I went back and re-read Covey’s book…a great reminder of what I learned long ago…
The Seven Habits – An Overview
Our character is a collection of our habits, and habits have a powerful role in our lives. Habits consist of knowledge, skill, and desire. Knowledge allows us to know what to do, skill gives us the ability to know how to do it, and desire is the motivation to do it.
The Seven Habits move us through the following stages:
1.Dependence: the paradigm under which we are born, relying upon others to take care of us.
2.Independence: the paradigm under which we can make our own decisions and take care of ourselves.
3.Interdependence: the paradigm under which we cooperate to achieve something that cannot be achieved independently.
Much of the success literature today tends to value independence, encouraging people to become liberated and do their own thing. The reality is that we are interdependent, and the independent model is not optimal for use in an interdependent environment that requires leaders and team players.
To make the choice to become interdependent, one first must be independent, since dependent people have not yet developed the character for interdependence. Therefore, the first three habits focus on self-mastery, that is, achieving the private victories required to move from dependence to independence. The first three habits are:
•Habit 1: Be Proactive
•Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
•Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habits 4, 5, and 6 then address interdependence:
•Habit 4: Think Win/Win
•Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
•Habit 6: Synergize
Finally, the seventh habit is one of renewal and continual improvement, that is, of building one’s personal production capability. To be effective, one must find the proper balance between actually producing and improving one’s capability to produce.