Stephen R. Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has been a top seller for the simple reason that it ignores trends and pop psychology for proven principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. Celebrating its 15th year of helping people solve personal and professional problems, this special anniversary edition includes a new foreword and afterword written by Covey that explore whether the 7 Habits are still relevant and answer some of the most common questions he has received over the past 15 years.
This audio edition is the first ever unabridged recording of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
© and (P)2004 FranklinCovey
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is by now one of the best-selling books of all time." (Fortune)
This book is generally acknowledged as a classic, and I'd been meaning to read it for years. Boy, was I disappointed. I suspect it doesn't lend itself well to audiobook format. The introduction seemed to go on forever- it felt like it had been three hours before we got to Habit 1. After that, I just couldn't figure out where I was in the book at any given time- it always felt rambling and disjointed. There are some valuable core concepts in here, but I plan to get them by looking at a summary on-line rather than trying to relisten to this.
The book was particularly ill-served by the audio. I didn't enjoy Stephen R. Covey's voice. Listening to him felt like listening to an elderly relative- you keep politely looking for opportunities to end the conversation, and he just keeps on reminiscing. He also had some very grating pronunciations; I'm not sure if they're old-fashioned or just wrong, but every time he said "manipulative" or "progressing" or even "guru" the emphasis was painfully on the wrong syllable. At one point, I think he said "idealistic" instead of "ideal" and it changed the whole meaning of the sentence. On top of that, the "chapter transition musical interludes" were just bizarre. The first few times I heard them, I thought "That music guy must have trouble getting work now."
On the whole, I was super-relieved to finish this book. If they come out with an abridged version read by someone with a stronger voice, I might give it a shot, but I doubt it.
While the author's narration leaves something to be desired, his messages are universal and extremely helpful in every day life. I listened to this book 6 months ago and since then, things just seem better. Listen, be happy.
DEFINITELY! For me, the audio version gave me an entirely new look at a book that has been on my shelf for years. It sent me back to the hard copy book to harvest new insights from concepts I only THOUGHT I fully understood.
This book has stories in it, but it is non-fiction. The question I'm answering here is: What did you best like about this audiobook?
In addition to my other comments, I LOVE the fact that the audiobook has indexing for virtually every "New Heading" (as Covey calls the bold headings within chapters). Many of the books I listen to from Audible are indexed at a chapter or 2-chapter level. This might be OK for a novel. But, not for a technical, managerial, or teaching type of book. I love to be able to quickly find some exciting idea in the hard copy book.
As far as the actual content, I love the stuff in Part Two. So few business people understand leadership and leaders. Books try to teach people how to be leaders and innovators. Maybe leadership can be learned from a book. But, from the experience of my own career, I know it's better to have in in your DNA, and then learn by living it in your life.
I'm retired from Lockheed Martin. I worked for Martin Marietta through the 1980s, left in the 1990s to be a part of the Internet revolution, and went back to Lockheed Martin when the stock market tanked in the early 2000s. I was saddened to find that the Company gave people who were managers the title of "Leader". Covey really explains the difference well.
Managers can efficiently direct teams chopping through a jungle. But, only a leader can see that they are in the "wrong jungle".
It is not a popular position to be in when you identify problems, not even if you have a workable plan to get on the right track! To me a book like this is very important because it has been accepted for years by managers. Quite likely, they skimmed over much of Part Two, or they just did not comprehend it because their mind-set and paradigms blinded them to it.
But, now that I've listened to the book on Audible, I see things I did not even recognize while reading it.
So, now I have a well accepted book I can use to help managers I encounter understand the value of leaders and how to work in synergy with them! Where managers usually try to squelch leaders (who have the courage to speak up), or fire them, or at best, ignore them and hope they will go away.
When the actual author reads his creation, I prefer it. I might even put up with a less than "professional" reading style to be able to pick up on the author's own enthusiasm, understanding, and "spirit", flowing from his personal intonations in reading his creation. This is especially evident with Stephen Covey. He's a great speaker and teacher.
About 2 hours into part1 of the audio, I was blown away! Covey is reading from the last chapter of the book: Inside-Out Again.
I must admit that I have not truly learned "self control". I've been realizing this more acutely recently. In fact, I also have listened to (and recommend) "The Willpower Instinct" by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. See: http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?asin=B006T4APLU&qid=1362685785&sr=1-1 to find the audiobook.
