The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“common sense isn’t always common practice.” (Location 465)

Tags: quotes, favorite

He was the master of being “proactive,” and much to our vexation while growing up, we were never allowed to make excuses or blame our circumstances, friends, or teachers for our problems. We were simply taught to “make it happen” or “choose another response.” Luckily, our mother allowed us to be victims and blame other people on occasion; she provided a healthy balance to our father! (Location 479)

Tags: parenting, responsibility

He taught by example that “life is a mission and not a career,” and that we could find true happiness by serving others. (Location 511)

Tags: life principles

Show me someone who is humble enough to accept and take responsibility for his or her circumstances and courageous enough to take whatever initiative is necessary to creatively work his or her way through or around these challenges, and I’ll show you the supreme power of choice. (Location 574)

Tags: responsibility

BODY: Cultural tendency: maintain lifestyle; treat health problems with surgery and medication. Principle: prevent diseases and problems by aligning lifestyle to be in harmony with established, universally accepted principles of health. MIND: Culture: watch television, “entertain me.” Principle: read broadly and deeply, continuous education. HEART: Culture: use relationships with others to forward your personal, selfish interests. Principle: deep, respectful listening and serving others brings greatest fulfillment and joy. SPIRIT: Culture: succumb to growing secularism and cynicism. Principle: recognize that the source of our basic need for meaning and of the positive things we seek in life is principles—which natural laws I personally believe have their source in God. (Location 612)

On a final personal note, I want to repeat a question I constantly pose in my teaching: How many on their deathbeds wished they’d spent more time at the office—or watching TV? The answer is, No one. They think about their loved ones, their families, and those they have served. (Location 625)

Tags: tv

Part One PARADIGMS and PRINCIPLES (Location 642)

The Character Ethic taught that there are basic principles of effective living, and that people can only experience true success and enduring happiness as they learn and integrate these principles into their basic character. (Location 713)

Personality Ethic—personality growth, communication skill training, and education in the field of influence strategies and positive thinking— (Location 760)

Each of us has many, many maps in our head, which can be divided into two main categories: maps of the way things are, or realities, and maps of the way things should be, or values. We interpret everything we experience through these mental maps. We seldom question their accuracy; we’re usually even unaware that we have them. We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should (Location 809)

Tags: map

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are—or, as we are conditioned to see it. When we open our mouths to describe what we see, we in effect describe ourselves, our perceptions, our paradigms. When other people disagree with us, we immediately think something is wrong with them. But, as the demonstration shows, sincere, clearheaded people see things differently, each looking through the unique lens of experience. (Location 862)

Tags: favorite, map, perception

Note: We see the world as we are

The more aware we are of our basic paradigms, maps, or assumptions, and the extent to which we have been influenced by our experience, the more we can take responsibility for those paradigms, examine them, test them against reality, listen to others and be open to their perceptions, thereby getting a larger picture and a far more objective view. (Location 869)

Tags: perspective, map

Note: We should be aware of the lends through which we view the world


the Personality Ethic trying to change our attitudes and behaviors and (Location 912)

It becomes obvious that if we want to make relatively minor changes in our lives, we can perhaps appropriately focus on our attitudes and behaviors. But if we want to make significant, quantum change, we need to work on our basic paradigms. (Location 914)

The more closely our maps or paradigms are aligned with these principles or natural laws, the more accurate and functional they will be. Correct maps will infinitely impact our personal and interpersonal effectiveness far more than any amount of effort expended on changing our attitudes and behaviors. (Location 993)

Tags: map


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ARISTOTLE (Location 1162)

Tags: consistency

Our character, basically, is a composite of our habits. “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny,” the maxim goes. (Location 1164)

For our purposes, we will define a habit as the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire. Knowledge is the theoretical paradigm, the what to do and the why. Skill is the how to do. And desire is the motivation, the want to do. In order to make something a habit in our lives, we have to have all three. (Location 1182)

Dependent people need others to get what they want. Independent people can get what they want through their own effort. Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success. (Location 1214)

Interdependence is a far more mature, more advanced concept. If I am physically interdependent, I am self-reliant and capable, but I also realize that you and I working together can accomplish far more than, even at my best, I could accomplish alone. If I am emotionally interdependent, I derive a great sense of worth within myself, but I also recognize the need for love, for giving, and for receiving love from others. If I am intellectually interdependent, I realize that I need the best thinking of other people to join with my own. (Location 1239)

Effectiveness lies in the balance—what I call the P/PC Balance. P stands for production of desired results, the golden eggs. PC stands for production capability, the ability or asset that produces the golden eggs. (Location 1282)

Basically, there are three kinds of assets: physical, financial, and human. Let’s look at each one in turn. (Location 1285)

In our quest for short-term returns, or results, we often ruin a prized physical asset—a car, a computer, a washer or dryer, even our body or our environment. Keeping P and PC in balance makes a tremendous difference in the effective use of physical assets. (Location 1291)

There are organizations that talk a lot about the customer and then completely neglect the people that deal with the customer—the employees. The PC principle is to always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers. (Location 1355)

You can buy a person’s hand, but you can’t buy his heart. His heart is where his enthusiasm, his loyalty is. You can buy his back, but you can’t buy his brain. That’s where his creativity is, his ingenuity, his resourcefulness. PC work is treating employees as volunteers just as you treat customers as volunteers, because that’s what they are. They volunteer the best part—their hearts and minds. (Location 1356)

Whatever your present situation, I assure you that you are not your habits. You can replace old patterns of self-defeating behavior with new patterns, new habits of effectiveness, happiness, and trust-based relationships. (Location 1423)

Tags: habits

Note: You can change your habits

Part Two PRIVATE VICTORY (Location 1429)

