Mark Twain

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

- Mark Twain

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stephen Covey: Life is this: Change, Choice, Principles.


Stephen Covey: Life is this: change, choice, principles.

 Judging by the sales numbers, many of us have owned and read Covey's books at one time or another.  Going so far as listening to his best book '7 Habits', in my case to understand his simple message. 

Sometimes given to over thinking, it was difficult for me to realize that his message was a simple, common sense approach, given all the press hysteria he generated.  

Of course, Stephen covey must be approached like P.T. Barnum or any other oif the great self-promoters in American business history.  If you have investigated his Franklin Covey web site you will have seen his marketing machine in action.  He was a huge part of the "Self-Help" industry as indicated by Brian Trac

 Mr. Gilette summarizes Covey's ideas:
 Life is this: change, choice, principles.

 By the Numbers
Stephen Covey, 1932-2012  

By on July 18, 2012

The prophet Moses delivered the Ten Commandments. The psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross came up with the Five Stages of Grief.

Stephen Covey gave us The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
A luminary in the field of American self-help by the numbers, Covey passed away on Monday, July 16, in a hospital in Idaho from complications following a bicycle accident. He was 79.

Covey published The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in 1989. The book has sold more than 20  million copies.

A former professor at Brigham Young University, Covey left academia to found a management consulting business, the Covey Leadership Center (which merged with Franklin Quest in 1997 to form FranklinCovey). He wrote several other books, including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, and The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life’s Most Difficult Problems.

In the hours following news of Covey’s death, a panoply of motivational senseis—Tony Robbins, Daniel Pink, Ricky Williams—flooded social networks with words of remembrance and samples of Covey’s inspirational quotes. “There are three constants in life … change, choice, and principles,” Covey wrote.

Covey is survived not just by his wife, nine children, 52 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren but also, to judge by the reaction to his passing, by countless devotees of his numerically specific editorial approach—a style that in recent years has flourished in business writing on the Web.

On Twitter, John Maxwell, the author of 5 Levels of Leadership, mourned the passing of his friend and colleague. Paul Lawrence Vann, the co-author of 101 Great Ways to Enhance Your Career, praised Covey. Jeffrey Hayzlett, a proponent of what he calls “the 118,” aka “the Elevator Pitch 2.0″ (basically, a condensed sales pitch that lasts 118 seconds), noted how much Covey will be missed. James Vickery, the star of a Web video entitled 9 Unmistakable Truths About Cloud Computing, called Covey an “inspiration to all of us.”

“Though we were hardly bosom buddies, I would occasionally get an absurdly generous note from Stephen recognizing this or that that I had done,” wrote management guru Tom Peters in the Washington Post. “I often joked with him that, with the passage of time, I was ripping him off more and more.” Peters’s most recent book is entitled The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence.

“Stephen Covey was a major influence in my life and in the lives of other top speakers, writers, and professionals in the human development movement, especially in business,” says Brian Tracy, the author of numerous books, including The 100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Business Success and The 21 Success Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires.




The Message:

Life is this: change, choice, principles.

The Man

Devout Mormon, family man with 52 grandchildren.

The Legacy

His books have been sold in 38 languages.

Gillette is a staff writer for Bloomberg Businessweek in New York.

Stephen Covey, 1932-2012 - Businessweek


  Stephen R. Covey, Herald of Good Habits, Dies at 79

July 16, 2012

Stephen R. Covey, Herald of Good Habits, Dies at 79

Stephen R. Covey won a global following and a five-year run on best-seller lists by fusing the genres of self-help and business literature in his 1989 book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic”.

He died on Monday at a hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He was 79. The cause was complications of a bicycle accident three months ago, his family said in a statement. 
Mr. Covey’s book sold more than 25 million copies worldwide, and also became the first audiobook to sell more than a million copies. 

After conferring with Mr. Covey over Thanksgiving in 1994, President Bill Clinton said American productivity would greatly increase if people followed Mr. Covey’s advice. 

More than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies flocked to use a consulting company he had founded. 
Mr. Covey was a bit baffled by his success.

He said he was simply telling people what he thought they already knew:

 the efficacy of good behavior. 

All that people had to do was form habits out of their best instincts, he said, calling his seven nuggets of knowledge natural laws, like gravity. 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People  are: 

1. Be proactive 

2. Begin with the end in mind 

3. Put first things first 

4. Think “win-win.” 

5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood 

6. Synergize 

7. Sharpen the saw; that is, undergo frequent self-renewal. 


“We believe that organizational behavior is individual behavior collectivized,” Mr. Covey said. 

He expanded the lesson in 2004 in “The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness,” in which he urges people to find their own distinctive voices and to encourage others to find theirs. 

Among his other books, “Seven Habits for Highly Effective Families,” published in 1997, advocates that families come up with mission statements. 

“The Leader in Me,” published in 2008, embodies his ideas for educational reform. 

His goal was to change society, he said, calling his catechism first and foremost an action plan. “What is common sense isn’t common practice,” he declared. 

Mr. Covey was a Mormon, and some saw large elements of Mormon theology in his work, though his language was ecumenical. He denied any Mormon bias in his books, saying he drew inspiration from the Scriptures and from history’s great thinkers. 

In 1996, Time magazine named Mr. Covey one of the 25 most influential Americans, and Forbes called “Seven Habits” one of the top 10 business management books ever.

“Seven Habits” became part of the vernacular. Campaigning in the Iowa Republican primary last year, Mitt Romney referred to the book in offering his “seven habits for highly successful economies.” 

Parodies have cropped up. One, published in 1996, was titled “The 7 Habits of Highly Defective People: And Other Bestsellers That Won’t Go Away.” 

Stephen Richards Covey was born on Oct. 24, 1932, in Salt Lake City, and grew up on an egg farm outside the city. A promising athletic career was cut short by degeneration in his legs, causing him to use crutches for three years as a teenager. 

He entered the University of Utah at 16 and earned a degree in business administration. He spent two years in Britain as a Mormon missionary before returning to the United States to earn an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. 

After another missionary stint, in Ireland, he earned a doctorate in religious education from Brigham Young University. 

His thesis was on “success literature” in American history. 
At Brigham Young, he became an assistant to the university’s president and began teaching his self-help ideas on campus, drawing as many as 1,000 students in a single class.

In 1983 he gambled everything he owned on starting the Covey Leadership Center, a training and consulting concern in Provo, Utah. 

In 1997 it merged with Franklin Quest, founded by Hyrum Smith, a time-management expert, to become the Franklin Covey Company. It now operates in more than 50 countries and had $160.8 million in sales last year. 

In explaining his second recommended habit — Begin with the end in mind — Mr. Covey urged people to consider how they would like to be remembered.

“If you carefully consider what you want to be said of you in the funeral experience,” he said, “you will find your definition of success.”

Stephen R. Covey, Herald of Good Habits, Dies at 79 -

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