On page 310 of the hard copy of the 7 Habits book, Covey speaks of something he found in a book in a college library. He says: "It basically contained the simple idea that THERE IS A GAP OR A SPACE BETWEEN STIMULUS AND RESPONSE, AND THAT THE KEY TO BOTH OUR GROWTH AND HAPPINESS IS HOW WE USE THAT SPACE." Covey goes on to say this hit him "like an inward revolution". ... "It was like I had become an observer of my own participation. I began to stand in the gap and look outside the stimuli. I reveled in the inward sense of FREEDOM TO CHOOSE MY RESPONSE - even to become the stimulus, or at least to influence it - EVEN TO REVERSE IT." (Emphasis mine).
Later on page 317 Covey states: "Change - real change - comes from the inside out." Then he quotes Amiel: "... So long as we are able to distinguish any space whatever between Truth and us we remain outside it. The thought, the feeling, the desire or the consciousness of life may not be quite life. To become divine is then the aim of life. Then only can truth be said to be ours beyond the possibility of loss. It is no longer outside us, nor in a sense even in us, but we ARE it, and it IS we." (End of quote from Amiel. Emphasis mine).
Covey continues: "Achieving unity - oneness - with ourselves, with our loved ones, with our friends and working associates, is the highest and best and MOST DELICIOUS FRUIT OF THE SEVEN HABITS." (Emphasis mine).
I highly recommend the audio version of The 7 habits of Highly Effective People to everyone, especially those who have read it before.
I must confess that I used to just think it was a good Management book, where now I realize that it's a GREAT BOOK on being a Leader and how to work with managers. Since the latter are in the majority (vs. leaders), and with the economy currently in a MAJOR slump, managers and leaders (like the cowboys & ranchers) should be friends. Or maybe even operate in SYNERGISTIC UNITY! (Emphasis mine).
I have no doubt the content of this book is valuable, and I'll be finishing it in hard copy. The author-reader's delivery was just awful and, for my own sanity, I had to stop listening. Simple words were mispronounced (i.e., "picture" was spoken as "pitcher"). Cadence was choppy. Intonation was flat. But the last straw was the author-reader's announcement of "New Heading" at every transition. Even now, I cringe thinking about it. A more skilled reader would have been able to make those transitions without offering the listener a roadmap.
Mom, Science Teacher, Kid at Heart. My 52 mile drive to work gives me time to finally stretch my brain. Audible has been a wonderful treat! Thanks Bob!
If you know a graduate- gift wrap this book. If you know anyone in their 20's- this book is a MUST read. I came upon it in my 30's when our principal introduced "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Kids" to our school. I've now read it three times and I continue to learn new lessons. This book is a beautiful way to center yourself and hone in on what your want to stand for-your mission in life. Like a good parent, Stephen Covey coaches you to be your best self. If every child and adult practiced the habits in this book the world would be a better place.
This is the bible on effectiveness. Easy read. It was an opportunity for reflection on the quality of interactions with other people and the hurdles to attaining the desired outcome.
Commuting 2 hours a day to and from work allows me the pleasure of listening to many books where I would otherwise not have time to read
I sure wish Steven Covey would have written a book detailing how the 7 habits are used with the Franklin Covey planner. I have been using the planner system for 14 years now and would love a refresher course. This book is the foundation of personal organization.
Everything that says in this book, make sense. I just dont understand why I act in the other way must of the time. I recommend this book to everybody, it is a mine of knowledge, it will help you in your professional and must important in your personal life.
To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to get this book because of the reviews, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I was even afraid to finish the book too soon, as there were so many insightful and inspiring messages that I never wanted to miss.
I was also worried about the narration but his reading was so excellent that I couldn't stop listening.
[I realized how much we differ even if we are looking at or thinking about the same thing. ]
I now wish I read it sooner, as it would have helped me a lot with a lot of things.
I am not even married yet, I am not even spritual but this book is just perfect, you do not have to have kids or to be involved in religious stuff to understand what he has to say.
I am definately going to get his next book - the 8th habit. [no doubt at all], I can't wait!
his 7 habits and the explanations make sense, I had to agree with him all the time while I was listening, and I loved the way he conveyed his ideas with lots of explanations and examples.
You will have to listen to what he has to say before you truly understand why he is saying what he is saying, I guess.
So, I guess this book will be worth it! Just get it!
Even If you do not agree with me on this, you will later on I guess.
There are so many things to learn!!!!!!!!!!!!
