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Thursday, October 24, 2013

8th Habit

The late Stephen Covey has shaped my thinking for years, both through his speaking and his writing. One of his latter books is The 8th Habit (2004), which was a sequel to the book that made him famous (and rich): The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People (1989).

Those Seven Habits, plus the 8th one he added 15 years later, are:
  1. Be proactive (A habit of “independence”)
  2. Begin with the end in mind (A habit of “independence”)
  3. Put first things first (A habit of “independence”)
  4. Think win-win (A habit of “interdependence”)
  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood (A habit of “interdependence”)
  6. Synergize (A habit of “interdependence”)
  7. Sharpen the saw (A habit of “continuous improvement”)
  8. Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs

 While learning about and trying to implement all of the habits has been very beneficial to my personal growth, I have found a disproportionate amount of my time/effort in recent years focused on that 8th Habit.  It seems to be centered on service to others as much as it is about one’s self.  I find that I’m increasingly drawn to that others-centered kind of thinking.

I think often and intentionally about my own development and effectiveness in terms of Covey’s succinct but powerful framework of “the habits.”  SC’s thinking has pushed me to be a better human and a better leader.  (At least, I think I am better than I used to be in both respects).

RIP Stephen Covey.  A belated thanks from this admiring learner.


  1. I would heavily recommend Adam Grant's "Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success". Grant talks a lot about the need for truly effective leaders to become addicted to giving back to others. Any synopsis I might give here would be a discredit to this marvelous book but, much like you, I have found Covey's writings to be very instrumental in my professional growth and Grant seems to compliment Covey very well! ~dm

    1. Have heard of AG's book, DM. Will add it to my list now that you have recommended it. If he "pushed" your thinking, I'm in.


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