The Covey Approach

Dr Stephen Covey is a highly influential management guru whose book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” has become a blueprint for personal development and professional success. the habits framework is especially applicable to leaders and managers. According to Covey, our paradigms affect how we interact with others, which in turn impacts on how they interact with us. He believes that we must start by examining our own character, paradigms and approach.

1. Be Proactive

Managers need to plan in advance and anticipate needs before they become issues. They also need to develop the attitude of exploring new avenues and generating ideas for future business growth.

2. Begin with the End in Mind

The manager needs to be able to concentrate on relevant activities in order to see the broader business picture and see how each activity links with the business and personal goals.

3. Put First Things First

Managers need to prioritize, plan and manage time and implement activities which aim up to achieve the second habit – looking to the desired outcome.

4. Think Win-Win

This is the most important aspect of interpersonal leadership, because achievements are largely dependent on cooperative efforts with others. Win-win is based on the assumption that there is plenty for everyone, and that success follows a cooperative approach  more naturally than a confrontational or a win-lose one.

5. Seek First to Understand and Then be Understood

By cooperating and developing positive relationships through good communications, the manager can be understood, and can understand the subordinates.

6. Synergies

This the principle that collaboration often achieves more than that can be achieved by individuals working independently at attaining a purpose and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

7. Sharpen the Saw

Managers can learn from the previous experiences and encourage others to do the same. This is the habit of self-renewal, and it necessarily surrounds all the other habits, enabling and encouraging them to happen and grow.


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