But because of the unique human capacity of self-awareness, we can examine our paradigms to determine whether they are reality- or principle-based or if they are a function of conditioning and conditions. (Location 1452)

Victor Frankl himself was a self-aware being who could look as an observer at his very involvement. His basic identity was intact. He could decide within himself how all of this was going to affect him. Between what happened to him, or the stimulus, and his response to it, was his freedom or power to choose that response. (Location 1489)

In the midst of the most degrading circumstances imaginable, Frankl used the human endowment of self-awareness to discover a fundamental principle about the nature of man: Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose. (Location 1498)

Tags: choices

Within the freedom to choose are those endowments that make us uniquely human. In addition to self-awareness, we have imagination—the ability to create in our minds beyond our present reality. We have conscience—a deep inner awareness of right and wrong, of the principles that govern our behavior, and a sense of the degree to which our thoughts and actions are in harmony with them. And we have independent will—the ability to act based on our self-awareness, free of all other influences. (Location 1500)

Tags: choices

Between stimulus and response is our greatest power—the freedom to choose. (Location 1513)

Tags: favorite, choices

While the word proactivity is now fairly common in management literature, it is a word you won’t find in most dictionaries. It means more than merely taking initiative. It means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We can subordinate feelings to values. We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen. (Location 1517)

Proactive people can carry their own weather with them. Whether it rains or shines makes no difference to them. (Location 1527)

Tags: mindset

Note: The weather makes no difference to pro-active people

The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person. Reactive people are driven by feelings, by circumstances, by conditions, by their environment. Proactive people are driven by values—carefully thought about, selected and internalized values. (Location 1531)

Tags: reactive

Note: .reactive Pro-active people are driven by values.

As Eleanor Roosevelt observed, “No one can hurt you without your consent.” In the words of Gandhi, “They cannot take away our self respect if we do not give it to them.” It is our willing permission, our consent to what happens to us, that hurts us far more than what happens to us in the first place. (Location 1535)

“I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” (Location 1539)

Tags: choices

It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us. Of course, things can hurt us physically or economically and can cause sorrow. But our character, our basic identity, does not have to be hurt at all. (Location 1556)

Tags: reacting

In other words, what matters most is how we respond to what we experience in life. (Location 1583)

Tags: reacting

Taking initiative does not mean being pushy, obnoxious, or aggressive. It does mean recognizing our responsibility to make things happen. (Location 1588)

Tags: execution

Many people wait for something to happen or someone to take care of them. But people who end up with the good jobs are the proactive ones who are solutions to problems, not problems themselves, who seize the initiative to do whatever is necessary, consistent with correct principles, to get the job done. (Location 1597)


In the great literature of all progressive societies, love is a verb. Reactive people make it a feeling. They’re driven by feelings. Hollywood has generally scripted us to believe that we are not responsible, that we are a product of our feelings. But the Hollywood script does not describe the reality. If our feelings control our actions, it is because we have abdicated our responsibility and empowered them to do so. (Location 1679)

Proactive people make love a verb. Love is something you do: the sacrifices you make, the giving of self, like a mother bringing a newborn into the world. (Location 1682)


Proactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about. The nature of their energy is positive, enlarging and magnifying, causing their Circle of Influence to increase. (Location 1696)

Tags: circle of influence

Reactive people, on the other hand, focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern. They focus on the weakness of other people, the problems in the environment, and circumstances over which they have no control. (Location 1698)

Tags: circle of influence

The problems we face fall in one of three areas: direct control (problems involving our own behavior); indirect control (problems involving other people’s behavior); or no control (problems we can do nothing about, such as our past or situational realities). (Location 1715)

Tags: circle of influence

Direct control problems are solved by working on our habits. They are obviously within our Circle of Influence. These are the “Private Victories” of Habits 1, 2, and 3. (Location 1718)

Indirect control problems are solved by changing our methods of influence. These are the “Public Victories” of Habits 4, 5, and 6. (Location 1720)

We share in the spirit embodied in the Alcoholics Anonymous prayer, “Lord, give me the courage to change the things which can and ought to be changed, the serenity to accept the things which cannot be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference.” (Location 1727)

Tags: circle of influence, favorite

There are so many ways to work in the Circle of Influence—to be a better listener, to be a more loving marriage partner, to be a better student, to be a more cooperative and dedicated employee. Sometimes the most proactive thing we can do is to be happy, just to (Location 1807)

Tags: circle of influence

Before we totally shift our life focus to our Circle of Influence, we need to consider two things in our Circle of Concern that merit deeper thought—consequences and mistakes. While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of those actions. (Location 1813)

We are free to choose our response in any situation, but in doing so, we choose the attendant consequence. “When we pick up one end of the stick, we pick up the other.” (Location 1820)

Tags: choices

It is not what others do or even our own mistakes that hurt us the most; it is our response to those things. Chasing after the poisonous snake that bites us will only drive the poison through our entire system. It is far better to take measures immediately to get the poison out. (Location 1832)

Tags: reacting

For thirty days work only in your Circle of Influence. Make small commitments and keep them. Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. (Location 1857)

Don’t argue for other people’s weaknesses. Don’t argue for your own. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it—immediately. Don’t get into a blaming, accusing mode. Work on things you have control over. Work on you. On be. (Location 1859)

Tags: responsibility

Look at the weaknesses of others with compassion, not accusation. It’s not what they’re not doing or should be doing that’s the issue. The issue is your own chosen response to the situation and what you should be doing. If you start to think the problem is “out there,” stop yourself. That thought is the problem. (Location 1861)



Now think deeply. What would you like each of these speakers to say about you and your life? What kind of husband, wife, father, or mother would you like their words to reflect? What kind of son or daughter or cousin? What kind of friend? What kind of working associate? (Location 1897)

