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Moving on to the next part of the 7 Habits equation,

7 Habits® - The Philosophy “Habits”. The definition of Habit, within the framework of
the 7 Habits, is covered early on in the 3-day 7 Habits
By Jon Whitty workshop. Fig.1 shows a model where a Habit is defined
as the intersection between knowledge, skill, and desire,
Question: What more could you ask from the 3-day 7 i.e. the intersection of the “what to do”, the “how to do”,
Habits Workshop? Answer: Two more days please, and the “want to do” . This model is really a pivotal point
because 3-days are just not enough time to fully grasp in understanding the philosophy of the 7 Habits as it is
the 7 Habits philosophy. Many workshop participants the first time our mission (desire) is mentioned, and the
give this answer, and in an effort to deepen the main theme for the 7 Habits portrayed.
philosophical understanding of the 7 Habits I’ve prepared
this short discussion paper. In this discussion I assume Fig. 1.
a familiarity and understanding of the 7 Habits Of Highly
Effective People®, as much that would be gained by an A Habit
understanding of Stephen Covey’s book of the same
name or by attendance at an official 3-day 7 Habits
Knowledge Skill
The 7 Habits – So what’s it all about?
Let’s start with the full title and break it down as you
would a maths equation, and see it for what it really is;
“The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People®”. Beginning
with the first part, “The 7”, Why 7? To answer this we Desire
need to remember that we human beings like to
remember things in steps, short phrases, or buzzwords,
TLA’s for example, that’s Three Letter Acronyms for the
uninitiated! By building a stepped process (1 to 7), and
giving each step a buzz-phrase (Think Win-Win or
Synergies) Stephen Covey has built a convenient way Continuing with the explanation of the 7 Habits formula,
for those wishing to follow the 7 Habits philosophy to “Highly Effective People”. The key word in this phrase is
remember the steps and implement the Habits in an “Effective”. Within the framework of the 7 Habits we
order and sequence. You’ll notice in the 7 Habits book define effectiveness in two parts: 1. getting what you
and especially during the 3-day workshop that the name want, and 2. getting what you want in a manner that
of the Habit plays a smaller role than that of the allows you to get what you want again and again. The
underlying principle of each Habit. Each Habit and its term “Highly” is used to describe people who are
catchphrase name is really a means to remind us of the “Effective” on a consistent basis in all areas of their life
underlying principle of each of the Habits.
So, the 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People equation can
This easy, by the numbers (1 to 7) method of now be expanded to; a step-by -step approach which
remembering is crucial to the growth and proliferation of people who consistently achieve their goals follow. It’s
the 7 Habits. I vividly remember being one of three as simple as that; nobody said it was easy however!
people who attempted to resuscitate a heart attack victim
a few years ago. Unfortunately, and sadly, we were At the centre of the 7 Habits philosophy
unsuccessful. However, I do remember relating the
incident to a medical doctor shortly afterward and Notice how the 7 Habits centres on achieving one’s
confessed how out of date I believed my first aid mission, comprising wants, desires, goals; and
knowledge was. I told him “I couldn’t remember whether moreover, achieving all these in a manner that allows
it was 3 chest compressions and 2 breaths or 2 chest you to continue to achieve them. It is this “effectiveness”
compressions and 5 breaths”. I was rather amazed at function of the 7 Habits equation that truly binds them to
his response. “It doesn’t really matter” he said, “just as natural laws. Simply to achieve ones goals could be
long as you adopt some sort of pattern, massage the done through methods that may be selfish and careless
heart and breath air into their lungs”. “We just give with people’s feelings; however to achieve goals in a
people some numbers to remember and a pattern to manner which enables one to achieve them again, and
follow so that in moments of crises these simple rules again, on a consistent basis, requires those methods to
can be followed and perhaps a life can be saved”. The be based on natural laws, because chances are we
number of Habits, 7, and their catchphrase names are achieve those goals with the help and blessing of
simply a means to aid memory and provide a common others .
language for the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
philosophy. The number is not important; it’s the
underlying principles of each Habit that count! 1 The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People Workbook Version 2.0 Pg 4
2 Principles of The 7 Habits - What are they? Jon Whitty 19/09/02 - UQ’s 7
Habits® Graduate Club

