Effective Habits Getting Things Done Term Paper

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Habit/Getting Things Done

Effective Habits and Getting Things Done:

A Comparison of Stephen Covey and Ram Charan

Both Stephen Covey and Ram Charan have written books dealing with the effective habits of individuals and how to get things done. Naturally, this type of topic is very important to businessmen and women around the country and around the world. It is important here to discuss what these two men have done that makes their work so important and so lasting in today's society. This will begin with a discussion of their books, or at least some of their books, and conclude with who has given the best advice. This conclusion will be based on opinion, since there are always those that could make an argument for either man, depending on the personal preference of the book's readers and what they feel they need in order to have the best possible experience. What is learned from books often depends on who reads them and how helpful those readers find the information.

In other words, there will be two sides to this issue, as there will be some readers that will get more out of the works of Stephen Covey, and other readers that will learn more from the writings of Ram Charan. Regardless of this, however, comparing them is important as they both have much to teach to those that are interested in learning and they have both worked very hard to bring their philosophies of business and life to others for their consideration. Both men are over 60, so they have had a lot of time to think about their own personal philosophies, and a lot of time to learn and discover what works best for them. It seems only natural that they would then want to bring this information to other people so that they, too, could benefit from the learning of others.

When many people start out in business, they are somewhat lost. They have been through schooling for it, naturally, but they often have not learned a great deal about how to really be effective and how to manage their time so that they do not put things off and end up having to complete them at the last possible minute. This procrastination affects many people throughout their daily lives and is usually not that much of a problem with ordinary, day-to-day things. In business, however, it can be a large problem because of the fact that there is so much that needs to be done, and people need to stay on top of the work that they are doing. If they are in management, they must also stay on top of the work that others are doing so that productivity and moral remain high.

This is not always easy to do, but managers and employees that are effective and have good habits often have less trouble with this issue. Procrastinating is not the only habit that must be corrected when entering the business world. How one looks at his or her work and how one looks at the others that work around him or her can be just as significant. There are many self-help books available that deal with these kinds of concerns, and it is necessary to see what sets Stephen Covey and Ram Charan apart from the rest of the authors of this type of information so that a more complete understanding of the importance and significance of their work can be obtained.

Stephen Covey has written more books that Ram Charan, but that does not mean that the information he has given to others is any more significant, only that there is apparently more of it. Some of the work of both men will be dealt with here, as well as some information about their personal lives and what others are saying about them. What other people think and feel when they read these books is important, because it gives an indication of whether the messages that these men are trying to get across are really getting through, or whether the way that they communicate might not be completely effective where other people and what they need to know are concerned.

Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey's most significant work is "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," but he has written many other books as well. 'Seven Habits' will be the book most discussed here, however, due to its popularity and the number of copies that have sold. It is seen to be one of the most significant books of its time. His other books are also very important, however, and some of them will be discussed as well. Covey has written so many books that it would be impossible to discuss them all here in any kind of depth. Many of them deal with the same or similar themes, but they are restated and reanalyzed in such a way that they do not become redundant or annoying to those that read them.

Not only are his books important, but the man himself has significance in the business world as a spiritual and motivational speaker, and therefore understanding something about him is crucial to an understanding of why he has written these books and why he feels that they have so much impact on society today. Obviously, this is a subject that is very important to Covey, or he would not have taken the time to write so many books that dealt with the issue and touched so many people's lives.

Even though Stephen Covey is seen by many to be extremely important when it comes to management and effective individuals Covey himself appears to be somewhat scattered and disorganized. This is not actually true but Covey is simply extremely busy and spends so much time working that many of his associates and other individuals do not understand how he can keep up such a frantic pace (Smith, 1994). He has built a very strong business and most of it lies on the idea of moral transformation (Smith, 1994). This is one of the main things that Covey discusses in many different ways throughout the books that he has written. This applies to not only individuals but to businesses, families, and others that are interested in learning more about themselves and how to be more effective in life (Smith, 1994).

While Covey is not generally considered to be a religious speaker he is a spiritual individual that makes the claim that individuals are spiritual beings that are having a human experience, as opposed to human beings that are having a spiritual experience (Smith, 1994). Some of the reason that Covey has had such success with his books is that much of the American population is getting older and these individuals sometimes turn to a more spiritual approach as they realize their time upon this earth is becoming shorter (Smith, 1994).

Also, technology is changing so strongly that many of the older models for corporate behavior that were previously used are disappearing and therefore many individuals in the workplace today are feeling relatively insecure about their jobs and the ways that they do things (Smith, 1994). This has prompted a stronger search for meaning at the office and in the personal lives of many individuals and because of this so many books and ideas have been created that have looked at total quality management and being in many different ways (Smith, 1994). These include everything from empowerment to mission statements to service leadership to stewardship to New Age training for managers (Smith, 1994).

Some of it is extremely useful, such as the information that Covey writes, and a great deal of it means very little. The question then becomes why this particular gentleman and his books have become such an important model where others have failed. In his book about the seven habits of those that are highly effective, Covey writes about leadership and how individuals can have a more spiritual experience in their jobs and in their lives (Smith, 1994). It has become one of the best-selling books throughout all time and was on the New York Times list of best-selling books for 220 weeks (Smith, 1994).

Over 4 million copies of this book have been sold in the United States, and in 40 different foreign countries there have been nearly one million more sold (Smith, 1994). The management training business Covey founded in 1984 with only a staff of two individuals has grown to nearly 1000 and Covey is making nearly $100 million a year in this business (Smith, 1994). It is a very fast growing company and in addition to the seven habits book that was published, audiotapes, lecture series, videotapes, training programs, and countless other books have been created (Smith, 1994). Almost 300 school districts throughout the United States also use Covey's training program and he gives many lectures to various individuals both via satellite and in person (Smith, 1994).

Reduced to a very simple statement, Covey teaches that for…[continue]

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