Stephen R. Covey, author of the bestselling “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” died yesterday at age 79.
If you have not read “The 7 Habits,” I encourage you to pick up a copy today. The book has sold over 25 million copies in 38 languages. Here’s a very quick summary of the Habits:
- Be Proactive. Take initiative and responsibility for your choices and their consequences.
- Begin with the End in Mind. Clarify your most important values and life goals through a personal mission statement.
- Put First Things First. Organize your time and activities by importance, not urgency.
- Think Win-Win. Seek mutually beneficial solutions in all your relationships.
- Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. Genuinely listen to others and seek to learn from them.
- Synergize. Achieve bigger goals by combining the strengths of a team.
- Sharpen the Saw. Renew yourself mentally, spiritually and physically on a regular basis.
I first read the book for a seminary class and was motivated to develop my own personal mission statement, which over the years has evolved into the following: “My mission is to identify, develop and encourage ministry leaders who will in turn develop other ministry leaders for God’s kingdom.” I continue to review the 7 Habits at least once a year, making adjustments as needed in my own life and leadership so that I am living in alignment with that mission.
What is your own experience with the 7 Habits?