Seven habits of highly successful people

by Unre Visagie

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Seven habits of highly successful people

Seven habits of highly successful people

The seven habits and short summary of each one of the 7 habits

What you will find in this article:

  • Our expert mindmap version of the seven habits
  • Your free download of the interactive seven habits mindmap
  • A list of the seven habits
  • A shot summary of each habit
  • Implementation guidelines
  • More Google search resources
Seven habits of highly successful people

Seven habits of highly successful people Mindmap

This article is with thanks to Stephen Covey and his book on seven 7 habits of highly successful or effective people.

The 7 habits and a short summary of each

Habit 1: Be proactive in doing and planning

Make it a habit to know your purpose, objectives and plans, makes it easier to take the right actions. How to overcome the traditional fears that keep us from taking action is answered in the application section below.

  • Choose your actions after careful consideration.

    The important habit is to be pro-active in the first place. Choosing the right action with knowledge and confidence helps you do what you have chosen to do.

    Time is the most valuable commodity in our lives. We were given life and thus time for free.

    The hours we have in a life time are limited and thus our most valuable commodity. Fill those hours with what give you the results you want.

  • Getting and keep things done are a most valuable habit.

    The habit to make lists and sort them into priorities is part of the habits of most successful effective people.

    Organize your lists in logical bundles to make execution easier and more effective.

    Such lists helps you plan, delegate and saying no.

    The book and courses on getting and keeping things done will help tremendously.

  • Consider alternatives in Thesis and anti-thesis

    The habit to think in structured ways includes the process of thesis and anti-thesis to stimulate discovering alternatives. Alternatives are required for planning, communicating and more.

  • You are only responsible for yourself and to others.

    The habit to take and own responsibility only for yourself helps you being responsible to others.

    You are responsible to others. Realize it is a choice.

    Choose, add and manage actions from what is important to you and not urgent

    Being pro-active means avoiding what is urgent to others and not important to you at all. Know the difference and be pro-active in saying NO!

  • Recognize and know what you can influence and not influence

    The habit of pro-activeness means you identify where you have no influence and then let it go. You focus on the useful task almost immediately when you get busy with your next clear urgent important action.

  • Take responsibility for results.

Always take total ownership for results. Where you delegate or work in a team, you assist others, ensure right resources and verify with people who knows more about the subject.

Failing forward happens when you learn from the failure.

Handling failure as a positive part of the learning curve let you take the right action.

The key difference between effective and successful people and the not yet successful is how they handle failures. A positive learning approach let you overcome the fear of failure, which leads to lack of action or procrastination.

Convert the trigger to positive action from blame or pathologies.

Failures make people run away from opportunities and growth. The negative energy from failures is turned positive by taking ownership and creates alternative solutions. Such an approach let you keep going and growing.

Recognise the negative action thieves by looking for pathology words like, they, always, again, not me, etc.

Habit 2: Begin with the clarified and verified wished for end in mind

Gain insights in what the ideal outcomes of any action or project will be.

  • Communicate the desired outcomes clearly. Now all involved people know what to work towards.
  • Explore your options using exploration, groups and admired experts
  • Every action starts in your mind. Choose proactively what you put in your mind.
  • Plan and execute the plan. Do not hesitate to change the plan with new information.
  • Communicate clear objectives, environment, and outcomes with clear measurable end goals.
  • Verify goals the S.M.A.R.T.M. way. Specific, Measurable, Rewards, Timing, Monitor
  • Think of planning a trip, house, game, etc.
  • A clear goal and actions let you say NO to stuff simply keeping you busy.

Habit 3: Put first things first – How you invest your time.

Understand and communicate what is important and urgent to you. Others will then typically buy in and contribute to your stated communicated objectives.

  • Your purpose, alternatives, goals and plans must be clear.
  • Link to the diagram in the Walk and Talk book.

Habit 3 A. Important and urgent:

  • Delegate tasks where you can.
  • Take quick effective action where you cannot say no.
  • Say no where you can.
  • Can someone else do it?

Habit 3 B. Important and not urgent:

Carefully choose the maintenance, creative, fun and new opportunity activities

Habit 3 C. Not Important and Urgent

  • Say NO easily, quickly and with no stress or fears.
  • Delegate effectively and quickly. Monitor the results and progress.
  • Where tasks are unavoidable or will come back, do the task immediately and quickly.
  • Bundle what you take on into effective slots as in Getting and keeping things done book.

Habit 3 D. Not important and not urgent. Simply say NO!

What will happen if you say no? We often have a fear of the great word NO!

Habit 4: Think win/win

The win/win approach means we optimize and maximize the benefits from a any interaction, project or joint venture.

  • Once task, project or team opportunities are maximized and optimized, we divide the benefits to serve the involved parties.
  • Always focus to maximize and optimize results for both parties involved
  • The win/win way you get more and you attract more opportunities and people.
  • Business, projects and careers need not be like a sport game where one wins and the other loses. We can BOTH WIN!
  • Grow the space by using many tools, models and process
  • Segmentation simply means breaking down any task into two levels down.
  • Alternatives means to find more than one way to reach the goals or objectives.
  • Use models like ZOPA, WATNA, BATNA, etc.

Habit 5: Seek always to understand the other parties, then to be understood by them.

