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
"Don't believe the hype"
Overall I am sure this book is good for some people and the fact that it has been in the best sellers list for a long time is either emperor's new clothes effect or that is does work for some people. However for me it simply irritated, whether it was the narration, the constant references to a "higher power" or simply the process that the book uses to get between sections of playing inane musak. All of this meant that whatever messages i was supposed to take away were lost
More business books but nothing like this one.
dull dire boring
I hope not!!!
"Essential reading, but the pace may frustrate you"
The 7 Habits seem obvious when they're spelled out to you but, as tends to happen so much these days, the clutter of modern life gets in the way of what you know you should be doing and leaves you with just enough time to manage what absolutely must be done. There's no time for reflection or any of the mindfulness we hear about. Forming habits takes time. Repetition and time.The repetition and slow pace of this audiobook is much criticized, but for me, this is exactly what's required for a meditative tome to work. The narrator is the author, which always improves delivery of any text, to my mind. He knows the subject intimately and delivers his message clearly and faultlessly, allowing you to work, drive or simply relax, without needing to give it your full attention. You won't miss anything because key points are reiterated, elaborated on and, yes, repeated so a full understanding gently assimilates in your subconscious, as if you knew the 7 Habits all along.I'm going to listen to this book several times, and I recommend you do too. It's well worth your time, if not your full concentration, because the potential upside to making even 1 of the 7 Habits stick could be life-changing. And who doesn't wish for that?
The author has a slight lisp, which is endearing but thankfully not distracting. I find his delivery is as lively as you'd want it to be; erudite and authoritative, warm and friendly. And American, of course.
"Excellent audio book
Personally I listen several times to this book and every time I 'm Learning some things new. Dr Covy is one of best speaker in world.
"For me I think I would have preferred the book."
Very good content, would have just preferred the book version as I like to be able to easily go back over ideas once I've read them.
good book though,. p.s. if you don't like his voice just speed it up a little can make things sound more evenly paced.