Each chapter is dedicated to one of the habits, which are represented by the following imperatives:
The First Three Habits surround moving from dependence to independence (i.e. self mastery)
* Habit 1: Be Proactive
Synopsis: Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life's principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the subsequent consequences that follow.
* Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Synopsis: Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.
* Habit 3: Put First Things First
Synopsis: Plan, prioritize, and execute your week's tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluating if your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you towards goals, and enrich the roles and relationships that were elaborated in Habit 2.
The next three have to do with Interdependence (i.e. working with others)
* Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Synopsis: Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Valuing and respecting people by understanding a "win" for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way.
* Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Synopsis: Use empathetic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, respect, and positive problem solving.
* Habit 6: Synergize
Synopsis: Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone. Get the best performance out of a group of people through encouraging meaningful contribution, and modeling inspirational and supportive leadership.
The Last habit relates to self-rejuvenation:
* Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Synopsis: Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle.