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7 Habits of the Highly Effective People: Review

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Book Author: Stephen R. Covey

5 Reasons you should read this book today

  1. Timeless Principles for Success: "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey presents timeless principles that have been proven to enhance personal and professional success. By understanding and applying these habits, readers can develop a solid foundation for personal growth and effectiveness in all areas of their lives.

  2. Comprehensive Approach to Personal Development: Unlike many self-help books that focus on a single aspect of personal growth, "The 7 Habits" offers a holistic approach that addresses physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions. This comprehensive framework enables readers to develop a more balanced, integrated, and effective way of living.

  3. Develop Proactive Mindset: One of the key concepts in the book is the importance of being proactive, as opposed to reactive. By learning to take responsibility for their choices and actions, readers can develop a proactive mindset that empowers them to create positive change in their lives and overcome obstacles more effectively.

  4. Enhance Relationships and Communication: The book emphasizes the importance of effective communication and empathic listening, which are crucial for building strong relationships and understanding others. By mastering these skills, readers can improve their personal and professional relationships, fostering trust, cooperation, and mutual respect.

  5. Achieve Personal and Professional Goals: "The 7 Habits" provides practical guidance on goal-setting, time management, and prioritization, empowering readers to achieve their personal and professional objectives more efficiently. By implementing these habits, individuals can gain greater control over their lives, improve their productivity, and ultimately, achieve their goals with greater ease and effectiveness.


"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" is a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey, published in 1989. The book presents a holistic, principle-centered approach for personal and interpersonal effectiveness, which Covey believes is essential for success in all aspects of life.

The book is divided into four parts: private victory, public victory, renewal, and an appendix. In the first part, private victory, Covey emphasizes the importance of personal development and self-mastery. He introduces the first three habits which are about developing self-awareness and taking responsibility for one's own life. The habits are:

  1. Be Proactive: Taking responsibility for your life and your choices. Covey explains how to shift from a victim mentality to a proactive one, by focusing on what you can control rather than what you can't.

  2. Begin with the End in Mind: Defining your personal mission statement and setting long-term goals that align with it. Covey stresses the importance of having a clear vision of what you want to achieve in life, and then working towards it with purpose and intention.

  3. Put First Things First: Prioritizing your time and energy according to your goals and values. Covey introduces a time-management matrix that helps readers identify the most important tasks and activities, and focus on those rather than on distractions or urgent but unimportant tasks.

In the second part, public victory, Covey focuses on interpersonal relationships and leadership. He introduces the next three habits that are essential for effective communication and collaboration with others. The habits are:

  1. Think Win-Win: Seeking mutual benefit in all interactions, and striving to create win-win solutions that satisfy both parties. Covey explains how to move from a competitive mindset to a cooperative one, and how to build trust and positive relationships with others.

  2. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood: Listening empathetically and seeking to understand others before trying to be understood. Covey emphasizes the importance of effective communication, and provides tools for improving listening and dialogue skills.

  3. Synergize: Combining the strengths and perspectives of individuals to create something greater than the sum of its parts. Covey encourages readers to embrace diversity and work collaboratively with others, to achieve more than they could on their own.

In the third part, renewal, Covey discusses the importance of self-care and personal renewal. He introduces the final habit, which is:

  1. Sharpen the Saw: Continuously improving and renewing oneself in all areas of life, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Covey explains the need for balance and renewal, and provides strategies for improving self-care and personal growth.

The book ends with an appendix that provides additional resources and information for implementing the habits.

Overall, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" presents a comprehensive framework for personal and interpersonal effectiveness, based on timeless principles that apply to all areas of life. Covey emphasizes the importance of developing a strong character, cultivating positive relationships, and continuously improving oneself, as the key to success and fulfillment. The book has become a classic in the self-help genre and has sold over 25 million copies worldwide.


The top reviews for "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" on are overwhelmingly positive, with readers praising the practicality, depth, and relevance of the book. Many readers have found the habits presented in the book to be life-changing, and have applied them to various aspects of their lives.

Several reviewers appreciated the holistic approach to personal and professional growth, and found the book to be highly practical and actionable. They praised the timeless principles and practical tools presented in the book, and the step-by-step approach and practical exercises provided to help them implement the habits in their lives.

Many readers also appreciated the author's emphasis on character development and continuous growth, and found the book to be highly relevant to all readers, regardless of their age, background, or profession.

Overall, the top reviews for "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" on attest to the book's enduring popularity and effectiveness, and recommend it to anyone seeking to improve their personal and professional effectiveness.


The one-star reviews for "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" on were a minority of the total reviews, but they still provided some criticisms of the book. Some reviewers found the book to be overly simplistic and lacking in substance, with concepts that were already well-known and easily accessible elsewhere.

Several reviewers also criticized the author's writing style, finding it to be dry, repetitive, or preachy. Some readers felt that the book was too long and could have been condensed into a shorter format.

Other criticisms included the book's outdatedness and lack of relevance to modern times, and the author's focus on Western values and perspectives.

Overall, while the one-star reviews for "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" on provided some valid criticisms of the book, they were a small minority compared to the overwhelmingly positive reviews. Many readers have found the book to be highly practical, insightful, and transformative, and recommend it to anyone seeking to improve their personal and professional effectiveness.

Fan FaQs

Stephen R. Covey (1932-2012) was an American educator, author, businessman, and motivational speaker, best known for his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." Covey was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Utah, a master's degree in business administration from Harvard University, and a doctorate in religious education from Brigham Young University.

Covey began his career as a professor of business and management at Brigham Young University, where he taught from 1958 to 1996. He also served as a consultant and trainer for numerous organizations, including IBM, AT&T, and the U.S. Air Force.

In 1989, Covey published "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," which became a bestseller and has since sold over 25 million copies worldwide. The book presents a holistic, principle-centered approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness, and has been praised for its practicality, depth, and relevance to readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Covey went on to write several other books, including "Principle-Centered Leadership," "First Things First," and "The 8th Habit," which further developed and expanded upon the principles presented in "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." He also founded the Covey Leadership Center, which later became FranklinCovey, a global consulting and training firm focused on leadership and personal effectiveness.

Throughout his career, Covey received numerous awards and honors, including the International Man of Peace Award, the International Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the Father of the Year Award from the National Fatherhood Initiative. He was also named one of Time Magazine's 25 Most Influential Americans and was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame.

Covey passed away in 2012 at the age of 79, leaving behind a legacy of inspiring and empowering people to achieve their full potential through personal and interpersonal effectiveness. His work continues to be widely read and studied, and his influence can be seen in the countless individuals and organizations that have applied his principles to achieve greater success and fulfillment.

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Other Works

"Principle-Centered Leadership" (1990): This book builds upon the principles presented in "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," and offers a comprehensive framework for achieving leadership effectiveness through character development and alignment with principles.

"First Things First" (1994): This book focuses on time management and prioritization, and offers strategies for organizing and prioritizing tasks and activities based on one's personal mission and values.

"The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness" (2004): This book introduces a new habit, "Find Your Voice and Inspire Others to Find Theirs," which focuses on achieving greatness and fulfillment through discovering one's unique talents and contributing to society.

"The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life's Most Difficult Problems" (2011): This book offers a comprehensive approach to conflict resolution and problem-solving, and emphasizes the importance of seeking creative, win-win solutions that benefit all parties.

"The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time" (2008): This book focuses on applying the principles of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" to education, and offers strategies for fostering leadership skills and character development in children.

"The Wisdom and Teachings of Stephen R. Covey" (2012): This book is a collection of Covey's most insightful and inspiring quotes and teachings, drawn from his various books and speeches.


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