The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Book Summary: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey - Ryan Delaney

The Book in a Few Sentences

The Seven Habits represent a holistic, integrated approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness, and that, more than in the individual habits themselves, the real key lies in the relationship among them and in how they are sequenced.

This book is more about self-improvement, so if you are interested in spirituality, The Road Less Traveled may be a better fit.

Alternatively, if you want to stop being a people-pleasing man (or woman) and learn to please yourself, No More Mr. Nice Guy offers forty-six practical and transformative exercises.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People summary

This is my book summary of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. My summary and notes include the key lessons and most important insights from the book.

Part One: Paradigms and Principles


In more than 25 years of working with people in business, university, and marriage and family settings, I have come in contact with many individuals who have achieved an incredible degree of outward success, but have found themselves struggling with an inner hunger, a deep need for personal congruency and effectiveness and for healthy, growing relationships with other people.

The Personality and Character Ethic

Primary and Secondary Greatness

The Power of a Paradigm

The Power of A Paradigm Shift

The Principle-Centered Paradigm

Principles of Growth and Change

The Way We See The Problem Is The Problem

A New Level of Thinking

The Seven Habits - An Overview

“Habits” Defined

The Maturity Continuum

Effectiveness Defined

Three Kinds of Assets

What You Can Expect

Part Two: Private Victory

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Principles of Personal Vision

The Social Mirror

Between Stimulus and Response

“Proactivity” Defined

Listening to Our Language

Direct, Indirect, and No Control

The “Haves” and The “Be’s”

The Other Side of The Stick

Making and Keeping Commitments

Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind

Principle of Personal Leadership

All Things Are Created Twice

By Design or Default

Rescripting: Becoming Your Own First Creator

A Personal Mission Statement

At The Center

Alternative Centers

A Principle Center

Identifying Roles and Goals

Habit 3: Put First Things First

Principles of Personal Management

What It Takes to Say “No”

The Quadrant II Tool

Living It

Delegation: Increasing P and PC

Gofer Delegation

Stewardship Delegation

The Quadrant II Paradigm

Part Three: Public Victory

Paradigms of Interdependence

The Emotional Bank Account

Six Major Deposits

Understanding the Individual

Attending to The Little Things

Keeping Commitments

Clarifying Expectations

Showing Personal Integrity

Apologizing Sincerely When You Make a Withdrawal

The Laws of Love and the Laws of Life

Habit 4: Think Win/Win

Principles of Interpersonal Leadership

Six Paradigms of Human Interaction






Which Option Is Best?

Win/Win or No Deal





Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Principles of Empathic Communication

Character and Communication

Empathic Listening

Four Autobiographical Responses

Then Seek to Be Understood

One On One

Habit 6: Synergize

Principles of Creative Cooperation

Synergy in The Classroom

Negative Synergy

Valuing The Differences

All Nature Is Synergistic

Part 4: Renewal

Habit 7: Sharpen The Saw

Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal

Four Dimensions of Renewal

The Physical Dimension

The Spiritual Dimension

The Mental Dimension

The Social/Emotional Dimension

Scripting Others

Synergy in Renewal

The Upward Spiral

Inside-Out Again

Becoming a Transition Person

A Personal Note

Receive every essay via email. Day of release.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.