Stephen was born in 1932, in Salt Lake City, to Stephen Glenn and Irene Louise Covey. His mother Louise was the daughter of Stephen L. Richards who was an apostle and counselor in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . Stephen’s paternal grandfather was Stephen Mack Covey, founder of the original Little America near granger, Wyoming. As a youth, Stephen Covey was a good athlete. This interest was curtailed when he contracted slipped capital femoral epiphysis in junior high school. Stephen then began to focus on academics and was able to graduate from high school early. Stephen, his wife Sandra and their family lived in Provo, Utah. He had nine children and fifty-two grandchildren which earned him the Fatherhood award from the National Fatherhood Initiative in 2003.
Before writing his best-selling book ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, Stephen was a teacher. He was also a practicing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served a two-year mission in England for the LDS Church. He was also the first President of the Irish Mission of the Church which started in July 1962.
Stephen Covey’s ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ sold more than a million copies worldwide. He followed up this book with ‘The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, as a sequel to ‘The Seven Habits’. Other books released by Stephen are ‘The Leader in Me-How Schools and Parents around the World are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time’. This book was about an elementary school in Raleigh, North Caroline which incorporated ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ and other good leadership skills into their curriculum. Because of its success, this trend was adopted by other schools around the world with great success. In March 2008, Stephen launched the Stephen Covey’s Online Community, a collection of online courses, social networking and goal management. Stephen used the website to convey his thoughts and ideas about self leadership and current topics.
Stephen Covey sternly opposed same-sex marriages. At a fundraiser in Honolulu for Save Traditional Marriage 98, organized by a political action committee to sponsor a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages, Stephen was the keynote address speaker. He also authored some devotional works for the Latter-day Saint readers: Spiritual Roots of Human Relations, The Divine Center and 6 Events: The Restoration Model for solving Life’s Problems.
Stephen Covey believed that principles were external natural laws, and values remain internal and subjective. It was also Stephen’s belief that the challenges and complexity people face today are of a different order of magnitude and that you should ‘find your voice and inspire others to find theirs’. Stephen Covey presented his teachings in a series of habits, manifesting as a progression from dependence via independence, to interdependence. The audio version of ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ became the first non-fiction book in the U.S. publishing history to sell more than one million copies.
In case you are curious to know, the seven habits are:
- Be proactive
- Begin with the End in Mind
- Put First Things First
- Think Win-Win
- Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
- Sharpen the Saw
Stephen Covey Video on Choosing Success (3 Minutes)
Stephen Covey on Choosing Success
Introduction to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People(2.5 minutes)
In the memory of Stephen R. Covey – the speed of trust (4:45)
Selections from various classic speeches