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Quotes of the day: Stephen Covey

Published Thursday, October 24, 2013 @ 4:41 AM EDT
Oct 24 2013

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. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A moment of choice is a moment of truth. It's the testing point of our character and competence.

Consequences are governed by principles and behavior is governed by values; therefore, value principles!

Give no answer to contentious arguments or irresponsible accusations. Let such things 'fly out open windows' until they spend themselves.

Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.

If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control- myself.

In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.

It is one thing to make a mistake, and quite another thing not to admit it. People will forgive mistakes, because mistakes are usually of the mind, mistakes of judgment. But people will not easily forgive the mistakes of the heart, the ill intention, the bad motives, the prideful justifying cover-up of the first mistake.

It's not enough to have values without vision; you want to be good, but you want to be good for something.

Let natural consequences teach responsible behavior.

Live out of your imagination, not your history.

Live the law of love. We encourage obedience to the laws of life when we live the laws of love.

Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.

More important than how fast you're going, is where you're headed.

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

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

One of the most important ways to manifest integrity is to be loyal to those who are not present. In doing so, we build the trust of those who are present.

Prepare your mind and heart before you prepare your speech. What we say may be less important than how we say it.

Principles are universal— that is, they transcend culture and geography. They're also timeless, they never change- principles such as fairness, kindness, respect, honesty, integrity, service, contribution. Different cultures may translate these principles into different practices and over time may even totally obscure these principles through the wrongful use of freedom. Nevertheless, they are present. Like the law of gravity, they operate constantly.

Remember, to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.

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

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

The power to distinguish between person and performance and to communicate intrinsic worth flows naturally out of our own sense of intrinsic worth.

The way we see the problem is the problem.

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

Two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right. It's not logical; it's psychological.

Unless we exercise our power to choose wisely, our actions will be determined by conditions. Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are- or, as we are conditioned to see it.

When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.

While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.

Words are like eggs dropped from great heights. You could no more call them back then ignore the mess they left when they fell.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Stephen Covey


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