Skip to content

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey -Book Review

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: 30th Anniversary Edition

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Check Price
Rating: 5 out of 5

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey radically transformed the way people think about motivation and efficiency. With more than 30 million books sold, he is one of the top influences on modern ideas about how to most effectively organize your time and find motivation.


This book covers large-scale narratives without a lot of in-depth analysis. To be fair, a deep look at these topics would require an entire series of books. In addition, some people have found the advice in this book superficial and unhelpful.

Bottom Line

Before I read this book, I was already pretty organized and self-directed. Stephen Covey showed me how to increase my effectiveness and enthusiasm to levels I didn’t know were possible. He did this without dictating to me or giving me narrow constraints. If you only read one book about business, leadership, or motivation, I suggest you read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.

We may earn compensation from the products and offers mentioned in this article. However, any expressed opinions are our own and aren’t influenced by compensation. To read our full disclosure, click here.

Change Your Game With Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey lived a rich life full of meaning and purpose. He experienced many setbacks and learned how to turn them to his advantage. He packed a lifetime of lessons into one book, and it shows. In my work, I like to help people find the best way to move their lives forward. This The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book review I have written will hopefully help you discover new avenues to success as well.

Group of business workers smiling happy and confident in a meeting. Standing with smile on face looking at camera at the office.
Don’t Make A Habit Out Of Failure, But Do Make A Habit Out Of Learning From Your Failures (Image Source: Shutterstock)

One of my favorite lessons in this book begins with the following story. When Stephen Covey was in junior high, he was very athletic. An accident led to a fracture in his growth plate, ending his athletic aspirations. It was depressing and hard for him to take, but with the help of his family and community, he changed his focus and threw his energy into his education. He joined the debate team and excelled, graduating high school early. He went on to Harvard and was able to translate his academic excellence into the business world. 

This is one of the first lessons Covey teaches: You’re going to fail, so you need to have a plan.

Failure is a great opportunity to learn new things, change course, and review your goals. Don’t make a habit out of failure, but do make a habit out of learning from your failures. 

Stephen Covey didn’t let tragedy stop him. He adjusted his course and, instead of sports, became a superstar in the business world. With just one book, Stephen R. Covey has reached more than 30 million people. 

Many of the top business leaders I work with will often reference Covey. I hear people recommend it to team members and employees all the time, and it’s no wonder why.  

What areas of your professional and personal life could be more productive? Keep reading to find out how The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People can change your life. 

Think Win-Win

What are the 7 habits of highly effective people? That’s the question I want to answer for you today in my review of this massively successful book. 

Happy millennial multiethnic male colleagues handshake greeting get acquainted at meeting in office.
You Have To Make The Lives Of Your Customers And Your Employees Better If You Want To Be A Leader In The Business World (Image Source: Shutterstock)

If you want to be a leader in the business world, you have to make the lives of your customers and your employees better. If you can’t do this, you’re not going to have a stable business. By creating win-win scenarios, you are going to be successful and your business will thrive. 

“Think win-win” is the most important habit for a successful business, but it doesn’t come first on the list of habits. You have to put a lot of work into your plan before you will come out on top.

#1. Be Proactive

Life is short, and the longer you wait, the harder it is to find success. If you wait too long, the opportunity might pass you by. 

Portrait of confident and motivated businessman.
Know What You Want To Accomplish And Grab The Opportunity (Image Source: Shutterstock)

If you want to become proactive and seize the day, you need to keep your eye on the ball. In this case, that means knowing what you’re trying to accomplish. 

#2. Begin With the End in Mind

If you know what you want and proactively go after it, you’re much more likely to succeed early. Problems don’t seem as big, and it’s easier to focus on the task at hand while keeping the big picture in mind. Sometimes you don’t know what the next step is; that’s when you break it down into parts.

#3. Put First Things First

If you don’t know your purpose, then your goal is to find out what you want. You make a mini-mission plan to discover your purpose, then find things that will help you get there. When I don’t know what to do because I’ve lost my purpose, I look to my diet and exercise.

Man doing some planking while looking at his laptop.
Nothing Clears Your Mind Like Clean Food And A Heart-Thumping Workout (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Hard problems require energy and clear thinking to solve. Nothing clears your mind like clean food and a heart-thumping workout. I’m not going to lie to you—when I have an impossible problem, the answer often appears out of thin air while I’m working out. It’s almost like magic.

