7 Habits: Stephen Covey

Really busy, increasing workload, stretched resources, being creative, motivated, balancing, feeling tired, need a holiday, trying to plan ahead. During the really busy times when workload seems to be casting a shadow over life it is good to revisit some of our good habits to re-focus, work smarter and retain our own locus of control.

“We must look at the lens through which we see the world, as well as at the world we see, and that the lens itself shapes how we interpret the world. “ (Covey, 1989)

Work from the inside out, for a deeper level of thinking and lasting solution we need to view inside part of self of our character and motives. A paradigm is what we see, the paradigm shift is the ‘aha’ or ‘light bulb’ moment.

Covey’s series of habits see progression from dependence via independence to interdependence.

  • Habit 1: Be Proactive (take responsibility).
  • Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind (develop a personal mission statement).
  • Habit 3: Put first things first (organising and time management).
  • Habit 4: Think win-win (human interaction and collaboration).
  • Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood (effective communication).
  • Habit 6: Synergise (creative cooperation).
  • Habit 7: Sharpen the saw (self-renewal and mindfulness).

Keywords: synergistic, empowering, win/win, perceptions, lens, attitude, behaviour, interdependence.


Covey, S. (2004). The 7 habits of highly effective people : Restoring the character ethic. New York: Free Press.

Covey, S. (1989). The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. Fireside/Simon & Schuster. [sample here]