Seven Habits of Highly Effective People-Santos

Author of Book: Stephen Covey
Date Read: July 1, 1990

Book Report

Book Title: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Book Author: Dr. Stephen Covey

Date Read: I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People early during my prison term.

Why I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:

A friend of mine sent me a letter about reading Stephen Covey’s book on personal development. Since he knew of my commitment to work toward becoming a better version of myself, he recommended that I read the book. I ordered the book from the prison’s library program.

What I learned from reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:

In reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey, I learned many lessons that would help me use time in prison to prepare for success upon release. Covey presents a holistic approach to personal and professional success, emphasizing principles that promote integrity, effectiveness, and self-mastery. I will share my key learnings and how they impacted my perspective.


Covey’s book revolves around the central idea that personal change and growth are the foundations of success. He introduces seven habits that, when practiced consistently, can transform individuals into highly effective people. The author emphasizes an inside-out approach, where character development precedes quick-fix solutions. By nurturing inner qualities, I have discovered the ability to create a lasting impact in both my personal and professional spheres.

Habit 1: Be Proactive:

The first habit taught me the importance of taking responsibility for my life and actions. I learned to exercise self-awareness, make conscious choices, and align my actions with my personal values. By being proactive, I have gained the power to shape my circumstances, transcend limitations, and respond effectively to challenges.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind:

This habit has instilled in me the significance of having a clear vision and setting meaningful goals. I now understand the importance of envisioning the desired outcome before embarking on any endeavor. By aligning my actions with long-term goals, I have gained a sense of purpose and direction in my life.

Habit 3: Put First Things First:

The third habit has empowered me to manage my time effectively and prioritize tasks. I have learned to discern between urgent and important matters using Covey’s time management matrix. By focusing on important tasks rather than being driven solely by urgency, I have achieved a better balance between my personal and professional obligations.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win:

Covey’s fourth habit taught me the power of collaboration and cooperation. I now embrace a mindset that seeks mutual benefits in all interactions. By fostering win-win relationships, I build trust and establish long-term partnerships. This shift from scarcity to abundance mentality has allowed me to nurture a culture of shared success.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood:

The fifth habit has revolutionized my approach to communication. I now prioritize understanding others before expressing my own opinions. By practicing empathetic listening, I have fostered genuine connections, resolved conflicts, and built trust. This habit has helped me cultivate stronger relationships with others.

Habit 6: Synergize:

Covey’s concept of synergy has transformed my perspective on collaboration. I now value and leverage diverse perspectives, fostering an environment where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. By embracing collective creativity and encouraging collaboration, I have witnessed the emergence of innovative solutions and achieved results beyond individual efforts.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw:

The final habit has taught me the importance of continuous self-renewal and growth. I now prioritize my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. By investing in self-care, lifelong learning, and aligning my actions with my personal values, I sustain my effectiveness and create a positive impact on others.


Anyone can learn from reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I began using this resource to teach others in prison how they can use time inside to prepare for success outside.

How will reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People contribute to my preparations for success upon release?

I will use the lessons from Stephen Covey’s book in my work. They will help me develop a framework to teach others. Although I’ll give credit to what I learned from Stephen Covey, particularly his guidance of “seeking first to understand before being understood” to help others understand the importance of developing release plans to guide them from adversity to prosperity.