7 Habits to Better Leadership in Under 300 Words


We have been reviewing “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. Yesterday’s post on Sharpen the Saw or investing in yourself was the most popular post of the week so I wanted to add a few more ideas on balanced renewal. First, let’s quickly review the 7 Habits that will make you a better leader:

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 First Things First – Principles of Personal Management

Public Victory

Habit 4: Seek Win / Win Solutions – Principles of Interpersonal Leadership
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood – Principles of Empathic Communication
Habit 6: Synergize – Principles of Creative Cooperation


Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw – Principles of Balanced Renewal

As stated yesterday, renewal is the most important habit for your long term success. Dan Rockwell – LeadershipFreak provided a great quote of Abraham Lincoln: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

What will you do today to sharpen your saw? I have provided a few ideas below and in yesterday’s post. Now it’s up to you.


Please leave a comment below if you liked this article. You can also connect on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, subscribe via e-mail (right side bar), retweet, digg, or stumble this article (also right sidebar). Your feedback is appreciated.

A few more blogs and developmental ideas that I find helpful:

-Take the Dale Carnegie Training Class. It would be a very significant annual renewal.
-If you are a Carnegie graduate, go back as a Graduate Coach. I’ve done it twice and it’s a great experience.
-Sign up for weekly Dale Carnegie tips via e-mail. It’s free!
John Maxwell on Leadership.
Gemba Tales for Lean Manufacturing


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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13 Responses to 7 Habits to Better Leadership in Under 300 Words

  1. abdel says:

    well done i really appreciate this blog interesting subject and well built keep it done

  2. Keyuri Joshi says:

    Excellent reminder of noble attributes… for leaders, and those they lead as well. Thanks for keeping us on our toes!

    • Keyuri,

      Thank you for reading and for your comments! Stephen Covey definitely teaches taking the high road to success. The high road though is the best way for anyone to achieve the long term success we all desire. Thank you again.

      Best wishes,

  3. I liked your post. You are right, Dale Carnegie is a great renewal class. I even was an assistant for a couple classes after taking it and continued to get the same charge.

    • Steve,

      You have an excellent point. Assisting at a Dale Carnegie Seminar is an excellent way to renew oneself. Someone suggested that I re-read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in preparation for a job interview several years ago. That illustrated the value of revisiting something that had a significant impact on you. Since then, I’ve tried to review 7 Habits and How to Win Friends & Influence People every year. Even skimming and reading the high points is beneficial. Thanks for sharing!


  4. I love all of Stephen Coveys Books. The first book I read of his was the 7 Habits of Highly effective Families. After reading the book our family made a mission statement (in much protest) and it still is posted on the refrigerator door. My children are grown but I they still live by that mission statement. His principles have helped me in business and as a leader. I will have to go back and read all of your posts. I love that you are doing a book review. I have been wanting to do a series like this for months. You have inspired me. Maybe we could do a book together.

    • Julia,

      Thanks for sharing how Stephen Covey’s work has benefited you and your family. You did great to put it to work so well and to stick with it for so long. Collaborating on a review would be fun too. Thank you for sharing your experiences.


  5. Eric says:

    Great ideas, I liked the part about being proactive. I often find myself just sitting back while there is work to get done, but I am slowly learning to manage time better and making better use of it. My leadership skills have greatly improved as well.

    • Thanks for your comments, Eric. Being proactive may define leadership as well as any single concept. Those who are not are following even if they are in leadership roles. You might benefit from reading Covey’s book if you have not already. I read it early in my career and re-read it every year or two. It’s been a very positive influence on me.

      • newstart111 says:

        I will have to read that, sounds like it will help a lot. I have read Napolean Hills “think and grow rich” which was pretty good. Taught me to organize and be a leader rather than a follower. Which then led me to come up with my own theology about leading vs following. And that is…its better to have a leadership mentality and have no followers, than be a follower of someone else…

      • Interesting. Thank you.

  6. terry.renfrow@ge.com says:

    I have been reading many of the post. I am a 60 year old manufacturing guy who is now getting involved in 5S and Lean Manufacturing in the plant that I work for GE Home Laundry Division in Louisville Kentucky. If your blog is still running I hope to read and be a part of it for I have much to learn. 🙂

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