Tags: mortality

Each part of your life—today’s behavior, tomorrow’s behavior, next week’s behavior, next month’s behavior—can be examined in the context of the whole, of what really matters most to you. (Location 1915)

To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction. (Location 1919)

Tags: goals

Note: Begin with the end in mind

most. If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster. (Location 1928)

Tags: goals

“Begin with the end in mind” is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation, to all things. (Location 1936)

Take the construction of a home, for example. (Location 1938)

You work with your mind until you get a clear image of what you want to build. Then you reduce it to blueprint and develop construction plans. All of this is done before the earth is touched. If not, then in the second creation, the physical creation, you will have to make expensive changes that may double the cost of your home. (Location 1940)

BY DESIGN OR DEFAULT (Location 1959)

It’s a principle that all things are created twice, but not all first creations are by conscious design. In our personal lives, if we do not develop our own self-awareness and do not become responsible for first creations, we empower other people and circumstances outside our Circle of Influence to shape much of our lives by default. (Location 1960)

Management is a bottom line focus: How can I best accomplish certain things? Leadership deals with the top line: What are the things I want to accomplish? (Location 1975)

In the words of both Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. (Location 1976)

Tags: leadership

Note: Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things

Effectiveness—often even survival—does not depend solely on how much effort we expend, but on whether or not the effort we expend is in the right jungle. (Location 1989)

Tags: effectiveness

Efficient management without effective leadership is, as one individual has phrased it, “like straightening deck chairs on the Titanic.” (Location 1997)

Tags: favorite, leadership, quotes, effectiveness

Note: Efficient management is useless without effective leadership

I’m convinced that too often parents are also trapped in the management paradigm, thinking of control, efficiency, and rules instead of direction, purpose, and family feeling. (Location 2011)

Tags: parenting

And leadership is even more lacking in our personal lives. We’re into managing with efficiency, setting and achieving goals before we have even clarified our values. (Location 2012)

He records that he was almost loath to leave his prison cell because it was there that he realized that real success is success with self. It’s not in having things, but in having mastery, having victory over self. (Location 2034)

A PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT The most effective way I know to begin with the end in mind is to develop a personal mission statement or philosophy or creed. It focuses on what you want to be (character) and to do (contributions and achievements) and on the values or principles upon which being and doing are based. (Location 2070)

Tags: mission statement

My friend, Rolfe Kerr, has expressed his personal creed in this way: Succeed at home first. Seek and merit divine help. Never compromise with honesty. Remember the people involved. Hear both sides before judging. Obtain counsel of others. Defend those who are absent. Be sincere yet decisive. Develop one new proficiency a year. Plan tomorrow’s work today. Hustle while you wait. Maintain a positive attitude. Keep a sense of humor. Be orderly in person and in work. Do not fear mistakes—fear only the absence of creative, constructive, and corrective responses to those mistakes. Facilitate the success of subordinates. Listen twice as much as you speak. Concentrate all abilities and efforts on the task at hand, not worrying about the next job or promotion. (Location 2075)

Tags: mission statement

A woman seeking to balance family and work values has expressed her sense of personal mission differently:      I will seek to balance career and family as best I can since both are important to me.      My home will be a place where I and my family, friends, and guests find joy, comfort, peace, and happiness. Still I will seek to create a clean and orderly environment, yet livable and comfortable. I will exercise wisdom in what we choose to eat, read, see, and do at home. I especially want to teach my children to love, to learn, and to laugh—and to work and develop their unique talents.      I value the rights, freedoms, and responsibilities of our democratic society. I will be a concerned and informed citizen, involved in the political process to ensure my voice is heard and my vote is counted.      I will be a self-starting individual who exercises initiative in accomplishing my life’s goals. I will act on situations and opportunities, rather than to be acted upon.      I will always try to keep myself free from addictive and destructive habits. I will develop habits that free me from old labels and limits and expand my capabilities and choices.      My money will be my servant, not my master. I will seek financial independence over time. My wants will be subject to my needs and my means. Except for long-term home and car loans, I will seek to keep myself free from consumer debt. I will spend less than I earn and regularly save or invest part of my income.      Moreover, I will use what money and talents I have to make life more enjoyable for others through service and charitable giving. (Location 2086)

Tags: mission statement

A personal mission statement based on correct principles becomes the same kind of standard for an individual. It becomes a personal constitution, the basis for making major, life-directing decisions, the basis for making daily decisions in the midst of the circumstances and emotions that affect our lives. It empowers individuals with the same timeless strength in the midst of change. (Location 2109)

Tags: mission statement

Whatever is at the center of our life will be the source of our security, guidance, wisdom, and power. Security represents your sense of worth, your identity, your emotional anchorage, your self-esteem, your basic personal strength or lack of it. Guidance means your source of direction in life. Encompassed by your map, your internal frame of reference that interprets for you what is happening out there, are standards or principles or implicit criteria that govern moment by moment decision making and doing. *** Wisdom is your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other. It embraces judgment, discernment, comprehension. It is a gestalt or oneness, an integrated wholeness. Power is the faculty or capacity to act, the strength and potency to accomplish something. It is the vital energy to make choices and decisions. It also includes the capacity to overcome deeply embedded habits and to cultivate higher, more effective ones. (Location 2134)








Innocent pleasures in moderation can provide relaxation for the body and mind and can foster family and other relationships. But pleasure, per se, offers no deep, lasting satisfaction or sense of fulfillment. The pleasure-centered person, too soon bored with each succeeding level of “fun,” constantly cries for more and more. So the next new pleasure has to be bigger and better, more exciting, with a bigger “high.” A person in this state becomes almost entirely narcissistic, interpreting all of life in terms of the pleasure it provides to the self here and now. (Location 2227)

