Motivational Speaker – Stephen Covey – US
|Born||October 24, 1932
Salt Lake City, Utah, US
|Died||July 16, 2012 (aged 79)
Idaho Falls, Idaho, US
|Education||Bachelor of Science
Doctor of Religious Education
|Alma mater||University of Utah
Harvard Business School
Brigham Young University
|Occupation||Author, professional speaker,professor, consultant,management-expert|
|Religion||The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|
Stephen Richards Covey (October 24, 1932 – July 16, 2012) was an American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker. His most popular book was The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. His other books include First Things First, Principle-Centered Leadership, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families, The 8th Habit, and The Leader In Me — How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time. He was a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University at the time of his death.
Early life[edit source | editbeta]
Covey was born to Stephen Glenn Covey and Irene Louise Richards Covey in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 24, 1932. Louise was the daughter of Stephen L Richards, an apostle and counselor in the first presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintsunder David O. McKay. He is the grandson of Stephen Mack Covey who founded the original Little America near Granger, Wyoming.
Covey was athletic as a youth but contracted slipped capital femoral epiphysis in junior high school, requiring him to change his focus to academics. He was a member of the debate team and graduated from high school early.
Education[edit source | editbeta]
Covey earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Utah, an MBA from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Religious Education (DRE) from Brigham Young University. He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity. He was awarded ten honorary doctorates.
Books[edit source | editbeta]
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People[edit source | editbeta]
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey’s best-known book, has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide since its first publication in 1989. The audio version became the first non-fiction audio-book in U.S. publishing history to sell more than one million copies. Covey argues against what he calls “The Personality Ethic”, something he sees as prevalent in many modern self-help books. He promotes what he labels “The Character Ethic”: aligning one’s values with so-called “universal and timeless” principles. Covey adamantly refuses to conflate principles and values; he sees principles as external natural laws, while values remain internal and subjective. Covey proclaims that values govern people’s behavior, but principles ultimately determine the consequences. Covey presents his teachings in a series of habits, manifesting as a progression from dependence via independence to interdependence.
The 8th Habit[edit source | editbeta]
Covey’s 2004 book The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness was published by Free Press, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. It is the sequel to The Seven Habits. Covey posits that effectiveness does not suffice in what he calls “The Knowledge Worker Age”. He says that “[t]he challenges and complexity we face today are of a different order of magnitude.” The 8th habit essentially urges: “Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs..”
The Leader in Me[edit source | editbeta]
Covey released The Leader in Me — How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time in November 2008. It tells how “some schools, parents and business leaders are preparing the next generation to meet the great challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century. It shows how an elementary school in Raleigh, North Carolina, decided to try incorporating The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and other basic leadership skills into the curriculum in unique and creative ways. Inspired by the success of Principal Muriel Summers and the teachers and staff of A.B. Combs Elementary School in Raleigh, other schools and parents around the world have adopted the approach and have seen remarkable results”.
Other projects[edit source | editbeta]
FranklinCovey[edit source | editbeta]
In 1985 Covey established Stephen R. Covey and Associates which in 1987 became The “Covey Leadership Center” which, in 1997, merged with Franklin Quest to formFranklinCovey, a global professional-services firm and specialty retailer selling both training and productivity tools to individuals and to organizations. Their mission statement reads: “We enable greatness in people and organizations everywhere”.
In 2009 Covey launched a career development webinar series to help people struggling in the economic downturn. Its purpose was to offer timely and current topics on a regular basis.
Stephen Covey Online Community[edit source | editbeta]
In March 2008 Covey launched the Stephen Covey’s Online Community. The site was a collection of online courses, goal management and social networking. Covey used it to teach his thoughts and ideas on current topics and self leadership.
Utah State University[edit source | editbeta]
In February 2010, Covey announced his hire as a professor and first incumbent of the Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Chair in Leadership at the Huntsman School of Business atUtah State University (USU). Huntsman and Covey were longtime friends. At USU, he taught courses, performed research, and helped to establish the Stephen R. Covey Center for Leadership, in order to better train students in innovation and ethics.
Education initiatives[edit source | editbeta]
Covey developed his 2008 book The Leader in Me into several education-related projects. On April 20, 2010 he made his first post to an education blog entitled Our Children and the Crisis in Education which appears on the Huffington Post news and blog-aggregation website. FranklinCovey also established a Web site dedicated exclusively to The Leader in Me concept, and it holds periodic conferences and workshops to train elementary school administrators who want to integrate The Leader in Me process into their school’s academic culture.
Thoughts on homosexuality[edit source | editbeta]
Stephen Covey had been active in opposition to same-sex marriage, including giving the keynote address at a $1,000-per-plate fundraiser in Honolulu for Save Traditional Marriage 98 (“STM98”), a political action committee that was sponsoring a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages in the state.
In 1998, following Covey’s apology over his comments at STM98, Franklin Covey rewrote its nondiscrimination policy to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Greg Link, vice-president for business development remarked about the policy: “Everybody’s really clear that we value diversity. It’s what we teach. It’s in the seven habits [Covey outlined in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.]  Nevertheless, Covey, as a devout member of the LDS Church, eschewed sexual activity outside marriage as sinful behavior, which stance is mirrored in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ official policy.