"Simple effective genius"
I have purchased the physical book of this after listening to the audio book it is that good.
I would recommend this to anyone from any walk of life in any role. We all need to live by the 7 habits.
"Still the stands the test of time today"
One of the most influential books I have read and huge influence on my career. Read this 20 years ago and still revisit it every year.
"There is only one Seven Habits"
I first read this book while in university but could not finish it as most of the stuff was a bit too heavy for my liking.
Now I have listened to the book twice. It is amazing journey and the best book on personal well being and improvement. Whatever I say here won't do a justice with the content of the book. Go for it! The best book of it's genre.
easy to relate to and apply to life. well read and engaging. about to listen again :-)
"One of the best books i've read!"
Would recommend this book to anyone from all walks of life to read.
Its amazing self developement book to read which will make at the least a small difference to your life.
"Common-sense wrapped in arcane ideas and language"
I have no idea how this book became a classic bestseller. I also have no idea why I am in the minority in this opinion. It's rare that I feel negatively towards a well regarded book, but it wouldn't be fair if I kept my opinion on "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" to myself.
I'll start with the title. As others have noted, it implies there was underlying research carried out by Covey. Did Covey first define what a highly effective person is, gather a large set of people who fit the definition, and search for what habits they had in common?
No. He came up with an arbitrary set of reasonable values which he believes constitute a decent and well-balanced person, and artificially coerces them into a coherent ideology. Note I said "values". What Covey lists can hardly be called "habits" in any behavioural sense of the word. If the book's title was "Seven values for becoming well-balanced" that would have gained the book one full star in my opinion, up to three.
I do believe that Covey's advice is good, but I find it hard to imagine how it is deserving of such praise. I can only imagine that a society in which «Put first things first» ("habit" 3) , «Think win-win» ("habit" 4) and «Seek first to understand, then to be understood» ("habit" 5) are considered ground-breaking ideas is a deeply damaged one. Maybe that was the case in the early 1990s, or in American business culture. Still, it means that in the best case scenario this book has either not aged well in 25 years or is aimed specifically at people living a highly toxic idea of what it means to be successful.
There are very few examples of application. When they are fictitious they are are caricaturesque, such as a father trying to first understand his son's disappointment with school rather than berating him, or a family conflict in which a holiday the dad planned for ages clashes with the mum's wish to visit her ailing mother.
When the examples are purportedly based on real-life, they become so vague as to hand-waving that could be reduced to «This was a bad situation. Then my "habits" were applied, with no details. Then everything went magically well!».
This pattern is played out again and again: business or person X was in a tough negotiation or disagreement with business or person Y. Then X thought "win-win", or "understood" Y's position first, and they reached an agreement! There's no elaboration into what these win-win positions entailed, what made them viable and desirable to both parts, how X had initially failed to understand the position of Y, or how and why this understanding influenced Y. The examples do not illustrate the application of Coveys values (I insist they are values, not habits), but rather are dogmatic insistence that they work. Ironically I do believe that they work, I would just rather Covey showed me rather than told me. Show, don't tell.
My final gripe is with the convoluted, jargony and flowery pseudo-philosophical style that is found all throughout the book. Not only does it get in the way of what Covey is saying, sometimes you wonder if he is trying to say anything at all. This not only contrasts with modern self-management literature which emphasises getting to the point, but also with self-help books of the same period (The Now Habit, 1989). Even How To Win Friends And Influence People (1936) is refreshingly direct and straightforward compared to Seven Habits.
To conclude, if you have read this far, take my advice with a grain of salt. Many people rave about this book, so there must be a reason they found it valuable. All I can say is that if you enjoy straightforward language, illustrative examples, and the idea of empathy towards the needs of others does not seem alien, this book is most likely not for you.
"Excellent story, slow reader."
The writings and teachings in this book are excellent. It had been recommended by many friends.
I tried listening once before but found it a drag to listen to. Then I pushed it up to 2x speed and it was great!
That's just a personal preference thing.
The book itself is awesome.
One of my most profound 'reads' ever and I love reading and have read many of this nature. I wish I had 'read' it years earlier.
"Great book worth a look"
Great audio book. conceptualised the habits very well and made it easy to resonate to daily life