Tags: hedonic adaptation




A PRINCIPLE CENTER (Location 2311)

By centering our lives on correct principles, we create a solid foundation for development of the four life-support factors. Our security comes from knowing that, unlike other centers based on people or things which are subject to frequent and immediate change, correct principles do not change. We can depend on them. (Location 2312)

Tags: principles

The wisdom and guidance that accompany principle-centered living come from correct maps, from the way things really are, have been, and will be. Correct maps enable us to clearly see where we want to go and how to get there. We can make our decisions using the correct data that will make their implementation possible and meaningful. The personal power that comes from principle-centered living is the power of a self-aware, knowledgeable, proactive individual, unrestricted by the attitudes, behaviors, and actions of others or by many of the circumstances and environmental influences that limit other people. (Location 2328)

Tags: principles, map

Personal responsibility, or proactivity, is fundamental to the first creation. Returning to the computer metaphor, Habit 1 says, “You are the programmer.” Habit 2, then, says, “Write the program.” Until you accept the idea that you are responsible, that you are the programmer, you won’t really invest in writing the program. (Location 2406)

I find the process is as important as the product. Writing or reviewing a mission statement changes you because it forces you to think through your priorities deeply, carefully, and to align your behavior with your beliefs. As you do, other people begin to sense that you’re not being driven by everything that happens to you. You have a sense of mission about what you’re trying to do and you are excited about it. (Location 2418)

Tags: mission statement

Essentially, the left hemisphere is the more logical/verbal one and the right hemisphere the more intuitive, creative one. The left deals with words, the right with pictures; the left with parts and specifics, the right with wholes and the relationship between the parts. The left deals with analysis, which means to break apart; the right with synthesis, which means to put together. The left deals with sequential thinking; the right with simultaneous and holistic thinking. The left is time bound; the right is time free. (Location 2429)

Through the powers of your imagination, you can visualize your own funeral, as we did at the beginning of this chapter. Write your own eulogy. Actually write it out. Be specific. (Location 2454)

Tags: visualisation, mortality

You can visualize your twenty-fifth and then your fiftieth wedding anniversary. Have your spouse visualize this with you. Try to capture the essence of the family relationship you want to have created through your day-by-day investment over a period of that many years. You can visualize your retirement from your present occupation. What contributions, what achievements will you want to have made in your field? What plans will you have after retirement? Will you enter a second career? Expand your mind. Visualize in rich detail. Involve as many emotions and feelings as possible. Involve as many of the senses as you can. (Location 2455)

Tags: visualisation, mortality

The dominant, central theme of their activities, the underlying principle, is love. The futility of bad-mouthing, bad thinking, put-downs, and accusation becomes very evident when they think in terms of having only a short time to live. Principles and values become more evident to everybody. (Location 2466)

Tags: love, mortality

Visualization and Affirmation Personal leadership is not a singular experience. It doesn’t begin and end with the writing of a personal mission statement. It is, rather, the ongoing process of keeping your vision and values before you and aligning your life to be congruent with those most important things. (Location 2471)

Tags: visualisation

One of the main things his research showed was that almost all of the world-class athletes and other peak performers are visualizers. They see it; they feel it; they experience it before they actually do it. They begin with the end in mind. (Location 2503)

Tags: visualisation

You can do it in every area of your life. Before a performance, a sales presentation, a difficult confrontation, or the daily challenge of meeting a goal, see it clearly, vividly, relentlessly, over and over again. Create an internal “comfort zone.” Then, when you get into the situation, it isn’t foreign. It doesn’t scare you. (Location 2505)

Tags: visualisation

You may find that your mission statement will be much more balanced, much easier to work with, if you break it down into the specific role areas of your life and the goals you want to accomplish in each area. Look at your professional role. You might be a salesperson, or a manager, or a product developer. What are you about in that area? What are the values that should guide you? Think of your personal roles—husband, wife, father, mother, neighbor, friend. What are you about in those roles? What’s important to you? Think of community roles—the political area, public service, volunteer organizations. (Location 2536)

Tags: mission statement

My mission is to live with integrity and to make a difference in the lives of others. To fulfill this mission: I have charity: I seek out and love the one—each one—regardless of his situation. I sacrifice: I devote my time, talents, and resources to my mission. I inspire: I teach by example that we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father and that every Goliath can be overcome. I am impactful: What I do makes a difference in the lives of others. These roles take priority in achieving my mission: Husband—my partner is the most important person in my life. Together we contribute the fruits of harmony, industry, charity, and thrift. Father—I help my children experience progressively greater joy in their lives. Son/Brother—I am frequently “there” for support and love. Christian—God can count on me to keep my covenants and to serve his other children. Neighbor—The love of Christ is visible through my actions toward others. Change Agent—I am a catalyst for developing high performance in large organizations. Scholar—I learn important new things every day. (Location 2541)

Tags: mission statement

After you identify your various roles, then you can think about the long-term goals you want to accomplish in each of those roles. We’re into the right brain again, using imagination, creativity, conscience, and inspiration. (Location 2557)

An effective goal focuses primarily on results rather than activity. It identifies where you want to be, and, in the process, helps you determine where you are. It gives you important information on how to get there, and it tells you when you have arrived. It unifies your efforts and energy. It gives meaning and purpose to all you do. (Location 2561)

Tags: goals

And it can finally translate itself into daily activities so that you are proactive, you are in charge of your life, you are making happen each day the things that will enable you to fulfill your personal mission statement. (Location 2564)

Tags: execution, goals

Note: Align a goal to daily activities

I went through the back door into the kitchen, where I saw the central value: “Uncompromising personalized service.” I finally went to the manager and said, “My business is helping organizations develop a powerful team character, a team culture. I am amazed at what you have here.” (Location 2635)

