Book Review: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey has the distinction of being one of the first business self-help style books that I’ve ever read. I want to look at the reason why it has been so successful since its release date in 1990 and why it continues to be one of the best selling nonfiction business titles.
I believe a lot of its success is due in part to be careful selection of the title of the book. Let us dissect just the words used in the title. It’s a fact that many people purchase books and then never read them. Is this book so successful simply based on the title?
The first thing we notice is that the title uses the number seven. 7 has good connotations, such as “lucky 7”. Seven is a winning number in dice and overall most people associate 7 as a very positive number. Choosing to focus on seven items in the book doesn’t promise too much or feel too overwhelming to the reader. 7 feels like a very reachable goal.
Next, let us consider the word habits. This is another interesting word choice as habits are not something we think of being learned behavior, but they are developed over time. Something that we pick up gradually after doing something over and over again. I feel like with this word it is implying that the techniques in the book are not going to take a lot of time, energy or skill to master. Rather, by reading the book and applying some of the techniques, you will gradually learn these behaviors subconsciously over time, just like you would any other habit. I also feel it caters to wide demographic as its not implying you need any specific abilities or knowledge in order to accomplish the goals within the work.
Finally, lets look at the phrase highly effective. Highly effective doesn’t promise wealth or business success, but it can be implied.
Is this one of the best self-help books ever written? It targets a specific market without promising too much and delivering enough practical information to satisfy the reader. Making them feel like they have learned beneficial information after having read it. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey and would suggest it to others.
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