Stephen Covey believed that success occurs when one aligns their
values with timeless and universal principles existing in the world.
Values are what govern the behavior of people, but principles are what
ultimately determine the consequences. From his achievements and
work, here are 10 classic lessons we can learn from Stephen Covey.
1. Know That Your Character is Critical
Watch your habits because they determine your character and it is your
character that defines your life. It is difficult to rise higher than your
character’s fortitude. Your character forms the foundation for your life and
for you to change your life, you have to change your character.
“Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are
consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our
2. Schedule Your Priorities
Schedule your priorities. If it’s important, it must be scheduled.
What you don’t schedule won’t get done. Know your priorities,
and center your day on those activities.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your
schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
3. Stick To Your Main End Goal
It is important that you never lose sight of the big picture and
always be determined by keeping the main thing the main thing.
Failure is hugely contributed to by losing focus. Be focused on
the main thing, and keep it the main thing!
“The main goal is to keep the main goal the main goal”.
4. First Things First
In order to be a great leader, one has to prioritize the most important
things before others, and has to distinguish the most critical from the
insignificant and place the critical first. First in order, then first in priority
and first in rank. If the critical is placed first, and given the critical focus
and attention, there is certainly effectiveness in leadership with soar.
“Effective leadership is putting first things first.”
5. Use Your Imagination
Your imagination pre-plays your future! Use your imagination to create
the future that you desire. You can’t progress very far looking out of
the rear view mirror of life; use your imagination to look ahead. See
your future as bright; if you can see it and believe it, you can have it.
“Live out of your imagination, not your history.”
6. Begin With The End In Mind
By nature, long term goals are less clear and the path to achieving them is
also less certain. It is easier to do something in the short run than in the
long run. We ask ourselves what we are trying to accomplish. It is more
adept at answering this question for the short and medium term goals.
“Begin with the end in mind.”
7. Think Of Win-Win Situations
We can learn to look for solutions that can benefit everyone in the society.
According to Covey, Win-Win means agreements are mutually satisfying
and beneficial. He says that the way people think in terms of dichotomies;
win or lose, hardball or softball, strong or weak is fundamentally flawed.
“This is a frame of the heart and mind that always
seeks mutual benefit in all interactions of humans”.
8. Be Good At Listening
We first need to understand, to be understood. Listen to what other people
have to say and try to understand them. Equally, they will grant you the
same courtesy and respect your opinions just as you have shown them. We
often fail to take time to diagnose and really understand the problem first.
“We have a tendency to rush things,
and fix them up with good advice”.
9. Change, Choice and Principles
Change, choice and principles give you the power to achieve your
dreams. You can change your life, if you align your choices with the
timeless principles that produce success. With the weapons of
change, choice and principles, impossibilities become possibilities.
“There are three constants in life…
change, choice and principles.”
10. Decisions Decide Destinies
Your decisions will ultimately decide where you go in this life; you’re not
limited by the accomplishments of your parents, and you’re not confined to
the achievements of your peers. You can achieve whatever you believe you
can achieve, and you can do whatever you believe you can do. The sky is
your limit; the world is your oyster.
“We are not animals. We are not a product of what has
happened to us in our past. We have the power of choice.”
Covey’s death saddened many, but most people have been grateful
for his life and work. His success has definitely served as an
inspiration to a lot of people and even after his death, his legacy
still lives on.
Thank You Very Much