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Note: This "Good to Know!" published on February 17, 2017.

“In ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, Stephen Covey serves up a seven-course meal on how to take control of one's life and become the complete, fulfilling person one envisions. It is a satisfying, energetic, step-by-step book that is applicable for personal and business progress.”

- Roger Staubach, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback

Stephen Covey’s, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is one of the most popular business and self-help books of all time, with more than 25 million copies sold since its release in 1989.   CEOs, governmental leaders, and executives throughout the world continue to benefit from this book and its emphasis on fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity.

In 2017, Human Resource Development offered a 3-day course (March 10, 24, and 31) which was taught by trained facilitators Maria Witte and Pat Deery.  Participants focused on these seven habits, which are good habits for any University supervisor or manager:

  1. Be Proactive by taking responsibility for your life.  Proactive people recognize that they are “response-able” for their behavioral choices.  They don't blame genetics, circumstances, conditions, or conditioning. 

  2. Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen. 

  3. Put First Things First:  This habit is about life management …  your purpose, values, roles, and priorities.  What are “first things?”  First things are those things you, personally, find of most worth. 

  4. Think Win-Win: Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions.  Win-win means agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying.  We both get to eat the pie and it tastes pretty darn good! 

  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: If you are like most people, you probably seek first to be understood; you want to get your point across.  In doing so, you may ignore the other person completely, pretend that you're listening, selectively hear only certain parts of the conversation or attentively focus on only the words being said, but miss the meaning entirely.

  6. Synergize: To put it simply, synergy means “two heads are better than one.”  Synergize is the habit of creative cooperation.  It is teamwork, open-mindedness, and the adventure of finding new solutions to old problems. 

  7. Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have -- you.  It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. 

This seminar was intended for supervisors and managers who wanted to enhance their leadership skills, along with University employees who have shown exceptional potential to become future leaders at Auburn.  All three classes were held in the HRD Training Room (1204A) at the East Glenn Administrative Complex, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The course cost was $150.

For more information on the course visit Fast-Train in AU Access, or email

Last updated: 01/10/2023