A business management professor, Covey is best known as a writer for his 1989 book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (which has sold 25 million copies. He also had best-sellers with several other books, mostly on the “Seven Habits” theme.) That led to him being named in 1996 as one of Time magazine’s Top 25 Most Influential Americans. How did he get there? “I was a pretty good athlete, I really was,” Covey once said. But a bone condition as a teen left him on crutches for three years. “This shifted me totally into academics, and also into forensics. I got into debate, and speaking, and I got turned on by that.” Covey was still athletic well into his 70s: he received a head injury in a bicycle accident in April, and it was reported that his July 16 death, in Idaho Falls where he was attending a family reunion, was due to “residual effects” of that injury. He was 79.
The “7 Habits” are:
- Be Proactive (Take initiative in life, and take responsibility for your choices and the consequences.)
- Begin with the End in Mind (Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each to create a mission statement.)
- Put First Things First (Prioritize, plan, and execute your tasks based on importance rather than urgency)
- Think Win-Win (Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships.)
- Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood (Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you.
- Synergize (Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone.
- Sharpen the Saw (Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle with exercise, prayer/meditation/yoga, and reading.)