‘7 Habits’ focuses on an individual’s development

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By Carlos Ferrand


The Alamo Colleges’ mission is to have every employee and eventually all students trained in the “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

During a phone interview Oct. 3, Chancellor Bruce Leslie said the skills students can acquire from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” training will benefit them as students and as employees.

Stephen R. Covey published his self-help book in 1989, and stephencovey.com states more than 25 million copies have been sold.

“7 Habits” has been translated into 40 different languages, and in 2002 Forbes magazine listed the book as one of the top 10 most influential management books ever.

Stephen R. Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is a seven-week program.

According to the book, after seven weeks the habits will become entrenched. Each week participants focus on a different habit.

The first three habits deal with personal development and helping individuals.

Darryl Nettles, associate director for student success at Northwest Vista College, said people need to have their own house in order.

Nettles supports the book and facilitates a four-hour seminar for students using “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective College Students” model.

It is essential to complete the first three habits before moving on, he said. “If you don’t help yourself, how can you help others?”

Habits 4-6, focus on relationship development and how to be more effective as leaders.

The book highlights the importance of health and its role in being effective.

Nettles said that Habit 7 is the most important because it makes the prior habits possible.

“You are the most important person in your life,” he said.

Nettles said the information in the book truly helps individuals with relationship and personal development.

Leslie said the goal for students will be to understand the material and then live it.

In August, the Alamo Colleges paid $689,000 for the intellectual rights of “7 Habits.”

Habit 1 Be proactive

Take responsibility by being proactive rather than reactive.

Habit 2 Begin with the end in mind

Create things twice, first in the mind, then in the real world. Mental creations will be followed by physical.

Habit 3 Put first things first

Create a balanced schedule. Do not over extend yourself. Realize saying “no” is important when setting priorities.

Habit 4 Think win-win

Look at life not just as a competition, but as a cooperative victory.

Habit 5 Seek first to understand,

then to be understood

Listen to understand, instead of listening to reply.

Habit 6 Synergize

Be open-minded and include every team member’s experiences to create solutions.

Habit 7 Sharpen the Saw

Focus on physical, mental, spiritual and social health.


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