(this part 5 of the series on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

You can find an overview of all the habits in this blog

Do you believe that one person’s success is always achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others? Or do you think that there is plenty out there for everybody?

The first interdependent victory of highly effective people: Win/Win (Habit 4)

After covering the 3 habits for personal independence and private victory, I am shifting now towards interdependence and public victories. But make sure to master habits 1, 2, and 3, before fully embracing on the next 3 habits.


Most people have been deeply scripted in a Win/Lose approach. This means you gain something at the expense of someone else.

For example, children are compared with brothers or sisters, as love of the parents is given on a conditional basis. Or partners deciding on their holidays argue till they have it their way. Or it is in peer groups like friends, were comparison of salary, cars or houses is common.

Education reinforces this Win/Lose, as there is always a comparison, and no recognition of the intrinsic value of a person.


Win/Win is a mindset, where life is a cooperative, not a competitive arena. It is trying to find a solution that is agreeable for both parties. It is thinking based on principle and support rather than on power and position.

Ways to build interdependent leadership

First of all, build the habits 1, 2, and 3. As vision, proactivity, and wisdom & power come from principle-centered leadership!

Second, embrace the 5 dimensions of life

  1. Build the right character, composed of
    1. integrity (the value we place on ourselves)
    2. maturity (balance between courage and consideration, between ego and empathy)
    3. abundance mentality (the idea that there is plenty for everybody, rather than in a world of scarcity)
  1. Build relationships, that are based on trust, respect, and understanding. Be open, listen, and work with honesty towards a synergistic solution.
  2. Make agreements with desired results, accountability and consequences. People judging their own performances are more likely to achieve higher results than if you judge them.
  3. Build structure & systems: in a win/win management training again focus on own responsibility and a system that supports this.
  4. Define the process how to arrive at win/win:
    1. Seek to understand the problem;
    2. Identify key issues and concerns involved;
    3. Determine what results would constitute a fully acceptable solution;
    4. Identify (new) options to achieve those results.


If you want to read in more detail about each of the steps, please read the book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.