This book proceeds to discuss the internal workings of effectiveness to the outward workings in terms of negotiations and planning. There was a bit of a disruption to the ending chapter dealing with renewal.
Stephen R. Covey
He has an MBA from Harvard University and a doctorate in Brigham Young University. In the latter, he was a professor of organizational behavior and business management.
He has also written other books besides 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which revolve around leadership and family.
How Does It Hold Up…?
One of the major themes in this book involves the paradigm, which typically involves one’s own understanding. It can be changed with a few moments of self-evaluation. The paradigm involves one’s own scale of dependency, from dependent on others to independent to interdependent. Although independence can be important, it does not contribute as much as interdependency. That is the most important step, since it brings into relevancy all that has been taught at the personal level.
The paradigm thus evolves into an understanding about one’s own scale. They have the ability to influence the people around them, but can only do so through positive reinforcement. This is in order to make sure that everyone reaches some form of reconciliation.
The site of such reconciliation is the concept of relationship, which is another major theme throughout this book. There are various types of relationships, such as boss-employee, parent-child, and spousal. This dynamic also plays out in scenarios either in Covey’s own personal life or in hypothetical lives. These typically would involve deescalating the problems by appealing to the other person’s importance.
Appealing to the other person’s importance means providing leadership. Covey differentiates between management and leadership, since the former is about maintaining some form of system whereas leadership is about providing direction in addition to management. This is an important differentiation to make, since a successful renewal cannot happen without a form of direction.
Another theme are the successful people that are mentioned on the title of this book. One of them was the Jewish psychiatrist Victor Frankl, who endured the tortures of the Holocaust. It was during that moment when he realized that he had a glimmer of freedom to adjust his response to his suffering. Indeed, imprisonment appears to be a theme when it comes to famous people searching within themselves to find the meanings to live for. This happened with Anwar Sadat, an Egyptian prime minister who originally had anti-Semitic rhetoric, but ended up becoming one of Israel’s supporters.
As for meaning itself, it comes in the form of principle, for it is this rationale that can transcend base material wants and needs. It can make the strife worth pushing through. Even though there are noble pursuits, they have to take into account the fact that they all involve sacrifices of time and/or money.
While Dale Carnegie was more focused on human relationships outside of oneself, Covey tends to focus more on the internal side. This is the result of Covey’s emphasis on the paradigm. One cannot influence human relationships without influencing oneself. Of course, Carnegie and Covey are exactly the same when they write about making the other person feel important enough to do whatever you ask.
As for the unavoidable sacrifices of time and money, it can easily be related to Cal Newport’s book about deep work. He made the case that social media focus decreases productivity. The worst that can happen is missing out on drama and gossip.
As for the part where Covey writes about actually listening to the other side rather than offer only a limited perspective, it definitely reminded me of the concept of egocentricity. It is often down by first-year college students writing in their beginning comp course. This was highlighted by Sondra Perl in her essay “The Composing Processes of Unskilled Writers,” in that she explained that students often write for themselves as the reading audience, without needing to make connections or write with clarity.
Sally Miller, in her book about famous bloggers, herself recommends Covey’s book. She specifically finds importance in the part about keeping the end in mind at the beginning. In other words, it is about making preparations for any problems inherent in the goal.
Connecting To The Previous Book
This book does relate to Jen Sincero’s book in that it is about finding the internal strength needed to survive in the real world. The first part of Covey’s book especially can connect with Sincero’s book, since it revolves around the paradigm needed to actually effect other’s lives.
This was written before social media became integral to people’s lives, so it continues to withstand irrelevancy.
As mentioned before, Covey mentions Frankl and his survival of the Holocaust. By being able to produce his own reconciliation, he was able to bring such internally found knowledge to the rest of the world.
Of course, it would have been helpful to include more historical context in this book.
One of the ways in which Covey notes the best way to experience a paradigm shift is to use different language. Instead of differing blame onto other people, it is about taking personal accountability.
As for the constant metaphors that he uses throughout the book, he makes mention of the goose that lays the golden eggs. It is an important parable to learn, since if the metaphorical goose is stifled or killed, it can no longer produce wealth. This is no different from every other source of wealth. In Covey’s case, he notes that an important sources of wealth are relationships.
This metaphor is further expounded by what he called the Emotional Bank Account, which is used to determine the status of the relationship. If there is a Win-Lose scenario, the winner might benefit in the short-term, but lose in the long-term because they spoiled the relationship.
The most creative part of this book is finding the one principle that can make effectiveness worth the effort. Covey notes how important it is to not prioritize anything or anyone except for a guiding principle. It is very easy, for instance, to think that the main principle in life is to satisfy one’s friends, but then it would mean that the sacrifice would be that actions would be no different from an opinion and that it would involve staying in the comfort zone.
As such, this book would be for situational creativity, since there will always be conflict and distress.
The concept of the principle when achieving some form of effectiveness would definitely lead to lasting results if they are implemented in their entirety. Of course, there is no guarantee that it would completely work.
Basically, what Covey recommends is for people to: help themselves help each other help everyone else. He makes it perfectly clear that this book is for everyone. This is true in the suggestions that he lists at the end of every chapter.
Inspiration To Myself
I can only hope that I am able to use the skills outlined in this book if I am to succeed in life. Of course, in this case, I would have to succeed socially in order to do so.
This is the type of book that can provide a lot of preventative measures in relationships.
Recommend This To…
- Anyone with an ailing relationship with…the rest of the world. But besides myself, it would be important, since humans exist in the same space and we are interdependent.
- Carnegie, Dale. “How To Win Friends & Influence People.” Special Anniversary Edition. Over 70 Years in Print. Simon & Schuster. 1936. First Pocket Books Paperback Printing. November 1998.
- Covey, Stephen R. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.” Free Press. 2004.
- Ferriss, Tim. “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich.” Expanded and Updated Edition. Harmony Books. 2010.
- Miller, Sally. “The Essential Habits Of 6-Figure Bloggers: Secrets of 17 Successful Bloggers You Can Use to Build a Six-Figure Online Business.” Sally Miller. 2018.
- Newport, Cal. “Deep Work: Rules For Focused Success In A Distracted World.” Grand Central Publishing. 2016.
- Perl, Sondra. “The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers.” Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. 3rd edition. Edited by Victor Villanueva and Kristin L. Arola. NCTE. 2011. pg. 17-42.
- Sincero, Jen. “You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life.” Running Press. 2013.
- Ynkawen, Michalangove. “You Are A Bad-A, By Jen Sincero | 24 | 2022 Centobibliennial Reading.” Ynkawen. 2022.