October 24, 1932
Salt Lake City, UT
- Known For:
Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
About Stephen Covey
Stephen R. Covey was born on October 24,1932, and grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. He died on July 16, 2012, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, at age 79.
Covey had a rich background in education and business, which heavily influenced his work in personal development, leadership, and effectiveness. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in 1952. He then went on to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard University in 1957.
Covey obtained a Doctor of Religious Education (DRE) from Brigham Young University in 1976. His doctoral dissertation focused on the field of organizational behavior and administration, a topic that would play a significant role in his later work. He was a professor at Brigham Young University (BYU) for many years, where he taught courses in organizational behavior and business management.
In the late 1980s, he began working on writing self-help and professional growth books. He went on to write several impactful books, including his best-known work The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which is considered a cornerstone in both personal development and business literature. Covey became a sought-after speaker and consultant with teachings on leadership, effectiveness, and personal development, making him a popular figure among corporations, educational institutions, and other organizations.
On a personal note, Stephen Covey was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often referred to as the LDS Church or Mormon Church). His faith influenced many aspects of his teachings, particularly in the realm of ethics and principles. Covey and his wife, Sandra, had nine children and many grandchildren. The importance of family life is a recurring theme in many of his writings and teachings.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a seminal work in the realm of personal development and leadership. The book, published in 1989, presents a principle-centered approach for solving both personal and professional problems. Covey introduces seven habits, which, when adopted and executed in order, help individuals move from a state of dependence to independence and finally to interdependence.
The initial habits focus on self-mastery and personal responsibility, the next set revolves around fostering effective interpersonal relationships, and the final habit emphasizes the importance of continuous growth and self-renewal. Throughout his book, Covey’s philosophy underscores the importance of principles, character ethics, and a deep understanding of one’s own values and life’s purpose.
The seven habits Covey describes in the book are:
- Be Proactive
- Begin with the End in Mind
- Put First Things First
- Think Win-Win
- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
- Sharpen the Saw
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has garnered significant praise and accolades since its publication. The book has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide, has been a fixture on various best-seller lists, and is considered one of the most influential business books of all time. Business leaders, educators, and other professionals around the world have endorsed the book for its principles-centered approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness.
In addition to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey has written several other notable books, including the following:
Principle-Centered Leadership (1991): Covey expands on the ideas from The 7 Habits to offer a leadership philosophy grounded in timeless principles, suggesting that both personal and organizational effectiveness require a foundation of ethical decision-making.
First Things First (1994): Co-authored with A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca R. Merrill, this book delves deeper into the third habit from The 7 Habits. It introduces a time-management approach that prioritizes important tasks over urgent ones.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families (1997): Applying the core concepts from The 7 Habits to family dynamics, Covey provides guidance for building strong family relationships and creating a nurturing environment.
Living the 7 Habits: The Courage to Change (1999): This book provides real-life stories from people who’ve implemented the 7 habits in their lives, showcasing the transformative power of the habits in various circumstances.
The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness (2004): In this book, Covey introduces an eighth habit, which addresses the challenge of finding personal voice and helping others find theirs, especially in a complex, new world.
The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time (2008): Co-authored with Muriel Summers, this book explores how the principles from The 7 Habits are being used in schools worldwide to foster leadership in young students.
The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life’s Most Difficult Problems (2011): Covey presents a conflict resolution framework that seeks to go beyond the usual win-lose outcomes, aiming for a third, superior result that benefits all parties involved.
The 7 Habits of Happy Kids (2008): Co-authored with Covey’s son, Sean Covey, this book adapts the principles of the 7 habits for a younger audience, using fun stories and colorful illustrations.
Professional Services Career
In the mid-1980s, Covey co-founded the Covey Leadership Center, which provided training and consultancy based on his principles. The center later merged with Franklin Quest in 1997 to form FranklinCovey, a global professional services firm and consulting company.
FranklinCovey specializes in performance improvement for organizations, teams, and individuals, and provides training and consulting services. It offers a broader range of solutions and tools, encompassing time management, leadership, execution, and personal effectiveness. FranklinCovey operates in over 150 countries worldwide and has impacted countless organizations, governments, schools, and individuals through its teachings and tools.
Despite Covey’s death after a bicycle accident in 2012, his company FranklinCovey has continued to expand its offerings and adapt to the changing needs of its clients, ensuring relevance in a rapidly evolving global marketplace.
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- Stephen Covey – New World Encyclopedia. (n.d.). https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Stephen_Covey
- Martin, D. (2012, July 17). Stephen R. Covey, Herald of Good Habits, dies at 79. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/17/business/stephen-r-covey-herald-of-good-habits-dies-at-79.html
- Stephen R. Covey | Biography, books and facts. (2014, May 17). FAMOUS AUTHORS. https://www.famousauthors.org/stephen-r-covey
- FranklinCovey. (2023, August 6). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® | FranklinCovey. https://www.franklincovey.com/the-7-habits/
- British Library. (n.d.). The British Library. https://www.bl.uk/people/stephen-r-covey
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. (n.d.-c). Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36072.The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People
- Goodreads. (n.d.-d). Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44644.Principle_Centered_Leadership?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=3rk9UOEl4w&rank=1
- First things first. (n.d.). Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36071.First_Things_First?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=83hNo6Rj59&rank=1
- Goodreads. (n.d.-e). Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/783128.The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Families?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=2X4L8igl99&rank=1
- Living the 7 Habits: the courage to change. (n.d.). Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/842590.Living_the_7_Habits?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=nhLQXUukQ1&rank=1
- The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness (The Cov. . .. (n.d.). Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1044141.The_8th_Habit?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=Tb8wlsdJDE&rank=1
- Purchase The Leader in Me Book Online – Leader in Me. (2022, June 14). Leader in Me. https://www.leaderinme.org/book/
- The 3rd alternative: solving life’s most difficult prob. . . (n.d.). Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11003312-the-3rd-alternative?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=IggvkCCHaA&rank=1
- Goodreads. (n.d.-f). Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4958245-the-7-habits-of-happy-kids?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=rxnOreBSHk&rank=1
- FranklinCovey. (2023a, August 2). FranklinCovey: the world’s most trusted leadership company. https://www.franklincovey.com/
- Homepage. (n.d.). https://www.franklincovey.education/
- ‘7 Habits’ author Stephen Covey dead at 79. (2012). CNN. Retrieved August 24, 2023, from https://www.cnn.com/2012/07/16/us/obit-stephen-covey/index.html
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