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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Covey Essay (Book Review)

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Updated: Jun 12th, 2020


This essay reviews ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ book authored by Stephen R. Covey. In the book, the author highlights various principles that bring about contentment and realization of business goals. This book has presented a wider view, recommendations, and guidelines for improving the effectiveness of leaders in the management of the present-day business scenarios. It briefly highlights the seven principles of highly effective individuals with a view of recommending the use of such aspects in the accomplishment of organizational success.

Main Body

A keen examination of various contents reveals that some aspects and cases that ensure a clear understanding of organizational leadership as evidenced in the modern world. The book shows how various leadership problems can be solved by adopting the ‘seven habits of highly effective people’. The book review provides insight into the expectations of leaders and their roles in ensuring proactivity, personal management, empathic listening, and sensible self-regeneration among others. The book is written for both college students and young leaders who aspire to be frontrunners of greater entities. The ideas within the content can be applied to ensure the improvement of leadership and managerial skills. Various informative skills and concepts presented are coined into theories and practices to a strong framework for organizational leadership.

The main theme of the book is based on the seven principles that form the framework for collaboration and participation in an organization (Covey, 2012). The first principle cautions leaders to remain proactive. This habit implies that individuals should remain accountable of their lives. Proactivity is an aspect of leadership that is paramount to the success of contemporary organizational structures. Covey (2012) emphasizes that individuals should be responsible for the decisions they make as they strive to accomplish organizational targets. Proactivity promotes effective talent development, participation, and understanding of the visionary and leadership skills.

Leaders have the mandate to ensure that they clarify values of an entity by finding and affirming the values that must be shared. They must further serve as role models whose behaviors are to be emulated by the personnel (Covey, 2012). Besides, leaders must inspire shared vision amongst the followers. The role of leaders should be to empower others in the organization. They should also provide the employees with common aspirations based on the objectives of the prevailing business environment. Moreover, they should challenge the leadership processes.

The second habit emphasizes starting with the end in mind. This concept helps leaders to reflect the future of business interventions. The third habit reviewed in the book is ‘putting first things first’. This aspect of leadership concerns the management of time to promote various business relationships with a view increasing efficiency and profitability among other factors. The fourth aspect entails seeking understanding. There should be an understanding existing amongst the transacting parties for organizations to realize their goals. Therefore, the leaders should focus on ensuring collaborations, building trust, teamwork, and positive relations among employees and other stakeholders. Teamwork ensures individual improvement, enhancement of self-determination, and development of competence (Covey, 2012).

The fifth habit emphasizes that a leader should focus on winning all the time. This aspect demands the leader to remain ambitious with a view of realizing the organizational goals. The sixth habit entails synergizing where two disagreeing parties are considered right. This situation brings about an illogical argument that is perceived to arise from psychological issues. A good leader must constantly be concerned with opportunities that crop up with a view of seizing them innovatively for improvement. They must be ready to take risks, learn from their experience, and generate wins as part of their responsibilities (Covey, 2012). The last habit is about ‘sharpening the saw’. This aspect entails various physical, social, spiritual, and mental activities that underpin proactivity. Covey (2012) reveals that inclusive leadership is a key ingredient to organizational leadership. Furthermore, leaders should encourage people’s creative ideas. They should recognize the employees’ stake, capabilities, victories, and their contributions to the success of the organization.


In a personal viewpoint, most leaders are perceived to use the seven principles of effective leadership in the management of contemporary organizations. Covey’s book provides a significant insight into leadership creativity. Every principle discussed in the book reflects wisdom, self-consciousness, and modesty of organizational leaders. According to Covey (2012), such aspects are crucial in the execution of development strategies in an organization. The authors in this master piece have also highlighted that organizational leadership is about linking various elements of leaders to the set managerial goals. The author has also highlighted how leaders should make people feel part of the entity through collaboration.


The book review shows that the seven habits of highly effective people are widely used in modern organizations. The leadership aspect in this book is viewed through the seven aspects that encourage proactivity, self-consciousness, personal leadership, emphatic listening, and balanced self-regeneration among others. The various styles of leadership that are required in the current business world are related to the seven principles that bring about quality leadership. For instance, the defined habits develop into modern leadership traits that result in organizational success. Therefore, I recommend the use of the seven habits of highly effective leaders in contemporary businesses.


Covey, S. (2014). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

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