our unique voice to accomplish great things.
Spirit = Conscience
- Developing our mental identity will lead us toward knowing the right fork in the road, toward an inward moral compass that will guide us
Source: Steven R Covey with 8 Habits of highly Effective people