The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey has influenced millions in business, government, schools and individuals internationally with more than 25 million copies sold since its first publication more than 30 years ago. The world has vastly changed since its first publication and whilst effectiveness is necessary for survival, to thrive, innovate and excel, Stephen Covey called out the need to move beyond effectiveness to “greatness” in the Knowledge Age in The 8th Habit, first published on 2013. “Greatness” is about human fulfillment, passionate execution and significant contribution. The crucial challenge of our world he argues, is to find our voice and inspire others to find theirs. This was so in 2013, and it is even more so today as trends like the Great Resignation in a BANI (Brittle, Anxious, Non-linear and Incomprehensible) world have exacerbated this need.
In The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, Stephen Covey built on the foundations of and introduced a third dimension to The 7 Habits. He recognised how so many people feel frustrated, discouraged, unappreciated and undervalued in the workforce – with little or no sense of voice or unique contribution. He pointed to what he called “lighthouse principles that govern life” and called for the honouring, respect and integration of the four parts of human nature (Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit) into a synergistic whole to address the human soul’s yearning for greatness. What this involves is for us to find our voice and to inspire others to find theirs. He defines “voice” as where our talents and passion overlap with what the world needs. Man needs to serve, seek meaning, find significance, make contribution and to live by conscience as this is what makes us uniquely human. Covey sees leadership as “a choice to deal with people in a way that will communicate to them their worth and potential so clearly they will come to see it in themselves.”
Listen to Covey speak about The 8th Habit and How to Develop Our Voice and to Inspire Others to Find Theirs in this YouTube video which contains much wisdom for leaders and individuals who are seeking meaning and to make their unique contribution in the world.
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