stephen covey live out your imagination quoteStephen Covey is a highly acclaimed speaker, educator, businessman, and author who most notably wrote the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Stephen is a person of breaking down the fundamentals of leaders that make them successful. One of the most powerful takeaways from Stephen’s works has to do with the concept of stimulus and response. Inside all us, there is a space between stimulus, and reacting to stimulus through your response. In other words, no matter what happens in this world, we have the ability to choose our response to it. In most people this space is very small, so small in fact they don’t even notice it’s there. Over time though, through practice, awareness, and restraint we can increase the space. Eventually, creating a period of time so long that the human mind can make a conscious decision as to what our action will be. Once you fully grasp this concept you no longer a slave to your emotions. In our opinion, Stephen’s greatest work is his book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit 1: Be Proactive; Create your own destiny. Change starts from within, and your not a captive of your past.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind; Take the right path. Develop a personal mission statement that’s based on your values and long-term goals.

Habit 3: Put First Things First; Examine your priorities. Spend the majority of your time doing what fits into your values and mission statement.

Habit 4: Always Think Win/Win; Always seek to add value. Only create relationships and arrangements that are mutually beneficial for everyone involved.

Habit 5: Seek First To Understand Then to be Understood; What’s their point of view? Listen to the other person before you speak, most disagreements are just misunderstandings.

Habit 6: Always Synergize; Work together to increase the sum of the whole. Learn to leverage individual differences in a way that adds value to everyone.

Habit 7: Sharpen The Saw; Take time out to refine your skills. It’s critical that you take time out of producing to increase your production ability. In other words, read more book and continually be educating yourself.

That’s a quick breakdown of the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. Learning these universal principles will make you more successful in anything you do. The fact of the matter is it’s up to you to create your own destiny, and that’s why “Be Proactive” is the #1 habit.

After the release of the 7 Habits book, he then wrote The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness which talks about some higher level concepts for those who have already master the 7 Habits. The 8th Habit is “Interdependence is a higher value than independence” which basically means that your ability to synergize and work with others is your greatest strength. Explaining that your value is highest at the intersection of your talent, passion, need, and conscience. If you can discover what’s at this intersection you can make a living doing something you love. Our influence is most powerful to the people that are directly around us. In most cases, it’s impossible to influence people who are outside our physical area. That’s why Stephen tells us to focus on influencing the circle of people in our life. Over time, we can set off a chain reaction that could influence the world. Even if you are not in a position of power in your company, it’s possible for a low to mid-level employee to change the culture of the entire company. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Too often people spend their time trying to influence others when the time would be best spent working on yourself.

Network marketing is all the rage right now, and Stephen wrote a book directly sharing some of his networking secrets to success. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Network Marketing Professionals is required reading for anyone looking to expand their business through the use of network marketing meetings or online forums. The truth is we’re all selling something when we interact with people, so why not be better at it? Many business people have built huge client lists through the use of networking meetings. If you live in a rural area you might have limited options, but online forums offer a similar opportunity for you. It’s all about establishing trust and then building credibility within your niche. It’s important to note, you should always return the favor and refer customers to the people who refer you.

If you like Stephen Covey, it’s worth looking at his other books:

7 habits of highly effective people stephen coveyI have learned to appreciate these types of supplemental works because there’s only so much information an author can put into a book. These types of self-improvement books are so powerful that I usually want to explore the topic in further depth. If reading isn’t your thing you can also purchase the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Signature Series CD Collection. This is particularly useful for people who drive around in their car often. If you want to accelerate your growth, make a pledge to stop listening to music, and instead listen to self-help CDs and YouTube videos while you drive your car. If you drive just 10 hours a week, this is valuable time you can be training you subconscious mind instead of mindlessly listening to music. The truth about personal development is even small changes reap huge rewards if your consistent over time. In fact, just the simple act of listening to self-help gurus while you drive could be the breakthrough you have be working towards.