The 7 Habits Revisited – Part 2
Author: Russ Aikman
Posted: November 2017
In Part 1 of this blog I wrote about the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Written by Stephen R. Covey (1932-2012) in 1989, this extremely popular self-help book has sold more than 25 million copies. I feel strongly that Covey’s ideas can be adapted by Lean Six Sigma practitioners at all levels – Green Belts, Black Belts, Master Black Belts, Sponsors, even Champions. In fact, many existing LSS tools and concepts are complementary to Covey’s approach.
In the first part of the blog I covered some of the origins of the book, which are linked to the U. S. bicentennial in 1976. Most of that blog was focused on the Urgency-Importance Matrix and Quadrant 2 Activities. You can read Part 1 by going to this link.
Before exploring the 7 Habits in more depth I would like to step back to cover what is meant by habit. Stephen Covey was very specific in his description of this word:
“For our purposes, we will define a habit as the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire. Knowledge is the theoretical paradigm, the what to do and the why. Skill is the how to do. And desire is the motivation, the want to do. In order to make something a habit in our lives, we have to have all three.”
Covey used a Venn diagram to illustrate this definition:
Now that we are clear on what is meant by Habit, what are the Seven Habits? Here they are, as presented by Covey:
- Be Proactive
- Begin With The End in Mind
- Put First Things First
- Think Win-Win
- Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood
- Sharpen The Saw
Here then is a table of the 7 Habits with Covey’s original intent and as viewed through a Lean Six Sigma lens:
For many LSS belts these tools and methods will be very familiar. But are you really using them consistently? Or are you skipping steps or taking shortcuts? True effectiveness on an ongoing basis requires a real commitment to all seven of these Habits.
The impact of applying these Seven Habits on your career can be profound. And on your career beyond LSS – indeed, even on your life.
Russ Aikman is a LSS Master Black Belt and the Lean Six Sigma Program Manager for TMAC. He has over 25 years of experience in continuous improvement. To learn more about Lean Six Sigma please contact Russ at firstname.lastname@example.org.