Book review: The 3rd Alternative by Stephen M. R. Covey

07 avril 2021
Marie Croes

  • 🔮 A hidden treasure in the world of leadership books: 'The 3rd Alternative' by Stephen M. R. Covey 🔮

    Everybody knows Stephen Covey, the multimillion-copy bestselling author of ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.’

    ⚡ 'The 3rd Alternative' introduces a breakthrough approach to conflict resolution and creative problem solving, transcending traditional solutions to conflict by forging a third option path
    ⚡ A third alternative moves beyond "your way or my way" to a higher and better way, one that allows both parties to emerge from debate or even heated conflict in a far better place than either had envisioned
    ⚡ With the third alternative, nobody has to give up anything, and everyone wins
    ⚡ Through key examples and stories from his work as a consultant, Covey demonstrates how to create new and better results instead of escalating conflict and building solid relationships based on an attitude of winning together

Struggles of a manager

Managers are

  • new in this role


    • lack self-confidence
    • don’t know how to go from being a colleague to being a boss
    • need to loosen up on the command & control leadership style
    • must let go of the (technical) expert status
    • cannot give or accept constructive feedback
    • feel pressure to perform as manager
    • have difficulty building relationships
    • want to be liked by everyone or want to be the ‘bad boss’
    • play the hero
  • are struggling


    • stay too involved in operations
    • have trouble prioritizing
    • cannot delegate
    • fear conflict situations
    • disconnect from the team
    • deal with flawed strategic thinking
    • do not relate to higher management
    • lack clear communication skills
    • remain not self-aware
    • avoid difficult conversations
    • miss political antennas
    • ...
  • capable of more


    • need mental preparation as successor
    • need to be able to lead big changes ahead
    • need to learn to be emotionally resilient and in control
    • need to learn to make big decisions fast without all the information
    • must become persuasive presenters
    • need to learn how to cultivate their own personal brand
    • need to learn how to lead by example
    • manage by trust, not by fear
    • need to overly develop empathy
    • ...
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