Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Review: The 8th Habit

Very nice weekend, good time with family, friends, picnics, and weather that paused its storms just long enough to enjoy some time outside. But when the family decided on some naps, I headed over to Borders for some extra reading :)

The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness by Stephen R. Covey.

To be honest, I was not nearly as impressed by this book as his better known "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." (That one is definitely recommended. I also liked The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families.) I agree completely with the title of one of the reviews on Amazon: "Valuable Synthesis Presented Abstractly and Ponderously."

It starts pretty basic, "Discover Your Voice", "Express Your Voice", "Inspire Others to Find Their Voice", but the plot thickens quite quickly. Discovering your voice involves understanding your three magnificent birth gifts and developing each of your four intelligences/capacities. Then one must cultivate these four manifestations: "vision, discipline, passion and conscience". Once you've discovered your voice, it's critical to help others find theirs. The two key factors that allow you to do this include Focus and Execution. Execution involves Aligning (Goals and Systems to Results) and Empowering (Releasing Talent and Passion) The book concludes with a call to use our voice to serve others. So overall, there are a number of interesting ideas in the book, but it's not an easy read. (Reading this book after understanding the principle of "Teach Less for More" didn't help)

Here is my own condensed (and possibly inaccurate) summary of the whole book, applied to ministry... Beyond the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, what is the key new habit -

Discover your SHAPE, understand the needs around you, listen to what God may be calling you to do. Then do it! Encourage others to find what SHAPE God has given them and what He has called them to do.

No comments: