Massively popular self help book by Stephen R. Covey. Concentrates on the Character Ethic rather than the Personality Ethic. This book takes you through three stages of personal growth:

  1. Dependence - To a greater or lesser degree, everyone is dependent on others. Most often thought of as an immature state, characterised by an infant completely reliant on other people. People who always say "it's not my fault, it's your fault" or "You're to blame for this" are dependent. Covey calls this the paradigm of you
  2. Independence - Once you have to fend for yourself, you become independent in many ways. You begin to say "I can do this" or "I am responsible". It can take many years to get to this stage in your life, a stage Covey calls the paradigm of I
  3. Interdependence - While many people think that self-reliance is the peak, most will acknowledge that the world is interconnected. The We paradigm describes the ability to work with others to acheive great things, not relying on others or working alone.

In this book, Covey describes Seven habits that take you through these three stages:

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
  3. Put First things First
  4. Think Win/Win
  5. Seek First to Understand... Then to be Understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw

Steps 1, 2 and 3 take you from dependence to independence. 4, 5 and 6 take you to interdependence. 7 keeps the habits alive.

This book is popular for a reason, it can work.