The 8th Habit

A colleague of mine, Angelo, gave me [The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness]( by Stephen Covey, as a Christmas gift. As I began to follow through on my New Year’s Resolutions of starting my Doctorate and living healtheir, I chose to read the book as I worked out throughout January, finishing the book earlier this week. What follows is a summary of the book, and how I’m internalizing what Covey has to say.

The problem that Covey identifies in the first part of the book is that we are working in an Information Age, where the ideas that people contribute to organizations are the true assets in this new global economy. However, most organizations still operate in an Industrial Age mindset. In doing so, Knowledge Workers are often micro-managed, “carrot-and-sticked” and dehumanized. Leaders aren’t often in the actual position of leadership, and managers with operational control don’t always lead the people they’re responsible for. So how do organizations survive and thrive in a marketplace that values, no less demands innovative ideas? They need to model and grow the values that invite collaboration.

With this nugget, Covey begins to outline a plan to develop a sense of greatness in yourself, and then to affect others by modeling and sharing the skills of self-empowerment. When you can find success in instilling these values within your circle of influence, then you can begin to contribute to institutionalizing these values, thus affecting a transformation within the organization.

In the first section, *Find Your Voice*, Covey discusses your birth gifts, and breaks them down into categories of Vision, Disipline, Passion and Conscience. A great deal of this section is an amalgum of several works – Daniel Goleman’s work in [Emotional Intelligence (EQ)](, Zohar & Marshall’s work in [Spiritual Intelligence (SQ)](, Mental Intelligence (IQ) and Physical Intelligence (PQ). Covey provides a pretty decent cliff’s notes summary of EQ & SQ. For more detailed reading on those topics, though, you’ll need to go to their sources.

Once Covey introduces the model for developing your voice, he explains how to inspire others to find their voice. This next section begins with advice on Trustworthiness (being loyal to those not present, unless a greater perceived benefit can be found in not being loyal), on Influence (working within your circle of influence, as going too far outside can create distrust and problems with those affected) and to be a Model (living the 7 habits of Effectiveness).

Later on, the subject matter moves to the corporate world, where as with the first section, The later sections include aligning individuals with corporate strategy, and igniting talents and passions in others.

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