“Different from the one for the hotel chain?” “Yes. It’s in harmony with that statement, but this one pertains to our situation, our environment, our time.” He handed me another paper. (Location 2641)


Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. (Location 2700)

Tags: priotitise

Habit 3 is the personal fruit, the practical fulfillment of Habits 1 and 2. Habit 1 says, “You’re the creator. You are in charge.” It’s based on the four unique human endowments of imagination, conscience, independent will, and, particularly, self-awareness. It empowers you to say, “That’s an unhealthy program I’ve been given from my childhood, from my social mirror. I don’t like that ineffective script. I can change.” Habit 2 is the first or mental creation. It’s based on imagination—the ability to envision, to see the potential, to create with our minds what we cannot at present see with our eyes; and conscience—the ability to detect our own uniqueness and the personal, moral, and ethical guidelines within which we can most happily fulfill it. It’s the deep contact with our basic paradigms and values and the vision of what we can become. (Location 2709)

Habit 3, then, is the second creation, the physical creation. It’s the fulfillment, the actualization, the natural emergence of Habits 1 and 2. It’s the exercise of independent will toward becoming principle-centered. It’s the day-in, day-out, moment-by-moment doing it. (Location 2716)

Management, remember, is clearly different from leadership. Leadership is primarily a high-powered, right brain activity. It’s more of an art; it’s based on a philosophy. You have to ask the ultimate questions of life when you’re dealing with personal leadership issues. (Location 2724)

The ability to manage well doesn’t make much difference if you’re not even in the “right jungle.” (Location 2727)

Tags: management

Management is the breaking down, the analysis, the sequencing, the specific application, the time-bound left-brain aspect of effective self-government. My own maxim of personal effectiveness is this: Manage from the left; lead from the right. (Location 2729)

Tags: management

Effective management is putting first things first. While leadership decides what “first things” are, it is management that puts them first, day-by-day, moment-by-moment. Management is discipline, carrying it out. (Location 2742)

Tags: favorite, priotitise, leadership, management

Note: Put 1st things 1st

Organize and execute around priorities. (Location 2761)

Tags: execution

Likewise, in the area of time management, each generation builds on the one before it—each one moves us toward greater control of our lives. The first wave or generation could be characterized by notes and checklists, an effort to give some semblance of recognition and inclusiveness to the many demands placed on our time and energy. The second generation could be characterized by calendars and appointment books. This wave reflects an attempt to look ahead, to schedule events and activities in the future. The third generation reflects the current time management field. It adds to those preceding generations the important idea of prioritization, of clarifying values, and of comparing the relative worth of activities based on their relationship to those values. In addition, it focuses on setting goals—specific long-, intermediate-, and short-term targets toward which time and energy would be directed in harmony with values. (Location 2766)

The essential focus of the fourth generation of management can be captured in the time management matrix diagrammed on the next page. Basically, we spend time in one of four ways. As you can see, the two factors that define an activity are urgent and important. Urgent means it requires immediate attention. It’s “Now!” Urgent things act on us. A ringing phone is urgent. Most people can’t stand the thought of just allowing the phone to ring. (Location 2784)

Quadrant III, thinking they’re in Quadrant I. They spend most of their time reacting to things that are urgent, assuming they are also important. But the reality is that the urgency of these matters is often based on the priorities and expectations of others. (Location 2809)

Effective people stay out of Quadrants III and IV because, urgent or not, they aren’t important. They also shrink Quadrant I down to size by spending more time in Quadrant II. (Location 2813)

Note: Avoid neglecting important tasks because of unimportant tasks

To paraphrase Peter Drucker, effective people are not problem-minded; they’re opportunity-minded. They feed opportunities and starve problems. They think preventively. They have genuine Quadrant I crises and emergencies that require their immediate attention, but the number is comparatively small. They keep P and PC in balance by focusing on the important, but not urgent, high leverage capacity-building activities of Quadrant II. (Location 2818)

Tags: mindset

I believe that if you were to ask what lies in Quadrant II and cultivate the proactivity to go after it, you would find the same results. Your effectiveness would increase dramatically. Your crises and problems would shrink to manageable proportions because you would be thinking ahead, working on the roots, doing the preventive things that keep situations from developing into crises in the first place. In time management jargon, this is called the Pareto Principle—80 percent of the results flow out of 20 percent of the activities. (Location 2846)

As I work with different groups, I tell them that the essence of effective time and life management is to organize and execute around balanced priorities. Then I ask this question: if you were to fault yourself in one of three areas, which would it be: (1) the inability to prioritize; (2) the inability or desire to organize around those priorities; or (3) the lack of discipline to execute around them, to stay with your priorities and organization? (Location 2882)

Tags: priotitise

MOVING INTO QUADRANT II If Quadrant II activities are clearly the heart of effective personal management—the “first things” we need to put first—then how do we organize and execute around those things? (Location 2902)

QUADRANT II FOCUS. You need a tool that encourages you, motivates you, actually helps you spend the time you need in Quadrant II, so that you’re dealing with prevention rather than prioritizing crises. In my opinion, the best way to do this is to organize your life on a weekly basis. (Location 2949)

Tags: prioritise

Organizing on a weekly basis provides much greater balance and context than daily planning. There seems to be implicit cultural recognition of the week as a single, complete unit of time. (Location 2953)

Note: Organise your life on a weekly basis

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. And this can best be done in the context of the week. (Location 2958)

Tags: priotitise


Quadrant II organizing involves four key activities. IDENTIFYING ROLES. The first task is to write down your key roles. If you haven’t really given serious thought to the roles in your life, you can write down what immediately comes to mind. (Location 2975)

