the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey

a really brief summary

All of the book listed within the bookstack were relevant book for me, but this one was actually crucial for my personal and professional development.

I started reading it after being excluded from a talent program, while I was questioning my ability to construct effective relationship with others and being relevant part of a team.

I quickly understood that this was not one of thoose stupid book written to teach you how to become a powerful catching man or a powerful negotiator. This book is rather tyring to teach you how to be a real man, one grounded into sound principles, able to resist ot adverse winds and act proactively, therefore being able to establish sincere and effective relationships with others, being either a single person or a whole team.

This book made me move from a passive-aggressive behaviour to a proactive and effective one

As you may guess everything moves around those seven habits mentioned within the title. Let me thus list you and describe each of them below:

Be proactive

Everything starts from you being proactive. let me show you this with a small sketch

This first rules teaches you that between whatever event that affects you and your reaction there is your freedom as an human being. This means that nothing can hurt you if you don’t allow it to do so. This rule teaches you to concentrate on your circle of influence, i.e. on thinkg you can change, rather than sit complying about “bad luck”, worrying about thinkgs you can not change. And if you make a mistake? Aknowledge it , think about how to avoid it the next time and start over. It will be finished only when your eyes will be closed. Applying this habit will let you focus on what you can do to improve your situation, rather than blaming the destiny or your boss. And this will produce a Copernican change and a great relief.

Begin with the end in mind

Once you will have practiced with the first rule you will be able to move to the second one, which teaches you how relevant is to base your life on the right basis and principles, avoiding to be moved around from useles and harmful idols like power and money. This rule will help you write your own personal mission to guide you as a star to look at while focusing on your circle of influence and excercising your freedom.

Put thirst things first

The third rule, the last one related to personal success, or independence, helps you apply the first two rules day by day, teaching you how to plan your day to respect your real priorities.

think win-win

whit this rule we move to the public success: you are now a sound person, stable on your principles, able to react positively even to a negative event. It is the time to start interacting positively with the people around you. This rule teaches you how to effectively interact with people moving out from the typical war-game logic. The rules explain how is possibile always to look f or a solution able to satisfy both parties.

You will have to leverage all of your stable and strong characater, the one you will have cultivated with the first three rules, but in the end this approach will help you establish constructive relationshipe and increase your circle of influence.

Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

This relevant rule states a simple and powerful thing: you often listen to answer, rather than listening to understand. The rule theaches you how to genuinely listen your counterpart, avoiding to project on his life your own, and rather trying to actually understand which are his experience and feelings. This will give to the speaker some “psychological air”, he will feel finally understood and this will make him ready to listen you and your needs.

You will have then set the stage to effectively interact with the other person, looking for a win win situation.


is now time to sum all this up, discovering that in a teamwork the result is greater than the sum of its parts.

sharpen the saw

this last rule teaches you how to continously practice the other six rules in a kind of upgoing spiral, which take us a bit higher at each iteration. Practicing the rules is continous process which makes us deeper their understanding every time a bit more.

has it worked?

As I anticipated this book was crucial for both my professional and personal growth. It let me discover how was acting with other people and which was the right way to handle adverse events. I started focusing only on things I was able to change, committing my whole energies on them, rather than wasting on useless and harmful thoughts.

This, togheter with great concepts from deep work dramatically changed my productivity, helping me focus on really important task at work, but also teaching me to get of office soon enough to get home and play with my kids in the evening.

To be fair, I have to admit that this is not the kind of book you read once in your life: I still often open it and read one or more chapters, trying to fix the concepts and apply them better in the next occasion.


I have already reccomended this book to nearly all of my friends and colleagues since as I said this was a really crucial reading for my life. It is therefore easy for me to suggest this book to you as well. I am sure that when you will introduce into your life the seven habits Stephen Covey describes, you will see substantial and relevant changes in your life. As is often the case, you can find the book on Amazon, in english language for sure but probably also in your native language since it is a worldwide success.