Ask the clarification questions that let you ensure you really understand the communication from other parties. Grow your questioning skills with web knowledge, group exercises and experts. Understand and use models and processes for structured questioning.

  • Ask questions. Use the skill of asking good questions as in Interviews, journalists, Lawyers, etc.
  • Seeking for alternative ways to reach a goal or solve problems expands your world.
  • Various strategies will deliver the results. An example is Parent effectiveness and Strategic Selling. or project management
  • Thinking skills diagrams contribute much to win/win solutions.
  • Process mapping and Swim lanes are such tools.

Habit 6: Find synergistic overlaps between parties

Looking for synergies grows the potential results. Trust is grown when we all agree and enforce the rules.

  • Use VENN diagrams to find overlaps and a place for value and requirements of all parties
  • Grow the space for productivity as in the book GO GIVER. Say thank you easily and give freely.
  • Build TRUST in the four elements of trust
  • The future belongs to the synergizes and collaborators. Acquire the skills for the future

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. Keep growing and keep it going.

Keep on growing skills as required by specific situations. Situational leaning creates the urgency and compelling event to learn, practice and master new tools, models and processes.

  • Keep your life in balance. The balance wheel spokes: Physical, mental, finances, relationships, ethics, aesthetics, etc.
  • Keep the habit forming processes going and hone the habits

Now let us implement the 7 habits of successful people.

  • Successful and effective people’s habits and competencies came out of the studies in Project zero and Vaillant at HBS
  • Acquire the skills, habits and more of successful effective people. They mostly got it at home in families.
  • Use flow diagrams in your daily work and thinking – Swim lanes examples
  • Use VENN diagrams as a habit in thinking and mapping details to grow insights
  • Use the tools we use and please add the tools you use.
  • We are publishing videos to assist you in the implementation processes
  • We share real life stories happening right now to assist you. You can follow the people on their blogs
  • Three simple steps to get almost anything done we call it ABC GO to get you there!

Living the 7 habits in your life, family, career and or businesses

  • Forming habits or master knowledge you repeat the exercise at least five times says Tony Buzan
  • The brain forms neural paths after five repeats
  • Expand what you know and your contribution increases to let you earn more and more.
  • Create check lists for success
  • Start with a purpose, explore, choose your goals, then plan and execute the plan. You are implementing your choices in an effective successful life.
  • New knowledge goes from unconsciously unaware to subconsciously aware three steps get you there – always! Explore, organize, plan and execute = ABC GO
  • Know yourself and your environment

Careers and 7 habits

  • We apply the 7 habits in career growth in our companies.
  • See the 7 habit application section for the Blueprint
  • Maintain the habits by forming interest groups and drive access to people you admire.
  • Simply discuss the habits one at a time in groups
  • Focus on issues and opportunities in your work place right now
  • Use the same tools to get the job of your heart. See the Blueprint under Applications.
  • 7 habits of Stephen Covey in practical Application areas
  • Plans for business and 7 habits
  • Inculcate 7 habits for teenagers in studies to acquire knowledge and legal requirements for the job you want
  • Careers builders know when, where and how to use the available tools in situations.

How to apply the seven habits in your everyday life

  • Stephen Covey 7 habits in Friends
  • Seven habits for building your Web presence
  • Risk management
  • Personal development
  • Thinking skills
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • The right actions create necessary expansion of what we belief and value.


  • Grow and expand what you belief and value to ensure success and effectiveness.
  • Values and beliefs often keep us from taking action.
  • Our current values and beliefs drive our decisions.

Here are some more resources

People also searched on Google using the following search terms to find answers to very specific terms in the 7 habits book:

“Personal bank account 7 habits”

The Personal bank account in 7 habits of highly effective people is just like a normal bank account, we can make deposits and withdrawals. In Stephen Covey’s book, the 7 habits of highly effective people, one of the habits is to seek to understand the other person first before you help them understand you. Nothing is probably more damaging to a relationship that having a ME-ME attitude. You want to fill your personal bank account the 7 habits way, so that you have enough when the time comes for a withdrawal.

“7 habits of highly frugal people”

If you are tired of living week to week, of having your phone regularly cut off or having to make excuses to skip dinners with your friends if the money has been bad, then read the 7 habits book. Not surprisingly the seven habits directly translate to the financial aspect in our lives.

“Proactive model 7 habits”

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Habit 1 : Be Proactive. Your life is not just a out of control roller coaster ride. Whether you believe it or not, your life gets carefully designed by you through the choices you make every day. Apply the proactive model in 7 habits.

“Stephen Covey training”

Stephen Covey, as well as being a renowned writer, speaker, academic and humanist, has also built a huge training and consultancy products and services. You can find a Covey consultant almost anywhere in the world now. Covey training can be expensive, but it is worth the money.

“Stephen Covey seminars”

You have an opportunity to work with an expert like Dr. Stephen R. Covey. These experts are highly trained to help you create life-balance through living the seven habits of highly effective people. The Covey seminar option is a cheaper option than Covey personal coaching.


About Unre Visagie
I am a master coach with 30 years of career and business coaching experience. I have built and sold many of my own multi-million dollar companies. I have always built my companies based on the principle of successful people make a successful company. I invest in people. As your coach you get 30 years of experience to help you do the work you love and earn the salary you want.

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