The 8th Habit

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The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness is a book written by Stephen R. Covey, published in 2004.[1] It is an upgrade of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989. As such, it clarifies and reinforces Covey's earlier declaration that "Interdependence is a higher value than independence."

The 8th Habit
Author Stephen R. Covey
Subject Self-help books
Genre Non-fiction
Published 2004 (Free Press)
ISBN 0-7432-8793-2
29 Nov 2005 reprint
OCLC 56592349
LC Class BF637.S4 C685 2005
Preceded by The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
8 - Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs
The eighth habit is "Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs." Voice is Covey's code for "unique personal significance." Those who inspire others to find theirs are the leaders needed now and for the future, according to Covey.

The central idea of the book is the need for steady recovery and application of the whole person paradigm, which holds that persons have four intelligences - physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. Denial of any of them reduces persons to things, inviting many problems. The industrial age is assumed to have been a period dependent on such denial. Covey believed the information age and a foreseen "Age of Wisdom" require "whole" people (in whole jobs).

Some versions of the book come with a DVD, although all the short films on this DVD can be viewed via Covey's website.[2] The book is divided into two sections, with the first few chapters focusing on finding your voice, while the later chapters are about inspiring others to find their voice. Most of the chapters in the book include a section discussing one of the 'stories' from the DVD, which are intended to illustrate the theme of the chapter (for example the story of Helen Keller and another about the Berlin Wall).[3]

The book talks of "5 Cancerous Behaviors" (page 135) that inhibit people's greatness:

People can discover their voice because of the three gifts everyone is born with:

  1. The freedom to choose
  2. The natural laws or principles – those that dictate the consequences of behavior. Positive consequences come from fairness, kindness, respect, honesty, integrity, service and contribution
  3. The four intelligences – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.

Covey talks about great achievers expressing their voice through the use of their intelligences. Achievers for example

  • develop their mental energy into vision
  • develop their physical energy into discipline
  • develop their emotional energy into passion
  • develop their spiritual energy into conscience – their inward moral sense of what is right and wrong and their drive towards meaning and contribution.[4]


  1. ^ original ISBN 0-684-84665-9
  2. ^
  3. ^ Trent (2 September 2007). "Review: The 8th Habit". The Simple Dollar. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Bippus, John (2013). "The 8th Habit - Summary - Covey". Retrieved 28 September 2014. 

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