7 Habits® - The Philosophy Jon Whitty 20/11/02 UQ’s 7 Habits® Graduate Club
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Within the framework of the 7 Habits “Effectiveness” is programming and consider natural laws, and to respond
illustrated by Aesop’s fable The Goose and the Golden in a manner that takes us closer to our mission. The
Egg . The Golden Egg (P) represents our desired underlying principle of Habit 3 enables us to plan and
outcome, our goal, whereas The Goose (PC) represents prepare the groundwork for our mission . The principles
our ability or capability to achieve them on a consistent of 4, 5 and 6 enable us to discover the mission of others;
basis. Remember the P/PC Balance® from and by helping others to achieve their “Wins” we
Foundational Principles? necessarily lay the foundations for our own

A P/PC model of the 7 Habits Continuing to explore the P/PC model of the 7 Habits,
imagine clicking on Habit 2 and zooming in on its
Consider the Maturity Continuum® Fig. 2, and think contents, the mission statement. Notice from your own
deeply about the following P/PC journey through the 7 mission statement that its primary focus is concerned
Habits. Bare in mind what has been said thus far, and with relationships, and recall that the PC for developing
take your time, the more you go through it, the deeper human relationships is the Emotional Bank Account
your understanding of the philosophy of the 7 Habits will metaphor. Moreover, in terms of the 7 Habits, the PC for
be. the Emotional Bank Account is centred on the practise of
principles founded on natural (building human
relationship) laws, hence the term “Principle Centred”.
7 Sharpen the Saw Retuning to the Habit model in Fig. 1, notice how
The Maturity
mission, Habit 2, can replace Desires; the underlying
Continuum Interdependence principles of each Habit replaces Knowledge; and your
5 Public
Synergize integrity to natural laws and your ability to practise them
Seek First to Victory 6 in the toughest moments replaces Skill.
Then to be Think Win-Win
Understood 4 The philosophy made real
Put First
3Things First If you’ve done work on your Habit 2, then you have
Private already highlighted your “Desires”. You simply need to
1 Victory Begin with2
Be Proactive reconnect with the foundational and underlying principles
the End in Mind
Dependence of each of the Habits, and implement key practises that
will enable you to achieve your mission. Here are some
ways that the 7 Habits philosophies can be made real:

Fig. 2. Ø Use the “GAP” between stimulus and response

and choose a response that takes you closer to
Before I begin this P/PC journey I’ll tell you a little about your mission. Learn to say “No” to that which
our destination. After all, we should begin our journey does not take you closer (Habit 1)
with its end in mind! Our destination is the realisation Ø Continue to work on your mission statement,
that the 7 Habits philosophy is all about being principle and keep a copy on you, hang it on the wall
centred and achieving Habit 2. It’s about you achieving (Habit 2)
your Habit 2 and me achieving my Habit 2 without Ø Centre your weekly planning session on the six-
detriment to you, me, our connections, or anyone else in step-process (Habit 3);
the world. There’s simply plenty for all of us to go o Connect to mission (can’t do this without
around. having done work on Habit 2)
o Review your roles
To begin the P/PC model of the 7 Habits, notice how o Identify a goal in that role (make sure
Habit 7 is the PC (production capability) for Habits 1 to 6. these are deposits and Win-Win)
Without maintaining and sustaining our physical and o Plan weekly (schedule your priorities,
mental health, our sense of ourself and our relationship don’t prioritise your schedule)
with ourself and others, we would simply not be “sharp” o Exercise integrity in the moment of
enough to practise and exercise the other 6 Habits. choice (defend your planner, only you
Next, notice how Habits 1,3,4,5,and 6 are the PC for add and remove tasks and
Habit 2. Our personal mission statement (Habit 2) holds appointments)
our goals, our desires. The underlying principle o Evaluate (how do you feel about last
(remember this is the important part of each Habit) of week’s plan? Did you stick to it?)
Habit 1 enables us to exercise integrity in the moment of Ø Promote competences higher than your own
choice. That is, when something happens to us, we have (Habit 4)
the ability to respond to it, to stand apart from our social
Spending Time In Quadrant II 15/08/02 - UQ’s 7 Habits® Graduate
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People Workbook Version 2.0 Pg 18 Club

