7 Times Dogs Demonstrated the Habits of Highly Effective People

A quick and barky guide to Stephen Covey’s winning principles.

It’s 27 years since educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker Stephen Covey published his seminal guide to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The simple principles are an aspirational, yet still achievable, approach to achieving your goals. Since it’s first edition, over 25 million copies have been sold to humans from around the world. Which begs one question: why are dogs so good much better at being highly effective people than the rest of us?

Let’s review the evidence.

1. This dog is proactive

Covey suggests that we should all work to expand the scope of our influence rather than waiting for problems to occur before taking action. This dog doesn’t wait around for a hand to feed him; he finds a way to get that sandwich on his own.

2. This dog began with the end in mind

By envisioning where you want to be in the future, you can plan towards it. This dog has clearly taken the parable of The Tortoise and The Hare to heart, and knows that slow and steady wins the race.

3. This dog put first things first

Covey proposes that we approach tasks depending on how important and urgent they are. Important and urgent things get done first, followed by important but not-urgent, not important but urgent, and finally not important and not urgent tasks. That paper delivery must have been pretty important, because those dogs tackled it straight away.

4. This dog has a win-win attitude

A shared win is always better than when only one person gets their way. This dog is taking a “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” approach, which keeps everyone sweet.

5. This dog seeks to understand before being understood

He’s not really ill, and he knows she can’t possibly have completed seven years at medical school, but he senses that this is important to her, so he stays with it.

6. These dogs are working in synergy

When we combine our strengths through teamwork, we achieve goals that we could not have reached alone. In this case, one dog can’t possibly fetch, but TWO dogs? You’ve got yourself a wet ball.

7. This dog is “sharpening the saw”

How can we continue to develop and grow to achieve our goals in the long term? By working on our mental and physical health. Swimming is a great way to stay active and balanced, as this pug knows only too well.

So there you have it: dogs are the most highly effective people in the world.

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