Covey’s “The 8th Habit” Is Key to Going from Effective to Greatness
In “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen Covey describes seven principles, that if established as habits, are key to leading an effective professional and personal life. In his book “The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness Covey takes the idea a step further. Becoming effective is surely something to be desired, but what would it take to achieve greatness?
The first seven habits are focused on how to run your life effectively, how to manage your relationships with others effectively and how to keep learning so you can maintain this effectiveness over time. Habit 8 is “Find Your Voice and Help Others to Find There Voice.” This book makes a few passing references to the first seven where it makes sense, but its goal is different. It’s wanting to help in the search for significance and how to apply your influence and leadership to that end. It discusses how to identify your chosen place in this world so you can best apply your skills, personal interests, and passion. All these are intended to drive you to make a real difference in this world and more so if you can apply your influence and leadership to maximize the contribution made be those in your sphere of influence. The book doesn’t come out and say it, but it analyzes characteristics of great leaders and how they are able to accomplish what others might say, “Can’t be done.”
The book includes a DVD with videos to summarize and illustrate the points made in the book. All of them are very well produced and appropriate for clarify the points in the chapters where they appear. Covey complements the book with a well put together online community website that provides additional resources and recommendations on how to make the most of the published material. It’s more than just a book, but a lesson plan with study materials for growing yourself (and your team and organization possibly).
I am reading this book a second time and will soon be teaching it to others in the organization where I work. It forms the basis of a good leadership program and, if facilitated right, can be used to improve teamwork and interaction. We’re using it to challenge people to become leaders of those around them.
I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this as I experience this content with others.