Are you familiar with Stephen R. Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which has sold more than 25 million copies since it was published in 1989? And perhaps the sequel, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness? Okay, here’s a bit of corporate history that probably passed you by but that’s nonetheless important to the story: Franklin Quest, the company best known for its planners, bought the Covey Leadership Center in 1997 to form FranklinCovey. FranklinCovey is today a publicly listed (NYSE: FC) global professional services firm and specialty retailer selling training and productivity tools to individuals and organizations. Its clients have included 90% of the Fortune 100 and more than 75% of the Fortune 500. It holds the copyright to this book.
The three authors—Kory Kogon, Adam Merrill, and Leena Rinne—are all affiliated with FranklinCovey. Kogon, the company’s Global Practice Leader for Productivity, has already co-authored two other FranklinCovey books. Advanced praise for the book, blazoned on the cover of the uncorrected proofs, comes from New York Times bestselling author Sean Covey. As you should begin to understand by now, The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity, published by Simon & Schuster (who also published Stephen Covey’s books), was written in-house as part of the firm’s productivity suite.
So, after all this background, what does the book actually promise? Its claim is straightforward: to achieve extraordinary productivity you need to make the correct five choices in three areas: decision management, attention management, and energy management. When making a decision, act on the important and go for the extraordinary, don’t react to the urgent or settle for the ordinary. With respect to attention, schedule the big rocks, don’t sort gravel, and rule your technology, don’t let it rule you. As for energy, fuel your fire, don’t burn out. The combination of high-value decisions, focused attention, and high energy will yield extraordinary productivity.