It’s Time to Revisit the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey came out in 1989.  If you’re a small business owner, you’ve probably read this book.  I know people who read it and re-read it regularly. 

This year is the 30th Anniversary of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and there is a new edition of the book that is both bigger and better.

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I’ve read the book several times and even taken the Franklin Planner course several times before it was integrated with the “7 Habits” principles and became the Franklin-Covey organization. It changed my life, my mindset and eliminated an extreme amount of stress. 

I don’t know when it happened, but somehow I “forgot” about my 7 Habits practice.

And I paid for it.

In 1998 I became the worldwide director of marketing for a major corporation.  What I thought was going to be a big opportunity for me to put my leadership skills to positive use wasn’t.  Before long I was in such a deep reactive mode that I didn’t know what was up or down.  I started suffering from extreme insomnia and anxiety. I became disillusioned and depressed. I simply couldn’t stand the job, the team and even the customers.  And I resigned.

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Flailing in a sea of self-pity, I picked up my old and dog-eared copy of 7 Habits. And, I started reading it all the way through.  After that, I gave myself the assignment of focusing on one habit at a time.  The slog back to living a life I loved had started.

It’s a Good Time to Revisit the 7 Habits for yourself

I don’t think that the Franklin-Covey organization knew there was a pandemic coming. But I do think they knew that it was time to release a new edition of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” for today’s distracted, stressed and overwhelmed audience.

Whenever things get crazy, it’s always a good idea to take a step back and focus on foundations.  It’s time to eliminate distractions that seek to muddle your thinking and your priorities.  It’s time to remind yourself of what really matters.

It’s time to grab a NEW copy of “The 7 Habits of HIghly Effective People”.

This new edition of 7 Habits has been updated with fresh content by Sean Covey that I think you’ll find insightful. 

Sean Covey’s Sections are Brilliantly Vulnerable, Powerful and Inspirational

As I read Sean Covey’s very personal insights and experiences, I was touched by how authentic and honest it was.  He openly shares what it’s like to be part of the Covey family and the impact that has had on him and his own kids.

What I got out of these updated sections of the book was inspiring. Not because of the 7 Habits principles, but because of the honest sharing of the fact that we are human.  We forget. We make mistakes.  And that the real test of your leadership isn’t in whether you perfectly apply the 7 Habits principles, but how quickly you bounce back from forgetting them.

Are You Ready to Take a Hard Look At Yourself? 

If there’s anything you can depend on, it’s disruption and change.  And when we are living through a time of disruption, change and uncertainty, we tend to lose our center or our sense of direction and default to more primitive “fight or flight” responses.

It’s been a while since I’ve taken a fresh look at the 7-Habits and as I read through this new edition, I was struck by the urgency in the tone.  

It’s as if every page, every chart was taking me by the shoulders, looking me straight in the eye and saying “Looks at this! Is this where you are? And if it is, take a look over there.  Look how much better it is over there!  Imagine if you saw things a little differently, how much more creative, more powerful would you be?”

For example, habit 2 is “Begin with the end in mind”.  Sounds simple, right?  Well, before you can get to where you’re going.  You need to know exactly where you are.  You need to know your “center”.

“Whatever is at your center will be the source of your security, guidance and wisdom.”

Ahhh.  That’s nice.

But wait.  

Then Stephen Covey goes on to explain the most common things we put at the center of our lives; money, pleasure, ourselves, our spouse, a church, work, enemies — there are so many more.

Then he goes on to explain that putting these external things at our center.  And what do we know about external things– you can’t control them.  They control you.  So you’re always up or down.

I was simply blown away by this chart — and, honestly, it made me uncomfortable as I saw myself all too often in several of these.  You will too.

the 7 habits of highly effective people centers

BUT, when you center yourself on principles, this is a way of being.  It’s something you control.

principles at the center wheel

I like to think of principles as a way of being. WHO are you BEING in each of these areas of your life.  Your principles are the root of who you are.  It’s how you show up in each of these areas.

For example, you can choose to be “Loving” or you can chose to be “Fun”. Just think about how powerful this is.

Your principles are constant. While these other elements can change.

Loaded with Exercises to Guide You

While all of the previous editions had exercises for you to do, this new edition has really expanded on those.

During this time where we are spending so much time at home.  Where our external activities and engagements are limited, is the ideal time to go through this book and actually DO these exercises.

Rather than distracting yourself with external “fix it” activities, imagine the power of sitting down with yourself and your family or your team and having these conversations.

Just imagine the potential transformation in your mindset, your attitude, your relationships.

If you’ve been overwhelmed and afraid of everything that’s happening around you, the new edition of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is a must read RIGHT NOW.

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Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."

4 Reactions
  1. Great advice. Thanks for sharing this!
    If you’re interested in goal setting and habit building, please check out a product called GoalsOnTrack at It’s designed for helping high achievers to set and track goals by organizing everything you need to do inside a comprehensive goal planning system.

  2. Hi Ivana,
    It is really good to revisit this amazing book, good to know about the revised edition too.
    You wrote in the review that, there is a new edition of the book that is both bigger and better. It sounds like this new edition contains more information than the earlier edition. I would like to know what are the extra titles or information added in the new edition.
    Thanks for sharing.
    I found this post share don the pages of BizSugar and I up-voted it and commended.
    Keep sharing.
    Best Regards
    ~ Philip

  3. Salut, j’adore le concept

  4. Achieving one’s greatest potential has always been the greatest challenge of people. The raw materials are there making use of them is another thing. I agree with this article although it is not really a ‘habit’ but more-of a self-assessment.