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The 8th Habit
From Effectiveness to Greatness
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“The 8th Habit… is about seeing and harnessing the power of a third dimension to the 7 Habits that meets the central challenge of the new Knowledge Worker Age. This 8th Habit is to find your voice and help others find theirs.”
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Had this book been published a year or two after the bestselling classic The by Stephen R. Covey
7 Habits of Highly Effective People cynicism would be understandable. However, the 15-year gap between these two books tells us that Covey really does
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have something to say and we should listen. Not surprisingly, Covey has done exactly that: added an 8th habit bringing us to greatness. The reader might find strange this book being longer than the original (it also comes with a CD), and in some ways, there is a little repetition. Covey says the 8th Habit is the “third dimension” of the first 7, which is “finding your voice and helping others find theirs.” Also, what Covey terms ‘Industrial Age’ thinking has existed for thousands of years, and the basic remedy of care, love and self-worth also goes back more than just a few generations. 2011 © Inner Patch Publishing
The strength of this book is, however, not so much in what the habit is, but For More Free Summaries Visit:
what it represents. The 8th Habit is really a call to arms to help others, and to
help others help themselves. Also, Covey gets a bit more practical this time
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around, so you get some tips on how to practice the 8th Habit. This sequel is definitely Godfather II, not Godfather III.
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“The fundamental reality is, human beings are not things needing to be motivated and controlled; they are four dimensional– body, mind, heart and spirit.” In the Industrial Age, workers were treated like pieces of equipment that were inter-changeable and easily replaced. In the Information Age this concept is not only just outdated, it is counter productive. As Covey writes, “What happens when you manage people like things? They stop believing that leadership can become a choice.” Instead, Covey advocates finding your voice to discover your innate potential through the freedom we are all born with. In order to discover your voice, you should focus on 4 intelligences: 1. Mind (IQ)- This is usually the only criterion used when evaluating other people, but it is too restrictive. 2. Body (PQ)- It’s hard to be productive or be in a good mood if you are ill or tired from not being able to sleep. Maintaining PQ is therefore crucial. 3. Heart (EQ)- We are beginning to statistically see how EQ is a better determiner of success than IQ. Knowing what to say and when to say it, what to feel and how to express what you are feeling shows a high EQ. 4. Soul (SQ)- Covey believes that spiritual intelligence directs the other three. Our SQ is developed through our quest for meaning and purpose.
2011 © Inner Patch Publishing
These four points are then given a physical manifestation. 1. The mind is vision. A fully developed mind sees the possibilities in everything and everyone. Failure to do so leads to victimization. 2. The body is discipline. Discipline transforms vision into reality. It comes from combining vision and commitment. 3. The heart is passion. Passion feeds discipline, and comes from finding your You may also like...
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voice to accomplish greatness. 4. The soul is conscience. Having the right mental identity will guide you to the right decision to make.
Leading As the author puts it:
“Most people think of leadership as a position and therefore don’t see themselves as leaders.” What leadership really is is helping people understand their true worth and potential, not having a group of people following you on whatever quest you decide. Covey adds another point to this, “Enduring trust in a relationship cannot be faked, and it is rarely produced by a dramatic, onetime effort.” In other words, being true to everyone, showing honesty and integrity is the true meaning of leadership. Empowering others basically means pointing someone on the right path to achieve their goals, and then giving them the autonomy to achieve them. Create win/win situations that are a fundamental part of how we interpret the world, and your colleagues will share your commitment to achieving your company’s goals.
Getting there As the author puts it:
“No matter how long we’ve walked life’s pathway to mediocrity, we can always choose to switch paths. Al-ways. It’s never too late. We can find our voice.”
2011 © Inner Patch Publishing
The one criticism of The 7 Habits is that it provided a lot of ‘easier said than done’ advice without a whole lot of practical ways of doing it. The 8th Habit does not suffer from this mistake. He gives 4 major suggestions for practicing the 8th Habit: 1. Modeling- Let your actions speak louder than any words, prove yourself trustworthy and listen to others. 2. Pathfinding- Give your organization a clear sense of direction and order. You may also like...
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3. Aligning- Put your organization in line with a spirit of trust and empowerment, and you will have institutional moral authority. 4. Empowering- Accept and embrace the four elements of our nature: heart, mind, body and spirit. Let people choose for themselves and you will produce cultural moral authority. But Covey does not stop there to avoid the one pitfall of his classic. He also advises on some of the difficulties (“gaps”) you will encounter. 1. The clarity gap- The old way was to put out a meaningless mission statement while workers waited to see what would really happen. Today’s age requires identification, involvement and buy-in from workers. 2. The commitment gap- The body, mind, heart and spirit of the workers needs to be taken into account when considering new ideas, not a fancy way of selling it to them. 3. The translation gap- Having lofty goals is good, but there needs to be realworld application by aligning goals and incentives to get the desired results. 4. The enabling gap- Instead of approaching workers as cogs in a machine; establish a scorecard matching results with capabilities. The workers will see how the company’s structures and processes help them achieve their goals. 5. The synergy gap- When you have two conflicting ideas or positions, use emphatic listening and creating thinking to make a third alternative that satisfies both sides. 6. The accountability gap- The old way offered the worker the carrot and the
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stick. Nowadays, you must use accountability and open comparison of results towards goals. Again, we find the scoreboard helpful. The most important thing Covey wants you to understand from this book is
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that the 8th Habit is intended to help others, not yourself. If Covey were president, he would probably say something like:
“Ask not, what your greatness can do for you, ask what your greatness can do for your company.” 2011 © Inner Patch Publishing