Here are two examples of the way people might see their various roles. 1. Individual 1. Personal Development 2. Spouse/Parent 2. Spouse 3. Manager New Products 3. Parent 4. Manager Research 4. Real Estate Salesperson 5. Manager Staff Dev. 5. Community Service 6. Manager Administration 6. Symphony Board Member 7. Chairman United Way (Location 2982)

SELECTING GOALS. The next step is to think of one or two important results you feel you should accomplish in each role during the next seven days. These would be recorded as goals. (Location 2987)

Tags: goals

Ideally, these weekly goals would be tied to the longer-term goals you have identified in conjunction with your personal mission statement. (Location 2990)

Tags: goals

SCHEDULING. Now you can look at the week ahead with your goals in mind and schedule time to achieve them. For example, if your goal is to produce the first draft of your personal mission statement, you may want to set aside a two-hour block of time on Sunday to work on it. (Location 2993)

effectiveness with people and efficiency with things. I’ve tried to be “efficient” with a disagreeing or disagreeable person and it simply doesn’t work. I’ve tried to give ten minutes of “quality time” to a child or an employee to solve a problem, only to discover such “efficiency” creates new problems and seldom resolves the deepest concern. (Location 3048)

Tags: efficiency, effectiveness

Note: Efficiency doesn't work with people

STEWARDSHIP DELEGATION Stewardship delegation is focused on results instead of methods. It gives people a choice of method and makes them responsible for results. It takes more time in the beginning, but it’s time well invested. You can move the fulcrum over, you can increase your leverage, through stewardship delegation. (Location 3114)

Tags: delegation

Stewardship delegation involves clear, up-front mutual understanding and commitment regarding expectations in five areas. DESIRED RESULTS. Create a clear, mutual understanding of what needs to be accomplished, focusing on what, not how; results, not methods. (Location 3117)

Tags: delegation

Note: Ensure there is clear understanding of what needs to be completed when you delegate

GUIDELINES. Identify the parameters within which the individual should operate. These should be as few as possible to avoid methods delegation, but should include any formidable restrictions. (Location 3122)

Tags: delegation

If you know the failure paths of the job, identify them. Be honest and open—tell a person where the quicksand is and where the wild animals are. You don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel every day. (Location 3126)

Tags: delegation

Note: Outline the failure paths

RESOURCES. Identify the human, financial, technical, or organizational resources the person can draw on to accomplish the desired results. (Location 3129)

Tags: delegation

ACCOUNTABILITY. Set up the standards of performance that will be used in evaluating the results and the specific times when reporting and evaluation will take place. (Location 3131)

Tags: delegation

CONSEQUENCES. Specify what will happen, both good and bad, as a result of the evaluation. This could include such things as financial rewards, psychic rewards, different job assignments, and natural consequences tied into the overall mission of an organization. (Location 3132)

Tags: delegation

Part Three PUBLIC VICTORY (Location 3244)

“My friend,” I said, “you can’t talk your way out of problems you behave yourself into.” (Location 3271)

You may try to lubricate your social interactions with personality techniques and skills, but in the process, you may truncate the vital character base. You can’t have the fruits without the roots. It’s the principle of sequencing: Private Victory precedes Public Victory. Self-mastery and self-discipline are the foundation of good relationships with others. (Location 3273)

We need to create and care for the relationships that make those results realities. (Location 3303)


An Emotional Bank Account is a metaphor that describes the amount of trust that’s been built up in a relationship. It’s the feeling of safeness you have with another human being. (Location 3308)

Tags: trust

Note: We build up a 'bank account' of trust with others

If I make deposits into an Emotional Bank Account with you through courtesy, kindness, honesty, and keeping my commitments to you, I build up a reserve. (Location 3310)

Tags: trust

But if I have a habit of showing discourtesy, disrespect, cutting you off, overreacting, ignoring you, becoming arbitrary, betraying your trust, threatening you, or playing little tin god in your life, eventually my Emotional Bank Account is overdrawn. The trust level gets very low. Then what flexibility do I have? (Location 3314)

Tags: trust

But your accounts with the people you interact with on a regular basis require more constant investment. There are sometimes automatic withdrawals in your daily interactions or in their perception of you that you don’t even know about. (Location 3328)

“pull up the flowers to see how the roots are coming.” (Location 3347)

Tags: quotes

SIX MAJOR DEPOSITS Let me suggest six major deposits that build the Emotional Bank Account. Understanding the Individual (Location 3349)

You simply don’t know what constitutes a deposit to another person until you understand that individual. (Location 3353)

The Golden Rule says to “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” While on the surface that could mean to do for them what you would like to have done for you, I think the more essential meaning is to understand them deeply as individuals, the way you would want to be understood, and then to treat them in terms of that understanding. As one successful parent said about raising children, “Treat them all the same by treating them differently.” (Location 3378)

Attending to the Little Things (Location 3382)

“Daddy, if I were cold, would you put your coat around me, too?” Of all the events of that special night out together, the most important was a little act of kindness—a momentary, unconscious showing of love to his little brother. *** What a powerful, personal lesson that experience was to me then and is even now. People are very tender, very sensitive inside. I don’t believe age or experience makes much difference. Inside, even within the most toughened and calloused exteriors, are the tender feelings and emotions of the heart. (Location 3399)

Keeping Commitments (Location 3404)

Keeping a commitment or a promise is a major deposit; breaking one is a major withdrawal. In fact, there’s probably not a more massive withdrawal than to make a promise that’s important to someone and then not to come through. (Location 3405)

Clarifying Expectations (Location 3416)

The cause of almost all relationship difficulties is rooted in conflicting or ambiguous expectations around roles and goals. (Location 3430)

Tags: expectation, relationships

Note: Be clear in the expectations

That’s why it’s so important whenever you come into a new situation to get all the expectations out on the table. People will begin to judge each other through those expectations. And if they feel like their basic expectations have been violated, the reserve of trust is diminished. We create many negative situations by simply assuming that our expectations are self-evident and that they are clearly understood and shared by other people. (Location 3436)

