The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Jeff Webb

April 3, 2023

Top Tips for Being a Great Leader: Unlocking the Skills to Thrive at the Top

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a book that advises improving your life. Developed by Stephen Covey, habits can help you manage your time better and live more successfully. Learn the key concepts from this world-famous, life-changing book in just 20 minutes or less with this curated summary by Blinkist. Download the app to get bite-sized versions of 2000+ nonfiction books.

Be proactive.

Proactive people are better at handling stress and adversity and are generally happier. This is because they feel control of their destiny rather than being thrown off course by circumstances.

In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey defines proactivity as a “mental ability to plan ahead and take the initiative.” It’s also a skill that can be developed and strengthened through time.

Begin with the end in mind.

The second habit Covey addresses in his book is “begin with the end in mind.” This means thinking about your goals and how you want them to come about before beginning any work. This helps ensure that everything you do leads to success!

Whether starting a business project or working on an important project, it’s important to start with the end in mind. This can help you avoid pitfalls that could lead to failure.

Similarly, to be effective in personal leadership, you need to keep your end goal clear in mind as well. That means defining your life, character traits, and impact on others in the big picture.

Sharpen your saw.

Sharpening your saw is an important part of woodworking. It takes time, skill, and often special equipment.

When your hand saw is dull, it may be difficult to follow a line, or it will bind when cutting. This is a sign that the saw needs to be sharpened and set before you can do useful work with it.

Before sharpening your saw, inspect the teeth. If they are regular and even, with a slight “grab” on your palm when you push against them, the saw likely does not need filing.

Focus on what matters.

Identifying what matters will help you lead a meaningful life. It’s also an effective way to navigate through life’s adversities.

This is particularly true if you’re preparing for or facing the end of your life. It will make you more prepared to handle the unexpected and leave a legacy that will be remembered fondly by those you love. The key is to be thoughtful about what matters most to you and the people most important to you. It’s the best way to ensure that your life reflects your core values and makes you happy, healthy, and confident.

Take time for self-care.

The more you take time for yourself, the better off you’ll be in all areas of life — including your work. Self-care can look different for everyone, but it usually involves activities that feel nourishing to the mind, body, and soul.

Taking time to treat yourself has decreased stress and increased productivity. It also promotes positive emotional health and boosts mental well-being.

Create a personal mission statement.

Creating a personal mission statement allows you to reflect on what matters most. This can be helpful in all areas of your life, including work.

Your mission statement can help you prioritize tasks and make smart choices, which improves your productivity. It can also serve as a guide for interviews and career decisions.

It’s a good idea to update personal mission statement as you grow and evolve. This can stabilize a changing world and ensure you stay true to yourself as a leader.

Act under your priorities.

Acting under your priorities means deciding what’s important and how you want to act on it. Your priorities are a reflection of your life values and your personal goals, and they are also subject to change as your life unfolds. By prioritizing, you manage your time, energy, and attention so you don’t mindlessly waste them on unimportant tasks. You’ll get more done, and you’ll enjoy your time more.