Why Everyone Should Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

For the thoughtful generalist. Happy reading, JollyGens!

A few months ago I set out on a journey of self-improvement. While I am always looking for ways to grow and learn, I found myself at a point where I wanted to be my best version and that meant looking deep inside to figure out who that was. Courses, discussions, and exploration in a variety of situations opened my eyes to endless opportunity and potential but one thing, in particular, has always stuck out – Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Introduced to it by my dad, I looked forward to reading it as I knew it was a classic for all ages. My dad noted it as being one of, if not the most, influential book that he’d read in his life. Thinking “now that’s a big statement…” I had my expectations set high. As I started getting into it, I really began to understand why.

Stephen Covey so graceful and modestly takes simple concepts and interconnects them together in a way that makes so much sense. Written almost 30 years ago, it still applies to today as much as it did back then. By breaking it down into 7 habits that build upon one another, it’s easy to understand the incredible impact working on your character, rather than your personality, can have. The habits are by no means simple or quick fixes but rather well-constructed guidelines to follow as you put in the work towards self-improvement.

Even before finishing the book, I was raving about how influential it was to friends. After completing it, I wanted to make sure as many people knew about it as possible. If you want to learn more about the book and reasons to read it, check out some of the links below:

https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/habits-of-highly-effective-people-summary#sm.0000wl6ehlhcbeu8s0914p7ch8s63

http://www.deconstructingexcellence.com/the-7-habits-of-highly-effective-people-summary/

 

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Generalist vs. Specialist: Better together.

For the focused generalist. Learn what it means to be a Specializing-generalist, JollyGens!

Like peanut butter and jelly or Batman and Robbin, some things are just better together. This concept becomes more evident as it is applied to generalists and specialists. Yes, both generalists and specialists have their advantages, and yes, it takes a great deal of effort to develop knowledge and skill in both categories, but when it comes to securing a safe and stable career these two concepts in combination are better together.

T_shaped

3 Advantages/Disadvantages of Being a Generalist
Advantages
  1. Work well in teams – collaborative in nature, especially with other generalists
  2. Broad knowledge base and wide-range experience to help produce a variety of solutions
  3. Ability to relate and understand the perspective of others
Disadvantages
  1. Higher supply and less demand – many businesses are looking for experts in specific capacities, therefore, it can be harder to get hired
  2. Structure and discipline toward one subject may be difficult for generalists
  3. May lack the right knowledge or experience to overcome specific challenges
3 Advantages/Disadvantages of Being a Specialist
Advantages
  1. Experts in a particular field making them desirable if their expertise are required
  2. Can be hired on a freelance or contract basis
  3. Higher demand and less supply – niche applications require specialists in unique areas which can be harder to find
Disadvantages
  1. Rely on others in areas outside of their expertise
  2. Heavily reliant on the needs of the market and are at risk of being replaced if new technologies are introduced or changes occur in their industry
  3. Can be challenging to understand the bigger picture
The sweet spot

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Lev Kaye, Founder and CEO at CredSpark, notes in his article Generalists vs. Specialists: Who Owns The Future? that there are two types of people that will own the future:

  1. Generalizing-specialists
  2. Specializing-generalist
Generalizing-specialists

Someone who is inherently a specialist but realizes to avoid being replaced or pigeonholed into their specialty they must grow and learn on a broader level.

Specializing-generalist

Someone who is inherently a generalist but knows that in order to provide further value they must acquire proficiency in a certain set of skills.

Both of these types of people understand that in order to progress and grow in their careers they must not categorize themselves into one basket or the other. Rather they need to expand their knowledge and skills both horizontally on a broader spectrum, as well as vertically toward deeper understanding.

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