Stephen R. Covey
Stephen Richards Covey (October 24, 1932 – July 16, 2012) was an American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker. His most popular book is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. His other books include First Things First, Principle-Centered Leadership, The 7 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. In 1996, Time magazine named him one of the 25 most influential people. He was a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University at the time of his death.
Covey's book Spiritual Roots of Human Relations was published in 1970 by Deseret Book Company. Reading this book will identify how Covey's later works were a secular development of these earlier ideas.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey's best-known book, has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide since its first publication in 1989. The audio version became the first non-fiction audio book in U.S. publishing history to sell more than one million copies. Covey argues against what he calls "The Personality Ethic", something he sees as prevalent in many modern self-help books. He promotes what he labels "The Character Ethic": aligning one’s values with so-called "universal and timeless" principles. Covey adamantly refuses to conflate principles and values; he sees principles as external natural laws, while values remain internal and subjective. Covey proclaims that values govern people's behavior, but principles ultimately determine the consequences. Covey presents his teachings in a series of habits, manifesting as a progression from dependence via independence to interdependence.
Covey's 2004 book The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness was published by Free Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. It is the sequel to The 7 Habits. Covey posits that effectiveness does not suffice in what he calls "The Knowledge Worker Age". He says that "[t]he challenges and complexity we face today are of a different order of magnitude." The 8th habit essentially urges: "Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs."
Covey released The Leader in Me — How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time in November 2008. It tells how "some schools, parents and business leaders are preparing the next generation to meet the great challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century. It shows how an elementary school in Raleigh, North Carolina, decided to try incorporating The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and other basic leadership skills into the curriculum in unique and creative ways. Inspired by the success of Principal Muriel Summers and the teachers and staff of A.B. Combs Elementary School in Raleigh, other schools and parents around the world have adopted the approach and have seen remarkable results".