Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Hero: Stephen Covey

Goal 70: To finish reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and apply it

It was with shock that I read today that Stephen Covey had died... yesterday. It seems outrageous that a man who has had such a positive influence on the world could pass away and this fails to make headline news. I only found out while reading a summary of recent business news from LinkedIn. Fourth story down.

I've intended to read The 7 Habits for years but while I enjoyed the first couple of chapters, I never made it past them. While I desired to become more effective, I was afraid of the change I would have to make to my life. I didn't really want to examine my life in the detail I felt I would have to while working through the questions posed for each habit.

In May I wrote that I was working on a business plan. I ended up with a financial forecast but no real business plan. My first contract working for myself has required commuting by train. I decided to use the time commuting to read, initially downloading some technical manuals onto my Kindle. Then I remembered that a few years ago I had the opportunity to download chapters from The 7 Habits along with other business and technical books through a company subscription to Books24x7

At the time I read the first couple of chapters, read a page or so into a couple of others and then filed the pdf's away meaning to read them someday...

Uploading them onto the Kindle I found the print readable but not ideal. But I was motivated to keep reading. Relating the habits to my business plan I could see value in what was being proposed. It only took me a month but I completed reading The 7 Habits early July. I've still to work through all of the questions but I'm now far more motivated to do so.

I guess that I find it easier to seek effectiveness in business than I do in my personal life. I often actively resist too much organisation of personal time. But perhaps that is simply because I don't make enough time for what is really and deeply important to me.

Stephen Covey wrote with honesty and humour. He placed conscience and values and people high above fame and riches and I am sure I will benefit from his writing for years to come.

Have you read The 7 Habits? What difference has it made to your life?

1 comment:

  1. David is a 7 habits trainer and he practised his presentations on me -so I inadvertently did the course including lots of videos by Mr Covey - it was very good although I don't practise much of it. It would be good to sharpen the saw though! I am a Steps to Excellence trainer which is a similar but simpler course focusing on individuals and builds confidence to change. The originator of that course also passed away recently. I love training people on the course because you really see the penny drop for some of them and it makes everything worth while. The really difficult thing about these courses is the franchise which means you have to pay a huge amount of money for each set of course materials. Hey ho - they have to make a living too.