Stephen R. Covey – Profile

Originally published 9 Mar 2014

There are three constants in life… change, choice and principles – Stephen R. Covey

Stephen R. Covey has inspired millions of people throughout his rich life. Next to leaving an extended family, he has also built a great company that is a world leader in training and coaching in leadership. His legacy is now continued by his family and former colleagues. Growing up in Utah, America he has studied Business Administration and finished his studies at Harvard with an MBA. In later years he has received 10 honorary degrees from multiple universities. Next to business he was an avid lover of bicycling, he died July 16th, 2012.

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing- Stephen R. Covey

Stephen Covey has developed, promoted, and expanded on The Seven Habits. These are universally applicable from business to school, and even the personal realm. The seven habits are: Habit 1: Be Proactive, Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind, Habit 3: Put First Things First, Habit 4: Think Win-Win, Habit 5: Seek First to be Understand, Then to be Understood, Habit 6: Synergize, and Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. The first three are directed to what you should do yourself. The second three are concerned with the interaction with others. The last habit is about the ever improvement of all the areas in your life, always keep updating yourself.

Life is not accumulation, it is about contribution – Stephen R. Covey

Next to thought leadership about the seven habits, he was also a true proponent of the 3rd alternative. This is more than an elaboration on the win-win habit. Here Covey shows that by changing the setting of a situation you can achieve results that were never before able. In his own consulting practice he has resolved conflicts in the Middle East, and made very poor scoring goals one of the best in the region. In his last years, he practiced one of the third alternatives himself. In choosing between 1. keep working, and 2. retire into leisure. He chose 3. contribute – and as a writer, professor and father continued to add value to our world.

Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character – Stephen R. Covey

Everyday Greatness is a combination of inspiring stories authored by Stephen R. Covey. No personal stories of leadership are featured, there should definitively be one in a new edition. As one of the main proponents of character-based leadership, he has rediscovered principles that many people still need to discover. Now go ahead and start reading his many great books! Ok, you can start with The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

References & Further Reading:

1. – About Stephen R. Covey

2. – 3rd Alternative Review

3. – 7 Habits Review