Covey's book is an acknowledged business classic, and a must read for any new or aspiring manager. His seven habits are applicable across all industries and professions. Each chapter is dedicated to one of the seven habits. This is what they mean for project managers:
- Be Proactive: Identify and reduce risks. Actively involve stakeholders in projects. Take responsibility and get things done.
- Begin with the End in Mind: Be goal driven, know what it is you want to achieve. Covey suggests drawing up a personal mission statement.
- Put First Things First: Do the important work first, the "must have" items, finishing with the least important. If you put first things first, you are managing time and events according to project priorities.
- Think Win/Win: Solve the greatest number of requirements with the least amount of effort possible. Be creative.
- Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: Do not start thinking about solutions too early on in projects. Understand the business requirements first and then look at solutions. Listen and be truly influenced by your customers.
- Synergize: Work as an effective team to achieve the maximum possible. The team as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
- Sharpen the Saw: This is about renewal and staying fresh. Keep trying to learn and improve during every project. Sharpen your skills in order to achieve better results, and so you can continue to practice the other six habits well.
The seven habits are Covey's personal development blueprint for living with fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity. This book is powerful, highly recommended, and in today's high pace 24 hour culture more relevant than ever.