Tags: expectation, favorite

Note: Get all expectations on the table

Showing Personal Integrity (Location 3445)

One of the most important ways to manifest integrity is to be loyal to those who are not present. In doing so, we build the trust of those who are present. When you defend those who are absent, you retain the trust of those present. (Location 3451)

Tags: integrity

Note: Be loyal to those who are not present

Apologizing Sincerely When You Make a Withdrawal When we make withdrawals from the Emotional Bank Account, we need to apologize and we need to do it sincerely. Great deposits come in the sincere words: (Location 3480)

Tags: apologise

“If you’re going to bow, bow low,” (Location 3491)

store chain that operates from this paradigm has created a great loyalty among its customers. Any time a customer comes into the store with a problem, no matter how small, the clerks immediately see it as an opportunity to build the relationship with the customer. They respond with a cheerful, positive desire to solve the problem in a way that will make the customer happy. (Location 3587)

HABIT 4: THINK WIN/WIN (Location 3600)


MATURITY. Maturity is the balance between courage and consideration. (Location 3828)

definition of emotional maturity I’ve ever come across—“the ability to express one’s own feelings and convictions balanced with consideration for the thoughts and feelings of others.” (Location 3830)

Tags: favorite, emotions

Note: Express your emotions and feelings whilst being aware of the thoughts and feelings of others

Public Victory does not mean victory over other people. It means success in effective interaction that brings mutually beneficial results to everyone involved. Public Victory means working together, communicating together, making things happen together that even the same people couldn’t make happen by working independently. And Public Victory is an outgrowth of the Abundance Mentality paradigm. (Location 3875)

In the Win/Win agreement, the following five elements are made very explicit: Desired results (not methods) identify what is to be done and when. Guidelines specify the parameters (principles, policies, etc.) within which results are to be accomplished. Resources identify the human, financial, technical, or organizational support available to help accomplish the results. Accountability sets up the standards of performance and the time of evaluation. Consequences specify—good and bad, natural and logical—what does and will happen as a result of the evaluation. (Location 3934)

My best experiences in teaching university classes have come when I have created a Win/Win shared understanding of the goal up front. “This is what we’re trying to accomplish. Here are the basic requirements for an A, B, or C grade. My goal is to help every one of you get an A. (Location 4001)

EMPATHIC LISTENING “Seek first to understand” involves a very deep shift in paradigm. We typically seek first to be understood. (Location 4197)

Tags: listen

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They’re either speaking or preparing to speak. They’re filtering everything through their own paradigms, reading their autobiography into other people’s lives. (Location 4199)

Tags: listen

When I say empathic listening, I mean listening with intent to understand. I mean seeking first to understand, to really understand. It’s an entirely different paradigm. (Location 4226)

Tags: listen

Empathic listening involves much more than registering, reflecting, or even understanding the words that are said. Communications experts estimate, in fact, that only 10 percent of our communication is represented by the words we say. Another 30 percent is represented by our sounds, and 60 percent by our body language. In empathic listening, you listen with your ears, but you also, and more importantly, listen with your eyes and with your heart. You listen for feeling, for meaning. You listen for behavior. You use your right brain as well as your left. You sense, you intuit, you feel. (Location 4232)

Tags: listen

This principle is also true in sales. An effective sales person first seeks to understand the needs, the concerns, the situation of the customer. The amateur salesman sells products; the professional sells solutions to needs and problems. It’s a totally different approach. The professional learns how to diagnose, how to understand. He also learns how to relate people’s needs to his products and services. And he has to have the integrity to say, “My product or service will not meet that need” if it will not. (Location 4301)

Tags: sales

Note: The professional sales person sells solutions to needs and problems

The fourth stage includes both the second and the third. You rephrase the content and reflect the feeling. “Boy, Dad, I’ve had it! School is for the birds!” “You’re really frustrated about school.” (Location 4406)

Tags: listen

Our perceptions can be vastly different. And yet we both have lived with our paradigms for years, thinking they are “facts,” and questioning the character or the mental competence of anyone who can’t “see the facts.” (Location 4498)

Tags: perception

Seek first to understand… then to be understood. (Location 4523)

The early Greeks had a magnificent philosophy which is embodied in three sequentially arranged words: ethos, pathos, and logos. I suggest these three words contain the essence of seeking first to understand and making effective presentations. Ethos is your personal credibility, the faith people have in your integrity and competency. It’s the trust that you inspire, your Emotional Bank Account. Pathos is the empathic side—it’s the feeling. It means that you are in alignment with the emotional thrust of another person’s communication. Logos is the logic, the reasoning part of the presentation. (Location 4526)

Seek first to understand. Before the problems come up, before you try to evaluate and prescribe, before you try to present your own ideas—seek to understand. It’s a powerful habit of effective interdependence. (Location 4604)

HABIT 6: SYNERGIZE (Location 4618)

What is synergy? Simply defined, it means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It means that the relationship which the parts have to each other is a part in and of itself. It is not only a part, but the most catalytic, the most empowering, the most unifying, and the most exciting part. (Location 4632)

The attitude was “If a person of your intelligence and competence and commitment disagrees with me, then there must be something to your disagreement that I don’t understand, and I need to understand it. You have a perspective, a frame of reference I need to look at.” (Location 4762)

Tags: openminded

Note: When intelligent competent people disagree with you it’s worth taking the time to understand their point of view

And the combination of those ingredients—the high Emotional Bank Account, thinking Win/Win, and seeking first to understand—creates the ideal environment for synergy. Buddhism calls this “the middle way.” Middle in this sense does not mean compromise; it means higher, like the apex of the triangle. (Location 4813)

