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:
- Be proactive (A habit of “independence”)
- Begin with the end in mind (A habit of “independence”)
- Put first things first (A habit of “independence”)
- Think win-win (A habit of “interdependence”)
- Seek first to understand, then to be understood (A habit of “interdependence”)
- Synergize (A habit of “interdependence”)
- Sharpen the saw (A habit of “continuous improvement”)
- 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.