How To Find a New Answer
STEPHEN COVEY, author of The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness
By Susanna Hamner

(Business 2.0) – Since you wrote The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People back in 1989, the book and its various spinoffs have sold more than 15 million copies. Pardon us for thinking this, but are you milking this thing by coming up with a heretofore undiscovered rule?

The seven habits were effective, but effectiveness isn't key anymore. You have to be effective just to enter the arena. The key is to move to greatness.

Since the start of the information age, which began when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, the whole nature of the world has changed in significant ways. The industrial age was about control, and the information age, or knowledge-worker age, is about release. And release means helping people find their voice, so they can do what they love doing and what they do well.

Have you ever had that kind of a job or role? What kind of supervision did it require? Right. You supervised yourself. You didn't need anyone to motivate you. When people find their voice, you don't need to worry about supervision, bureaucracy, rules and regulations, and what I call "the great jackass theory of human motivation"—carrot-and-sticking people. Well, imagine what the cost savings would be to an organization that got rid of all that bureaucratic supervision stuff.

You could have had the eighth habit before this book, but the relevance of it was not all that obvious. Today, if people do not move gradually into this release model that I'm talking about, then they are going to be history. They won't be as productive, they won't be as innovative, and they won't be as quick. — S.H.