Last week I finished reading...

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen R. Covey

Read more about this book...

I really enjoyed this book, it's definitely worth taking the time to sit down and read. I realized a lot about myself as I read it. Hopefully you will too! Here are a few excerpts from the book that had an impact on me.

"Management is a bottom line focus: How can I best accomplish certain things? Leadership deals with the top line: What are the things I want to accomplish?"

"... envision a group of producers cutting their way through the jungle with machetes. They're the producers, the problem solvers. They're cutting through the undergrowth, clearing it out.

The managers are behind them, sharpening their machetes, writing policy and procedure manuals, holding muscle development programs, bringing in improved technologies and setting up working schedules and compensation programs for machete wielders.

The leader is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and yells, 'Wrong Jungle!'"

"Work Centeredness. Work-centered people may become 'workaholics,' driving themselves to produce at the sacrifice of health, relationships, and other important areas of their lives. Their fundamental identity comes from their work - 'I'm a doctor', 'I'm a writer', 'I'm an actor.'

Because their identity and sense of self-worth are wrapped up in their work, their security is vulnerable to anything that happens to prevent them from continuing in it. Their guidance is a function of the demands of the work. Their wisdom and power come in the limited areas of their work, rendering them ineffective in other areas of life."

"There are times when neither the teacher nor the student knows for sure what's going to happen. In the beginning, there's a safe environment that enables people to be really open and to learn and to listen to each other's ideas. Then comes brainstorming, where the spirit of evaluation is subordinated to the spirit of creativity, imagining, and intellectual networking. Then an absolutely unusual phenomenon begins to take place. The entire class is transformed with the excitement of a new thrust, a new idea, a new direction that's hard to define, yet it's almost palpable to the people involved."

"Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree.

'What are you doing?' you ask.

'Can't you see?' comes the impatient reply. 'I'm sawing down this tree.'

'You look exhausted!' you exclaim. 'How long have you been at it?'

'Over five hours,' he returns, 'and I'm beat! This is hard work.'

'Well, why don't you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen that saw?' you inquire. 'I'm sure it would go a lot faster.'

'I don't have time to sharpen the saw,' then man says emphatically. 'I'm too busy sawing!'"

"Principles are natural laws that are external to us and that ultimately control the consequences of our actions. Values are internal and subjective and represent that which we feel strongest about in guiding our behavior."

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