7 Habits for Effective Leaders

Stephen Covey is a man who has had a tremendous impact in my life even though we have never met. He has influenced people who have read his bestselling book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I read Covey’s 7 Habits for the first time while I was a 3rd Shift Supervisor and have re-read it several times. Focusing on these habits has helped me personally and professionally and they and they can help you. While I have not perfected any of these habits, the added effort and focus in those areas have helped me to close the gap between my skills at that time and my full potential moving forward.

The 7 Habits are broken down in 3 groups:

Private Victory

Habit 1: Be Proactive-Principles of Personal Vision
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind-Principles of Personal Leadership
Habit 3: Put the First Things First-Principles of Personal Management

Public Victory

Habit 4: Think Win/Win-Principles of Interpersonal Leadership
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood-Principles of Emphatic Communication
Habit 6: Synergize-Principles of Creative Cooperation


Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw-Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal

This series will look at each of the 7 habits and discuss what each of these look like in a Food Processing plant. Stay tuned. These are timeless principles that will help you to achieve your potential as a leader.

About Christian Paulsen

Christian Paulsen is an Executive Consultant with 20 years of Lean Manufacturing. Chris adds value to organizations by driving process improvement and bottom line savings. Chris intends to help others by sharing the lessons learned after a quarter century of operational leadership, marriage, parenting, and even longer as a Cubs fan. Your comments on this blog are welcome. You can also connect with Chris via LinnkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in the right sidebar. Chris welcomes your comments. Christian's professional services are available by contacting him through LinkedIn (right side bar)
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8 Responses to 7 Habits for Effective Leaders

  1. Mina Joshi says:

    Thanks for sharing the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I had read them a long time ago but not really focused on them at the time. Today, they seem to mean a lot more because of my changed circumstances.

  2. Mina,

    Thank you! I focused on those habits when I read the book nearly 20 years ago. I also found it very refreshing to read it again a few years ago and have made it a practice to review it several times since. Thanks again for your comments.


  3. I’m always intrigued by how many different authors in seemingly separate schools of thought describe the same activities in different ways. Covey’s 7 Habits align fairly with the PDCA cycle:

    Plan: 1,2 and 4
    Do: 3 and 6
    Check: 5
    Act: 7

    You have to determine what you want to do and how you will do it, you have to go and do it, then you need to determine if you achieved your objectives or not, and why. It seems that there’s a finite number of ways in which improvement can occur, whether at the personal or interpersonal (meaning: “organizational”) levels.

    Covey’s work has certainly had a far-reaching impact for a very long time. The genius that he and others like him bring is in their ability to make these concepts resonate with a wide audience.

    • David,

      Thank you for your comments. I hadn’t really thought of the 7 Habits in terms of the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle but Covey definitely has a quality mindset as did Dr. Deming. You are right about the Deming Cycle being repackaged. The current school of thought Six Sigma and the DMAIC cycle that very similar to Deming’s.


  4. Christian, this post is apt – thanks.
    As human beings we often forget that our greatest asset is ourselves. The way I look at this is that if you work for someone else, you are an asset to that company. If you’re married, you are an asset to your spouse. And it goes without saying, if you have children you are a great asset to them. You’re an asset to the community and the world you live in, to your neighbors, and to those you interact with on a daily basis. So, taking care of yourself is taking care of your number 1 asset which is you.

  5. Well, I agree with what you wrote, but not with all of it. Regardless, it is all very good material. Thanks!

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