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PostSubject: The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People   The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People Icon_minitimeMon Jan 16, 2012 10:21 am

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People 0978074326951_500X500
Stephen Covey in, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", lays out a road map for excellence. In concert with Aristotle's declaration, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." Covey emphasizes a flourishing, worthwhile existence is a matter of routine. Success and failure, distinction and mediocrity are outcomes of habit. Selecting, developing and nurturing the right habits makes all the difference.

Achieving and maintaining a balance between a human being's growth and his or her productivity is the essence of effectiveness. Covey refers to this as the P / PC balance, where P represents production and PC stands for production capability. To excel an individual or an organization must strike the optimum balance between actually producing, and improving or sustaining the capacity to produce.

Covey's quintessential habits:

1. Be Proactive. You are the creator. You are in charge and totally responsible. To solve problems and advance in life seize the initiative. Recognize problems fall into three categories: direct control, indirect control, no control - respond appropriately in accordance with circumstances. Subordinate feelings to values. Make love a verb. As all "problems" are internal, a primary task is to work on self.

2. Begin With the End in Mind. All things are created twice: first mentally, then physically; so choose wisely. Real success is to master, not things, but self. Write out a personal mission statement. Shift from centering on people and things to centering on principles. Peak performers visualize and experience the objective before executing. Identify roles and goals. If you are not involved, you are not committed. Share your vision to generate power.

3. Put First Things First. This section is Covey's practical advice for bridging the gap between desire and fulfillment: how to take deliberate action.

Goethe asserted, "Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." Action is king. Avoid acting on the unimportant or urgent, instead stay focused on the important but not urgent activities - these tasks shape the course of lives.

Exercise independent will to become principle centered. Envision and focus on your unique contribution. Make and keep commitments. Discipline derives from discipline. Externally imposed disciplines (and schedules), however, allow people to absolve themselves of responsibility for results.

Trust is the highest form of human motivation. Building and repairing relationships are long-term investments. Unconditional love encourages others to live the laws of life: cooperation, contribution, self-discipline and integrity.

Successful people make a habit of doing things failures don't like to do (strength of purpose wins). Effective people are opportunity minded, not problem minded.

Organize and execute around priorities. Eighty percent of results flow from twenty percent of activities. Concentrate on "twenty percent" activities. Time management is a misnomer: don't manage time, manage yourself. The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. Maintain a primary focus on relationships and results and a secondary focus on time.

4. Think Win / Win. Covey presents six paradigms of human interaction: win/win; win/lose; lose/win; lose/lose; win; and win/win or no deal. The best, most mature, and ultimately most advantageous choice is always: win/win or no deal. Resources and opportunities are plentiful. There is enough for everyone. It's not "your way or my way"; it's "a better way", a higher way.

5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. Communication is the most important skill in life. Listen with an intent to understand, rather than, as most people do, an intent to reply. If you know your perspective differs from the individual you are to engage, construct the opposing case first. Demonstrate you understand by rephrasing and reflecting. Listening is a fine art, one that requires energy and effort.

6. Synergize. Synergy is the essence of principle centered leadership. Concentrating the ambition and talents of many people produces a sum that is greater than its parts. At the heart of this habit is to value differences, build on strengths and compensate for weaknesses. Diversity is a key ingredient of every important endeavor. Synergy is the way of nature. 'When you observe only two alternatives - your way and the wrong way - look for a synergistic third alternative.'

7. Sharpen the Saw. Returning to the P / PC balance, a healthy individual must make time for renewal. This requires achieving balance in: perspective (spiritual); autonomy (mental); connectedness (social); and tone (physical). Advance in an upward spiral from inside out.

Life is a marathon not a sprint. Completing the course successfully requires deliberate focus and persistent, routine action. The gap between stimulus and response in an ever changing world is choice. Choose to develop the seven habits and become an effective person.

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