Between starting to read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in the Spring of 2011 and finishing the book today, its author Steven Covey died.

I am not sure about where the book is placed in the pantheon of great business books (I can see from the cover that 15 million copies have been sold) but what made me buy the book was the number of times it was referenced by people I respect.

His seven principles (to which an eighth has been appended for the digital age) underpin a lot of other good self-development and management books. His ideas are frequently used by others. “Begin with the end in mind” is not quite what I had been told it was.

There are two reasons why it took me so long to read the book. The first reason is Steven himself urges his reader to take it slowly. The second is that his prose style is frequently dry.

But I am glad I set out on the journey. As T S Eliot wrote: “We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.”

This book is packed full of wisdom. It will help you improve your life. While 15 million copies have been sold I am confident that most people really don’t understand how the principles that Steven outlines join up. This means if you study the book you will get a personal advantage and a business advantage.

While I say that Steven does not write well, this book does contain some great stories and it will make you cry. You will also feel that you know Steven and know that he lives on through his work.