This is an all-time favorite of mine, and another one I find myself returning to reference time and time again. Author Stephen R. Covey’s work outlines seven key habits that make people masters of themselves.
Taking the approach that our character is essentially the result of the many habits we fall into every day, Dr. Covey shows how you can improve yourself by changing your habits and adopting the patterns of successful people.
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While the title might suggest that the book is about personal improvement, it is very easy to see how what Dr. Covey talks about translates directly into a course in applied leadership not just of self, but of teams and organizations.
During a recent deployment to the Middle East, my Army team and I drilled a number of these habits into ourselves in the effort to do our job right. As foreigners in a strange land, we spent a lot of time focusing on habit 5: Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood. Doing so paid great dividends in our effort to connect with the people of a different culture and help produce a safe environment for them.
This book was a number one National Bestseller, has over 20 million copies in print, and is filled with excellent illustrative examples from all walks of life. It features plenty of simple charts and diagrams that reinforce its written message.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is not a quick read, but it is captivating, and one that you can steadily absorb and apply in all aspects of your life. And in doing so, I am certain you will become not only a better leader, but a better person, too.
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