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The Legacy of Stephen R. Covey

Thu, July 26th, 2012

Covey practiced what he preached, and the business world was made better for it

 

The Servant Leader Bond

Servant leaders have an unusual bond with one another.  We are drawn, regardless of specialty or geography, to people of character.  These people of great influence seek to live consistently in what they believe and how they behave.  Not all are great communicators, consultants, or writers, but all of them embrace discipline to know the truth and seek to live in and out of that truth.  One such business prophet that consistently lived, taught, and wrote about character was Stephen R. Covey.

         Greatness in Leadership starts inside out

The first time I met Stephen R. Covey was 27 years ago in San Diego.  His popularity was growing because of his blockbuster national bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Six months later I interviewed Dr. Covey for an article I was doing for a national newspaper. He recognized, as all great leaders must, that the depth of our character influences our capacity to lead. Thus, greatness in leadership starts inside out, not outside in, based upon foundational values and intentional disciplines. Covey practiced what he preached, and the business world was better for it.

His Legacy

On July 16th, Stephen Richards Covey, a man of conviction beloved by his family, passed away.  My life was made richer and deeper because of him.  Stephen R. Covey believed that all human beings are products of their decisions, not their circumstances.  He believed that we should always “keep the main thing the main thing.”  He believed that the enemy of the best in life is often the good in life and that leaders must have the courage to say “no” to some things so they can say “yes” to the greater desire within their heart.  He talked often about leaving a legacy, and he wanted all people to learn how to live, laugh, and love.  He believed that by following these priorities we create memories and values that will be passed on to future generations.

Stephen R. Covey held an MBA from Harvard and a doctorate of Religious Education from BYU. Covey was a lifelong learner who taught others the importance of character and competency at work and at home.  We are blessed to have read his books, heard his talks, and seen his life.  May all those who seek to lead learn from this servant-leader.  Stephen R. Covey will be missed by millions.  I am one who is grieving at his passing but thankful for his legacy.

What kind of impact did Stephen R. Covey or any of his great works have on you?

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2 Responses to “The Legacy of Stephen R. Covey”

  1. Daryl Raye says:

    Stephen R. Covey’s legacy will live on because he made the choice to say yes to the greater desire to serve humanity. His legacy lives in the many who read “Principle- Centered Leadership” and were inspired to be Principle – Centered Leaders. Covey made his life’s work to develop leaders for the greater good and the values he taught will remain in the heart of many of his followers, including mine.

  2. Kent norman says:

    I knew him and learned from him and from those he tutored. Today I grieve as I search the desolation for principles centered leadership in America. What will happen to us? With his vision and teachings we may be able to emerge from the wilderness

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