Friday, January 22, 2010

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People


Sometime last year I was looking for new business books to read. I talked to mentors and colleagues and searched the web to discover that the The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People was in almost everyone's recommendation list. First published in 1989 it is already widely regarded as a classic. I went ahead and ordered it without reviewing what it was all about and without even carefully reading the cover. Last week on a plane trip between Tampa and Boston I finally opened it and began.

I've only read two chapters so far but it is clear to me that this is not a "business book" in the traditional sense or at least what I think of as a traditional business book. It would be much better described as a "self help" or "personal change" book and to be honest, had I known that in advance, I probably wouldn't have bought it.

Thus far the book resonates very deeply with me. It reinforces some of my core believes but introduces some new and powerful ideas and concepts. It also helps that the core of the book's message appears to address what I know to be among of my largest and quite serious flaws which is that of balance. Most of my current, or in some cases former, colleagues, friends, family, and girlfriend(s) can attest to this weakness.

The author Stephen R. Covey suggests the following:

I would suggest that you shift your paradigm of your own involvement in this material from the role of learner to that of teacher. Take an inside-out approach, and read with the purpose in mind of sharing or discussing what you learn with someone else within 48 hours after you learn it.
I think this is a great suggestion for this or any non-fiction book. Taking notes and discussing what you read will multiply by several times what you soak in. Coincidentally this also happens to be a great marketing technique to spread work of the book but I will avoid being cynical! I have decided to take up Stephen's suggestion and discuss some of the ideas & concepts that I learn and find interesting here on my blog. I may also post noteworthy quotes to twitter . If you have read the book or have something to add I would love to hear from you. This may take some time since another weakness of mine is slow reading.

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