Transcript of "10 Life Principles From Stephen R. Covey"
Stephen R. Covey is the
author of the best-selling
book, The Seven Habits of
Highly Effective People.
Other books he has written
include First Things First,
and the Seven Habits of
Highly Effective Families.
In 2004, Covey released
The 8th Habit. In 2008,
Covey released The Leader
In Me - How Schools and
Parents Around the World
Are Inspiring Greatness,
One Child at a Time. Here
are 10 Life Principles
collected and learned From
Dr. Stephen R. Covey.
Lesson 1 : The Light House Principle
There are lighthouse principles. You don‟t break
them. You only break yourself against them. Don‟t
break yourself against lighthouse principles.
As the story goes, one night at sea, Horatio awakens to find that a ship is
in his sea-lane about 20 miles away and refuses to move. Horatio
commands the other ship to move starboard, 20 degrees at once. Horatio
tries to pull rank and size on the other ship, stating that he‟s a captain and
that he‟s on a large battle ship. The other ship replies, and it turns out it‟s
not actually a ship, but a lighthouse.
Principle # 2 : The 90/10 Principles
10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by
how you react. Don't let people fool you; YOU can control how you react. If
someone says something negative about you, don't be a sponge. Let the
attack roll off like water on glass. You don't have to let the negative
comment affect you! React properly and it will not ruin your day.
You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over. You find
your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get
ready for school. She misses the bus. You rush to the car and drive
your daughter to school. Your daughter runs into the building without
saying goodbye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find
you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terribly.
Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say,
"It's ok honey, you just need to be more careful next time." Grabbing a
towel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase,
you come back down in time to look through the window and see your
child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes
early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good
the day you are having. Notice the difference?
Principle # 3 : Law Of The Harvest
Law of the Harvest is an enlightening look at the true meaning of
„reaping what you sow,‟ and the importance of a strong work ethic.
Persistence, patience and perseverance, as well as attention to detail,
are imperative: with potato farming, it takes three to four years from
soil prep to harvest; short-cuts simply don‟t cut it.
The unpredictable nature of farming provides an excellent
backdrop, bringing to light that each task has great impact on
the outcome. It‟s an opportunity to examine process, quality,
competence, timeliness, sacrifice and preparation.
Examine the benefits and drawbacks of taking shortcuts, tackle
projects with thorough preparation and planning, develop new behavior
patterns for „doing things the right way‟, draw upon priorities and core
values when meeting the challenge of change and more.
Principle # 4 : True North Principle
Principles are like a compass. A compass has a true north that is
objective and external, that reflects natural laws or principles, as
opposed to values which are subjective and internal. Because
the compass represents the eternal verities of life, we must develop
our value system with deep respect for "true north" principles.
The key to long-term success is learning to align with
“true north” principles, working at leadership from the
inside out, and being proactive to become an island of
excellence-and to leaven the team.
Come up with a vision. What do you want to do? At the end
of your life, how do you want to be remembered? By
beginning with the end result that you want to achieve, you
can multiply your impact and your legacy.
Principle # 5 : Put First Thing First
Covey asked us how many struggle with work/life balance. Many hands
went up. He said people often report they feel they spend 50% of their
time on urgent, but not important tasks. Why is that? Covey stated it‟s
because everybody defines purpose differently.
When you understand your vision, you will know which pursuits
are important to you and which ones are not. In this way, you
will be able to let go of the less important things and let others
do them in your stead.
Principle # 6 : Empathic Listening
What you saw was influenced
by your experience and that
rather that impose your view,
first understand the other
person‟s perspective – there‟s a
good chance, you‟re both right!
If you want to be understood, you have to understand the other
person first. Put yourself in that other person's shoes. That way,
you can change your perspective and you can reframe it in such
a way that it will make sense to your partner.
Principle # 7 : Sharpen The Saw
Covey asked us whether we can use our full talent and capacity in our
organization. He then asked us whether we feel the pressure to produce
more for less. The point here was to emphasize how there‟s a demand for
greater results, but that we‟re not necessarily utilized to our full potential.
One of the central messages of Covey is to ensure balance between
production and production capability. In other words, you have to think
long term. By sharpening the saw and ensuring your well-being, you
can pursue your targets in the long run.
Principle # 8 : Inspiration Over Jackass Theory
The Jackass Theory refers to the carrot and the stick. Covey asked us
what kind of supervisor do you need when you have a job that you are
passionate about and is using your talents and you feel you are
appreciated. People are volunteers. You want them to contribute their
greatest, unique contribution.
“People are not on the same page. There is so much bureaucracy, and
rules and regulations that lay people down and disempower them. And
we go back into what I call the 'Great jackass theory of human
motivation'. Carrot-sticking them. if you produce, you get the carrot, if
you don't, you get the stick.' The people who are unprincipled or step
on other people can not survive.” - Stephen R. Covey
Principle # 9 : Finding Your Voice
Covey asked how do you help people find their voice? You ask
them what are they good at? What do they love doing? What is
your greatest unique contribution? The key is finding a voice that
meets a human need.
“Have you accomplished something or got to where you are
because someone believed in you more than you believed in
yourself?” If the answer is yes, then what if you believed in
someone today more than they believe in themselves? If we all do
this for one person, we will affect the entire human population!
Lesson 10 : Theory Of Circle Of Influence
If you focus your energy outside your circle of influence, your
capacity for influence will diminish, because you are wasting your
time and energy on a concern over which you have no influence.
Covey challenged us to be a creative force: Get out of
victimism. You‟re not a victim of your circumstances. You
are the creative force of your life. Empathize first. Grow
your circle of influence. Make tremendous impact.
"There are three constants
in life... change, choice and
Thank You Very Much
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