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World’s No. 1 bestselling book now in Sinhala

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 9 February 2018 00:00


World’s Number One bestselling book in management, self help and leadership, ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, was published in the year 1989 and even after 28 years of publishing , this book is in the best selling list globally selling more than 30 million copies, translated in to 48 languages. 

Author of this book Dr. Stephen R. Covey who passed away in the year 2012 was one of the most sought after ‘Thought Leader in Leadership’ who has inspired millions of people around the world till his death. He also authored many others books after this bestselling book. 

This book addresses some of the powerful principles, fundamental truth or natural laws which are universal, timeless principles. Based on these principles we all develop our character strong enough to meet the challenges of the world today. This concept of ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ addresses some proven powerful processes to become a highly effective person, leading to team and organisational effectiveness.

Stephen Covey also later wrote the book on ‘7 Habits for Highly Effective Families’ and his son Sean Covey wrote on the same concepts for teenagers as ‘7 Habits for Highly Effective Teens’. All these have become bestsellers even today.

Franklin Covey as a company came in to existence due to a merger which took place with two companies namely Franklin Quest & Covey Leadership Centre has now become one of the top Training and Development companies in the world. A listed company in the New York Exchange, based out of Salt Lake City in Utah Province USA is now present in 163 countries around the world making it truly global.

Franklin Covey Sri Lanka and Maldives was established with a local licensee partner Dynamix International Consultancy Ltd. in the year 2003 when Dr. Covey visited Sri Lanka for the first time. “We are part of the South Asian operations and had been in operation since the inception of South Asia,” says CEO for Sri Lanka and Maldives Ameer Ahamed.

The 7 Habits for being highly effective in personal and professional life

The book first introduces the concept of paradigm shift and helps the reader understand that different perspectives exist, i.e. that two people can see the same thing and yet differ with each other. On this premise, it introduces the seven habits in a proper order.

Each chapter is dedicated to one of the habits, which are represented by the following imperatives:

First independence

The first three habits surround moving from dependence to independence (i.e., self-mastery):

1 - Be proactive

Talks about the concept of Circle of Influence and Circle of Concern. Work from the centre of your influence and constantly work to expand it. Don’t sit and wait in a reactive mode, waiting for problems to happen (Circle of Concern) before taking action.

2 - Begin with the end in mind

Envision what you want in the future so you can work and plan towards it. Understand how people make decisions in their life. To be effective you need to act based on principles and constantly review your mission statement. Are you - right now - who you want to be? What do I have to say about myself? How do you want to be remembered? Change your life to act and be proactive according to the Habit 1. You are the programmer! Grow and stay humble.

3 - Put first things first

Talks about difference between Leadership and Management. Leadership in the outside world begins with personal vision and personal leadership. Talks about what is important and what is urgent. Priority should be given in the following order:

1) Important and urgent

2) Important and not urgent

3) Not important and urgent

4) Not important and not urgent

Habit 2 says: you are the programmer. Habit 3: Write the program. Become a leader! Keep personal integrity: what you say vs what you do.


The next three habits talk about Interdependence (e.g., working with others):

4 - Think win-win

Genuine feelings for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a “win” for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten their way. Think Win-Win isn’t about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration.

5 - Seek first to understand, then to be understood

Use empathetic listening to genuinely understand a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, and positive problem solving.

The Habit 5 is greatly embraced in the Greek philosophy represented by 3 words:

1) Ethos – your personal credibility. It’s the trust that you inspire, your Emotional Bank Account.

2) Pathos is the empathic side – it’s the alignment with the emotional trust of another person communication.

3) Logos is the logic – the reasoning part of the presentation.

The order is important: Ethos, pathos, logos – your character, and your relationships, and then the logic of your presentation.

6 - Synergise

Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals that no one could have done alone.

Continuous improvements

The final habit is that of continuous improvement in both the personal and interpersonal spheres of influence.

7 - Sharpen the saw

Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasises exercise for physical renewal, good prayer (meditation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to society for spiritual renewal.

Covey explains the “Upward Spiral” model in the sharpening the saw section. Through our conscience, along with meaningful and consistent progress, the spiral will result in growth, change, and constant improvement. In essence, one is always attempting to integrate and master the principles outlined in The 7 Habits at progressively higher levels at each iteration. Subsequent development on any habit will render a different experience and you will learn the principles with a deeper understanding. The Upward Spiral model consists of three parts: Learn, commit, do. According to Covey, one must be increasingly educating the conscience in order to grow and develop on the upward spiral. The idea of renewal by education will propel one along the path of personal freedom, security, wisdom, and power.

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