I’ll often recommend wellness books for people who aren’t sure about their purpose. For example, this Thinner, Leaner, Stronger review has helped a lot of women get a handle on their diet and exercise. When you’re in good shape and eating right, your energy and enthusiasm skyrocket. This doesn’t just make you healthier and happier; it makes you smarter and a better problem solver.

Once you’ve laid these foundations, you can finally focus on the next step.

#4. Think Win-Win

I could write a whole book about win-win scenarios (Coming soon!). My main talent is identifying purpose in others. When you know what other people really want, you are in a position to help them win. Sometimes they don’t know what they really want, and simply pointing it out can make a big difference. 

When I was a kid, I remember watching Mr. Rogers. During hard times he would remind you to look for the helpers. No matter how bad a situation is, there’s always someone trying to help. That’s how I like to think about business. I’m not here to try to make a buck; I’m here to help. When you can change your paradigm like this, it can uncover new possibilities.

Many people who like to help others end up running their own business. If this sounds like you, cultivating your entrepreneurial spirit may be the way to go. Read a few of the best startup business books and consider starting a side business. If you are going to have employees or work in a leadership capacity, emotional intelligence in leadership is an essential skill for you to cultivate.

In order to help, you need to know the problem, which is the next step.

#5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Listening skills are the key to this habit. What you know isn’t as important as what you don’t know. The person you are talking to may have advice that can save your business, or even your life.

Man listening attentively to his colleague.
Listening Skills Will Help You Understand Other People Well (Image Source: Shutterstock)

If you become a good listener, not only will you understand other people well, you’ll also learn how well they understand you. Sun Tzu is one of my heroes, and he taught that if you know your enemy and you know yourself, then you need never know defeat. 

Now, I don’t have any enemies (that I know about). I prefer to make friends. If you are a helper and a good listener, then you will understand others and you will be able to help them understand you.

#6. Synergize

Everybody brings different strengths and weaknesses to the table. The most effective leaders learn how to put people in areas where they can maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Understanding the people around you will help you pair them with problems that will bring out their best. 

Once you have mastered these six steps, there is just one more to go.

#7. Sharpen the Saw

When you have mastered the first six steps, you will have an effective and dynamic plan that can help you handle most problems. As you learn and grow, you should review all of your habits, skills, and ideas. You will find new areas where you can grow and expand and become more effective. Every new mountain you conquer makes you capable of bigger and better things.

Calm couple in pajamas meditating.
Yoga Is A Form Of Physical Fitness That Is Ideal For Business Professionals (Image Source: Shutterstock)

I’ve already mentioned exercise, but it’s important enough for me to bring it up twice. Diet and exercise are vital to keeping your tools sharp. 

Yoga is a form of physical fitness that is ideal for business professionals. You can do it in a small space with nothing more than a roll-up mat and some comfortable clothes. It’s a great exercise for your body and helps improve your metabolism, flexibility, and strength. But it also has a powerful impact on your mind. Practicing yoga gives you a lot of the same benefits as meditation, so it’s a very effective use of your time, especially if you use a yoga journal.

Get the Most From The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Book Review

I run the corporate wellness training program at 1AND1 Life. Our mission is to train leadership teams to create healthy environments that are mentally stimulating and focused on healthy achievement. Stephen Covey taught me valuable lessons that I incorporate in my training classes and one-on-one coaching.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – FightMediocrity

Success is a combination of hard work and hard study. You may have heard the phrase, “Work smarter, not harder.” I believe that if you work smarter, you will enjoy the work more and it won’t feel hard. You’ll be doing the hardest work of your life, but it will be fun and exciting. It will transform your world into an exciting adventure as you overcome challenges that look insurmountable. And with every impossible victory you pull off, your motivation and enthusiasm will increase. You will take on bigger and bigger challenges. You’ll learn more from your failures, and any setbacks you encounter will increase your drive to succeed. Stephen Covey can help you rise to the challenge. 

If you learn and apply the lessons in this book, you will increase the effectiveness of your efforts and increase your chances of success.

A big part of being successful is sharing the wealth. Think about the people you know who could use these lessons, and send them my review. They may thank you for it. I recommend you pick up a copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey and start reading it today.