I enjoyed the overall content of the book although, as other reviewers also noted, I could have done with fewer references to God and the bible. What made me downgrade my rating though, was the annoying narration by the author. I've been listening to 6-8 audiobooks a month for the past year or so and the narrator can really make or break the book - this one breaks it. And he makes his living doing public speaking events!?! By the third or fourth hour I thought I would scream if I heard "pitcher" for picture or "comp-LEE-mentary" for complementary (does he think we don't know the difference between complementary and complimentary?) again. Just goes to show there are some (many!) authors who should not narrate their own books...
"The message is simple"
Like others on here I initially found the voice monotone and dry with none of the usual punch and uplift found in other personal improvement readings. But on reflection I think that this bland style works better in the long run. It allows you to listen, really listen to what he is saying rather than be short term uplifted. A long book taken at what seems a leisurely pace but I do not think it could have been shortened and still get the message across. This is a casserole not a microwave meal.
I'd known about this book for a long time and it was always on my list of books to read (listen to). I found the 7 habits fascinating. The age of the book does come across and it is a little preachy but Stephen Covey's research, conclusions and insights are staggering in their depth. Although you come away feeling that a lot of what he says is common sense, the vast majority of people, including myself, would never think in those terms. Stephen unravels what it is to be human and how to make the most of that gift. I can't believe anyone listening could fail to benefit hugely from the experience.
"7 Habits, constructive change not quick-fix"
I took the time to listen to the unabridged version. Audible could do with reviewing the encoding but other than that the book was excellent.
This book is required reading for managers in the 21st century as is the 8th habit. This was an easy listen (even the unabridged version) and Stephen Covey is a great narrator. I'd recommend this book to all.
i thought this was interesting and useful book. The behaviours (habits) make alot of sense
It is a tad preachy at the end. If your in a toss up between this and how to win friends and influence people i think the later is better
"Get over the hangup - does NOT push religion"
There are a few reviewers who have written off the book because the author happens to merely mention - in one sentence in the prologue - that he is a Christian. Surely the problem is no more than if he had mentioned being an atheist? - Anyway it is irrelevant to the content of the book and has no bearing on the concept, which is well researched and solid. The author has presented to boards of directors of major international companies and organisations and they wouldn't buy into crap and this is in no way wishy-washy or spiritual, the principles are well set out and argued.
I let the voice - which some may find jarring - pass over me and listened to the content which was what I bought it for after all.
Very insightful and well organised.
As an open minded individual - as far as one may be - why are so many people so touchy as to junk an entire book that is well reviewed by many business leaders and thinkers (and others) simply because an author mentions that he/she has a belief system? Very odd methinks...perhaps there may be something in it. Must look deeper myself perhaps - shall look in the relevant Audible category for a scholarly work without a strong agenda in either direction methinks! - Any suggestions anyone?
If you have not yet read this book then you really should. It has been very influential and contains a wealth of ideas. If you only read one personal development book it should be this one. The audio book is well read by the author and is easy to follow and quite entertaining.
You can now have your cake and eat it. Having read a lot of management books, this is the one that will change your outlook on family and work. You will learn over time to do things differently and take control of those aspects of your life that at the moment might be controlling you.
The book is very readable and listening to Stephen Covey is even better.
"Helped me focus on who I am"
brilliant book.Layed out principles that are common for all people and essential for success. it helped me to re-focus on what is important for me in life and how to reprioritise my life around my principals.
A must listen for anyone and everyone
"A great listen"
A very empowering book with lots of easy to do, useful ideas for leading a happier, more fulfilling life. Well worth a listen.
"Good concept, shouldn't be read by the author..."
While the concept of the book is a good one, and some of the concepts are good, the author reading it was a TERRIBLE idea - he might come up with good ideas for people, but he just is a dreadful narrator
Add to this the fact that there are points where it comes across as a bit too "you have to be part of the church to be truly successful", which for non-Christians might put them off, even at the end he states that the church is a HUGE influence on his life, and when he talks about "spirituality" it's clear that he's talking about a "relationship with god"
This book could do without several things:
1) the author being the narrator
2) the preaching
3) the number of examples which just ramble and take away from the flow of information
The way I look at this is that if you're looking for some ideas, and you're in the church, then it's great, but if you're not Christian, or not that religious, then a good chunk of this book will just annoy you, especially the ones that feel like "his life is so wonderful because of god"
What makes the preaching extra ridiculous is that the most successful business men (e.g. Bill Gates) are atheists, and thus god and the church are completely irrelevant to actually being highly effective, unless you consider one of the richest men in the world not effective!
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