Quality with a smile - struggle free

An approach that brings results at a different level

Chose the path which suits you best:

and CONTACT ME to set up a non-binding meeting.

Stephen Covey

October 1932 - July 2012

Stephen Richards Covey was an American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker. His popular book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide and was translated into 40 languages. The audio version became the first non-fiction audio-book in the U.S. to sell more than one million copies.

This book is not just a best-seller. It is, in my opinion, a book any person my read, for starters, and then study, rather like the Bible, his whole life. The book presents a completely different approach than most other self-development teachers, focusing on developing character, based on  universal and timeless internal values and external principles. It teaches the path from dependence, through independence and to interdependence. A few years later, he published The Eighth Habit, to complement his work in the Information Age.

Stephen Covey wrote the article Keys to Total Quality, and is considered among the Quality Gurus.

He was born and lived in Utah, USA, in the large community of Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) living there. He had 9 children and 52 grandchildren. He even received the Fatherhood Award from the National Fatherhood Initiative in 2003. He had a B.Sc. in in business administration from the University of Utah, an MBA from Harvard Business School at Harvard University, and a Doctor of Religious Education (DRE) from Brigham Young University. On top of that, he was awarded 10 honorary doctorates. Among his other endeavors, before publishing of his books he was a professor at Brigham Young University, and served as an assistant to the university president. Later, he returned to academia as a professor at the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, and served as Huntsman President.

Stephen Covey

Together with Franklin Quest, in 1985, he established Stephen R. Covey and Associates which in 1987 became The Covey Leadership Center. It provides both training and productivity tools to individuals and organizations. He developed a webinar series to help people struggling in the economic downturn, which offered timely and current topics on a regular basis. In 2008, Covey launched the Stephen Covey’s Online Community, a collection of online courses, goal management and social networking, through which he taught his thoughts and ideas on current topics and self leadership.

If you haven’t read his book yet, I urge you to go ahead, get it and begin today.

Selected quotes

A cardinal principle of Total Quality escapes too many managers: you cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships.

Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.

Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.

The greatest problem in communication today is that we do not listen with the intent to understand. We listen, with the intent to reply.

Live out of your imagination, not your history.

Admission of ignorance is often the first step in our education.

If you think win-win, everyone will feel good about the decision and will be committed to the action plan.

Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

Leadership is a choice, not a position.

When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.

Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.

Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.

Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.

The more people rationalize cheating, the more it becomes a culture of dishonesty. And that can become a vicious, downward cycle. Because suddenly, if everyone else is cheating, you feel a need to cheat, too.

Moral authority comes from following universal and timeless principles like honesty, integrity, treating people with respect.

סמכות מוסרית מקורה בקיום עקרונות אוניברסליים ובלתי תלויים בזמן כגון כנות, יושרה, יחס של כבוד לזולת.

If you want small changes in your life, work on your attitude. But if you want big and primary changes, work on your paradigm.

There are three constants in life… change, choice and principles.

The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it.

Synergy is what happens when one plus one equals ten or a hundred or even a thousand! It’s the profound result when two or more respectful human beings determine to go beyond their preconceived ideas to meet a great challenge.

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

Life is not accumulation, it is about contribution.

When you really listen to another person from their point of view, and reflect back to them that understanding, it’s like giving them emotional oxygen.

Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.

Begin with the end in mind.

Your most important work is always ahead of you, never behind you.

Remember, we are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Our character is, basically, a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.

Reactive people… are often affected by their physical environment. They find external sources to blame for their behavior.

Employers and business leaders need people who can think for themselves – who can take initiative and be the solution to problems.

Between stimulus and response, there is a space where we choose our response.

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

The deepest desire of the human spirit is to be acknowledged.

It takes a great deal of character strength to apologize quickly out of one’s heart rather than out of pity. A person must possess himself and have a deep sense of security in fundamental principles and values in order to genuinely apologize.

If you carefully consider what you want to be said of you in the funeral experience, you will find your definition of success.

The solutions to our problems are and always will be based upon universal, timeless, self-evident principles common to every enduring, prospering society throughout history.

I have an abundance mentality: when people are genuinely happy at the successes of others, the pie gets larger.

You can’t talk your way out of problems you behave yourself into.

I believe in the concept that you learn by teaching.

Every time you think the problem is ‘out there’, that very thought is the problem.

When one side benefits more than the other, that’s a win-lose situation. To the winner it might look like success for a while, but in the long run, it breeds resentment and distrust.

If there’s one thing that’s certain in business, it’s uncertainty.

Some habits of ineffectiveness are rooted in our social conditioning toward quick-fix, short-term thinking.

There’s strong data that, within companies, the No. 1 reason for ethical violations is the pressure to meet expectations, sometimes unrealistic expectations.

This post is available also in: heעברית

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