Generally, I’m not one of these people who read the personal empowerment series of books that you can find littered throughout the business section of your local Barnes & Noble. However, Stephen R. Covey’s The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness happened to be on sale for a dollar and a half because the book was damaged, so I made the purchase. And it was a decent purchase, too, as the book was a good read while I was on the treadmill at the gym. This is a book that focuses on positive leadership strategies to both life and the business world – a good book to read while sweating away the calories.
First things first – I didn’t read Covey’s related book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People so I cannot really offer much in the way of comparing one book to the other. I have the 7 Habits audio book, but I haven’t had the chance to sit down and listen to it yet.
The first book aside, though, I definitely recommend The 8th Habit for the young professional who may have little prior leadership experience and is trying to find a way to break through to the next level in his or her career. For those who are already overflowing with leadership experience, this book might be a nice refresher course and serve to remind you of some aspects of success that you might have overlooked. In either event, using the link above you can purchase this book for only a few bucks so if you’re interested, it’s definitely worth the purchase.
Covey breaks this book into a variety of sections and makes excellent use of charts and graphs throughout. He also intersperses the text with quotes from famous leaders, which I found very enjoyable (I’ll be lifting some of those quotes for the random quote generator located on the right hand side of this page). Chapters include topics like finding your voice, empowering those around you (which is essentially the “core” of the 8th Habit), and aligning basic strategies. One theme that is consistently brought up in the book is the idea that we – as a society – are leaving the industrial age and entering an information age.
Or, as Covey calls it, the Age of Wisdom. This is an interesting and yet obvious insight to those in the working world. The Age of Wisdom presents a fundamental change to employers and employees as the contributions of the masses will no longer be blood, sweat, and tears, but instead information. In other words, where the economy once thrived off of the backs of industrial age workers, the new economy is being built off of the minds of wisdom age workers. Interesting insight once you start to study the job market and notice how many highly physical jobs are being taken over by automated processes.
And the introduction of automated processes isn’t a bad thing at all! In fact, it’s great because it will force many people to begin studying and researching new ways to contribute to their employer. Sure, it won’t happen on a mass scale, but I agree with Covey that one day we’ll look around and find ourselves immersed in an information age society. Could be faster than you think…
For those of you who are into these types of books, I suggest picking up (an inexpensive copy of) this book and giving it a read. You’ll find it to be a fast read with nice messages that you can take away throughout. Enjoy!