The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness is a book written by Stephen R. Covey, published in 2004. It is a follow-up to The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989.
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 The Pain Chapter 2 The Problem Chapter 3 The Solution
PART 1: FIND YOUR VOICE
Chapter 4 Discover Your Voice—Unopened Birth-Gifts
Chapter 5 Express Your Voice—Vision, Discipline, Passion and Conscience
PART 2: INSPIRE OTHERS TO FIND THEIR VOICE
Chapter 6 Inspiring Others to Find Their Voice—The Leadership Challenge FOCUS—MODELING AND PATHFINDING
Chapter 7 The Voice of Influence—Be a Trim-Tab
Chapter 8 The Voice of Trustworthiness—Modeling Character and Competence Chapter 9 The Voice and Speed of Trust
Chapter 10 Blending Voices—Searching for the Third Alternative
Chapter 11 One Voice—Pathfinding Shared Vision, Values and Strategy
EXECUTION—ALIGNING AND EMPOWERING
Chapter 12 The Voice and Discipline of Execution—Aligning Goals and Systems for Results
Chapter 13 The Empowering Voice—Releasing Passion and Talent THE AGE OF WISDOM
Chapter 14 The 8th Habit and the Sweet Spot Chapter 15 Using Our Voices Wisely to Serve Others
Twenty Most Commonly Asked Questions
One of the great learnings of my life is this: If you want to make a new contribution, you’ve got to make a whole new preparation. Though every significant writing project I’ve ever undertaken has reinforced this principle, it is so easy to forget. I began working on this book five years ago thinking I could draw on my lifetime of study, teaching and consulting in the field of leadership and “whip it out” in a matter of a few months. After more than a year of teaching the material and writing, my team and I finished an initial rough draft—thrilled we had finally arrived. It was at that moment we experienced what hikers often discover when climbing mountains: We hadn’t reached the summit at all, only the top of the first rise. From this new vantage point of sweat- earned insights we could see things we had never seen before—ones only made visible at the top of that hill. So we set our sights on the “real” mountain and began the new climb.
We literally went through this same experience another dozen times, each time thinking we had finally reached the “peak,” each time convinced that the book was finally “there” and each time being humbled into the realization that we had only risen to yet another critical level of insight, and that there was another mountain ahead.
The greatest and most inspiring mountain climbing achievements in history are not so much stories of individual achievement, but are stories of the extraordinary power of a unified, talented, prepared team that stays loyally committed to one another and to their shared vision to the end. Most climbing teams that set out to climb Mount Everest never reach the summit—only the very, very few. For one reason or another, most people and teams, when pressed to their limits by the extreme conditions, drop out along the way and either choose to or are forced to turn back. The story behind the five-year climb to completing this book is no different. Were it not for the determination and unflagging commitment, patience, encouragement and synergistic contributions of the remarkable team that assisted me with this project, the book would not only have failed to become what it is, it would have never seen the light of day!
So it is with deep gratitude that I express my appreciation to the following for their contributions:
• To literally tens of thousands of people in various settings all over the world who cared enough to give honest feedback and to willingly share their real-time, real-life issues, pains and hopes, all of which put me on a “chain of mountains” learning climb that resulted in constant reinvention, precious insights and endless tests of the team’s patience.
• To Boyd Craig for his extraordinary, able, five-year commitment, passion and devotion in both developmental and line editing of the book; for managing all dimensions of this massive team book project; for his leadership and synergistic partnering with our publisher, our agent and within our company; and above all for his spirituality, judgment, flexibility, patience and content expertise. My heartfelt gratitude goes likewise to Boyd’s wife, Michelle Daines Craig, for her magnificent positive spirit and unfailing support and sacrifice that sustained the “marathon.”
• To my office staff and extended office support team—Patti Pallat, Julie Judd Gillman, Darla Salin, Julie McAllister, Nancy Aldridge, Kara Foster Holmes, Luci Ainsworth, Maria Miner, Diane Thompson and Christie Brzezinski—for truly uncommon devotion and
loyalty, second-mile make-it-happen service and world-class professionalism.
• To my committed associates at FranklinCovey, especially to Bob Whitman and my son Sean for their thoughtful, in-depth review of the final manuscript, and their invaluable, practical feedback.
• To Edward H. Powley for his spearheading assistance on the leadership literature review, and to Richard Garcia and Mike Robins for their tireless, persistent research assistance.
• To Tessa Meyer Santiago for her editorial assistance in early drafts of the book.
• To Sherrie Hall Everett for her years of work in creating and re-creating the book’s graphics.
• To Brad Anderson, Bruce Neibaur, Micah Merrill and many other talented colleagues who, over the years, have been the creative energy behind the award-winning films that you may view at www.The8thHabit.com/offers.
• To Greg Link for his visionary marketing genius and continued commitment to our mission.
• To my son Stephen for teaching me so much about trust, both by his own personal example and by drilling down into its theoretical and practical foundations.
• To my delightful literary agent, Jan Miller, and her partner, Shannon Miser-Marven, for years of championing service and advocacy.
• To Bob Asahina, my long-time trusted editor, for once again helping me remember to get out of my own head and to always start with where the reader is.
• To our valued publishing partners at Simon & Schuster—especially Carolyn Reidy, Martha Levin, Suzanne Donahue and Dominick Anfuso—for hanging in there through the extended “labor and delivery” process, including more than a few “false labor” drills on the way to the summit.
• To my dear wife, Sandra, my children and my grandchildren who, though taken to their wits’ end with this never-ending book project, chose to smile and encourage rather than wring my neck. Also to my beloved grandfather Stephen L Richards; my noble parents, Stephen G. and Louise Richards Covey; and my dear sisters and brother, Irene, Helen Jean, Marilyn and John, who from my boyhood to the present have profoundly influenced who I have become.
• To the God and Father of us all, for His plan of happiness for all His children.
By Stephen R. Covey