Stephen Covey was well known for his philosophies of effective living. His most notable work, the book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," provides maxims on solving personal and professional problems. The following is a list of some of the ideas Steven Covey contributed through his work.
Taking responsibility and initiative in your decisions will determine your effectiveness in life.
"[Proactivity] means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions."
"Reactive people are driven by feelings, by circumstances, by conditions, by their environment. Proactive people are driven by values—carefully thought about, selected and internalized values."
Identify important character values and life goals through careful introspection.
"The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about and what you value."
"We may be very busy, we may be very efficient, but we will also be truly effective only when we begin with the end in mind."
Attack your weekly tasks by prioritizing them by importance. Efforts towards your goals should modeled after desired traits, help meet goals and help further relationships and roles found in Habit 2.
"In other words, if you are an effective manager of your self, your discipline comes from within; it is a function of your independent will."
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
Working towards mutually beneficial agreements in relationships will benefit in the long-term.
“We don’t have to live each day competing with our spouse, our children, our coworkers, our neighbors, and our friends.”
"But people are not graded against their potential or against the full use of their present capacity. They are graded in relation to other people."
Learning to understand another person will open them up to being influenced by you. This avoids hostility and provides an environment of caring and respect.
“If you don’t have confidence in the diagnosis, you won’t have confidence in the prescription.”
"The amateur salesman sells products; the professional sells solutions to needs and problems."
Work together as a team to achieve goals that an individual could have never done on his or her own.
"The essence of synergy is to value differences—to respect them, to build on strengths, to compensate for weakness."
“Unity, or oneness, is complementariness, not sameness. Sameness is uncreative…and boring.”
Physical, spiritual and mental renewal are important to maintain a sustainable, long-term and effective lifestyle.
"It makes no difference whether you are a mailman, a hairdresser, an insurance salesman, a houswife—whatever. As long as you feel you are serving others, you do the job well."
“Most of us think we don’t have enough time to exercise. What a distorted paradigm! We don’t have time not to.”
The habit is found in the book "The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness." The habit is to "Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs."
The book also lists "6 Cancers" that inhibit greatness:
An elementary school in Raleigh, N.C. integrated ideas from "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" into its cirriculum.
Their success is outlined in Covey's book "The Leader in Me—How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time."