7 Habits® - The Philosophy Jon Whitty 20/11/02 UQ’s 7 Habits® Graduate Club
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Ø Treat everyone as though they are proactive, effort could bare fruit beyond all our expectations, and to
that they have a mission to achieve (Habit 4) not feel our position was threatened by that. To achieve
Ø Discover the “Win” of others (Habit 5) Win-Win thinking takes great personal awareness and
Ø Openly celebrate the differences and insight into ones own motive structure that only comes
uniqueness’s of others (Habit 6) from work on Habits 1, 2 and 3. A Win-Win agreement is
Ø Look after your physical health (Habit 7) not about giving employees a free reign, then if they go a
o Be concerned about what you eat, and little too far you just tug them back into line again, Win-
exercise in some way Lose style. Win-Win is about engaging and involving
Ø Look after your mental health (Habit 7) employees in the work, and treating them as you would
o Keep up-to-date on your field of your best customers; taking the time to discover their
speciality mission (Win) and communicate your Win too. All the
o Keep up-to-date on current affairs time seeking to understand, and never forgetting to
Ø Look after your spiritual wellbeing (Habit 7) make sure you are understood; to develop and promote
o Relax and spend quality time with you their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses, all
o Devote time to the belief system that the time teaching them the principles of Win-Win
helps and supports you and your agreements.
Ø Look after your relationship with yourself and Perhaps it is now more apparent how the 7 Habits
others (Habit 7) philosophy is a function of courage and compassion, and
o Make full use of Habit 6 all the characteristic traits that it requires to achieve a
o Work on developing Win-Win balance between the two.
o Develop your communication skills The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People is far more than
o Read personal development literature a book written by Stephen Covey, far more than a 3-day
workshop, Covey admits this himself. Covey is no
messiah, no guru to be worshiped, he does not see
In Conclusion himself as such and neither do I, or should you. In one of
Covey’s videos used in the 3-day workshop he states,
As we conclude the journey through the 7 Habits using “The 7 Habits is simply commonsense organised” and I
the P/PC metaphor I hope you have gained further most certainly agree. There’s nothing new in the 7
insight into the philosophy of the 7 Habits. Habits, it’s just age-old human wisdom, packaged in an
easy to remember way.
For me, the 7 Habits are focused on enabling you and I
to achieve our mission, synergistically. To do this we
need to centre our lives on natural laws, and basic NOTES:
principles of human interaction and not succumb to
shallow social rules and vogue expectations.

The 7 Habits is more than a 3-day touchy feely get

connected with your own mission workshop. Living a life
based on the underlying principles of the 7 Habits is
tough and goes against the grain of the short cut, quick
fix, crisis management approach to life we all too often
are part of.

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People is a philosophy

centred on natural laws, on effectiveness (compass)
then efficiency (clock), on people and not schedules, on
release and not control.

Final 2 Cents

I truly believe that you must have done significant work

on the Private Victories (Habits 1, 2, and 3), before you
can truly understand and practise the Public Victories
(Habits 4, 5, and 6). No one can just Think Win-Win
after a 3-day workshop when they’ve spent a lifetime of
Win-Lose or Lose-Win thinking. Consider living Habits 4,
5, and 6 in the business environment. This would require
us to get out from behind our social badges, such as
manager, supervisor, professor, or CEO, and celebrate
the uniqueness of others; to realise that our combined

7 Habits® - The Philosophy Jon Whitty 20/11/02 UQ’s 7 Habits® Graduate Club
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