When a person has access to both the intuitive, creative, and visual right brain, and the analytical, logical, verbal left brain, then the whole brain is working. In other words, there is psychic synergy taking place in our own head. And this tool is best suited to the reality of what life is, because life is not just logical—it is also emotional. (Location 4853)

VALUING THE DIFFERENCES Valuing the differences is the essence of synergy—the mental, the emotional, the psychological differences between people. And the key to valuing those differences is to realize that all people see the world, not as it is, but as they are. (Location 4890)

The person who is truly effective has the humility and reverence to recognize his own perceptual limitations and to appreciate the rich resources available through interaction with the hearts and minds of other human beings. That person values the differences because those differences add to his knowledge, to his understanding of reality. When we’re left to our own experiences, we constantly suffer from a shortage of data. (Location 4897)

unless we value the differences in our perceptions, unless we value each other and give credence to the possibility that we’re both right, that life is not always a dichotomous either/or, that there are almost always third alternatives, we will never be able to transcend the limits of that conditioning. (Location 4903)

When you see only two alternatives—yours and the “wrong” one—you can look for a synergistic third alternative. There’s almost always a third alternative, and if you work with a Win/Win philosophy and really seek to understand, you usually can find a solution that will be better for everyone concerned. (Location 5019)

Part Four RENEWAL (Location 5030)


FOUR DIMENSIONS OF RENEWAL Habit 7 is personal PC. It’s preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have—you. It’s renewing the four dimensions of your nature—physical, spiritual, mental, and social/emotional. (Location 5046)

Even if it’s raining on the morning you’ve scheduled to jog, do it anyway. “Oh good! It’s raining! I get to develop my willpower as well as my body!” (Location 5109)

Tags: mindset, willpower

You can get into the best minds that are now or that have ever been in the world. I highly recommend starting with a goal of a book a month, then a book every two weeks, then a book a week. “The person who doesn’t read is no better off than the person who can’t read.” (Location 5190)

Tags: reading

Note: The person who doesn't read is no better off the person who can't read

Writing is another powerful way to sharpen the mental saw. Keeping a journal of our thoughts, experiences, insights, and learnings promotes mental clarity, exactness, and context. Writing good letters—communicating on the deeper level of thoughts, feelings, and ideas rather than on the shallow, superficial level of events—also affects our ability to think clearly, to reason accurately, and to be understood effectively. (Location 5196)

Tags: writing

Note: writing helps us think clearly

It is said that wars are won in the general’s tent. Sharpening the saw in the first three dimensions—the physical, the spiritual, and the mental—is a practice I call the “Daily Private Victory.” And I commend to you the simple practice of spending one hour a day every day doing it—one hour a day for the rest of your life. (Location 5202)

Tags: recovery

Goethe taught, “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.” (Location 5298)

I have found this to be true in organizations as well as in individual lives. In an organization, the physical dimension is expressed in economic terms. The mental or psychological dimension deals with the recognition, development, and use of talent. The social/emotional dimension has to do with human relations, with how people are treated. And the spiritual dimension deals with finding meaning through purpose or contribution and through organizational integrity. (Location 5303)

Balanced renewal is optimally synergetic. The things you do to sharpen the saw in any one dimension have positive impact in other dimensions because they are so highly interrelated. Your physical health affects your mental health; your spiritual strength affects your social/emotional strength. As you improve in one dimension, you increase your ability in other dimensions as well. (Location 5326)

Tags: recovery

As you renew your physical dimension, you reinforce your personal vision (Habit 1), the paradigm of your own self-awareness and free will, of proactivity, of knowing that you are free to act instead of being acted upon, to choose your own response to any stimulus. This is probably the greatest benefit of physical exercise. Each Daily Private Victory makes a deposit in your personal intrinsic security account. (Location 5337)

The Daily Private Victory—a minimum of one hour a day in renewal of the physical, spiritual, and mental dimensions—is the key to the development of the Seven Habits and it’s completely within your Circle of Influence. It is the Quadrant II focus time necessary to integrate these habits into your life, to become principle-centered. (Location 5349)

Training and educating the conscience, however, requires even greater concentration, more balanced discipline, more consistently honest living. It requires regular feasting on inspiring literature, thinking noble thoughts and, above all, living in harmony with its still small voice. (Location 5364)

Tags: learning, discipline

there is a gap or a space between stimulus and response, and that the key to both our growth and happiness is how we use that space. (Location 5407)

I reflected on it again and again, and it began to have a powerful effect on my paradigm of life. It was as if I had become an observer of my own participation. I began to stand in that gap and to look outside at the stimuli. I reveled in the inward sense of freedom to choose my response—even to become the stimulus, or at least to influence it—even to reverse it. (Location 5411)

A tendency that’s run through your family for generations can stop with you. You’re a transition person—a link between the past and the future. And your own change can affect many, many lives downstream. (Location 5531)

Change—real change—comes from the inside out. It doesn’t come from hacking at the leaves of attitude and behavior with quick fix personality ethic techniques. It comes from striking at the root—the fabric of our thought, the fundamental, essential paradigms, which give definition to our character and create the lens through which we see the world. (Location 5543)

Again, I quote Emerson: “That which we persist in doing becomes easier—not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased.” (Location 5561)

Tags: persistence

The importance of understanding the difference between principles and values. Principles are natural laws that are external to us and that ultimately control the consequences of our actions. Values are internal and subjective and represent that which we feel strongest about in guiding our behavior. (Location 5595)

Tags: values

Nothing is sacred about seven, it just so happens that the three private victory habits (freedom to choose, choice, action) precede the three public victory habits (respect, understanding, creation) and then there is one to renew the rest and that equals seven. (Location 5670)

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. (Location 5728)