Most of you have no doubt heard that Stephen Covey passed away on Monday. He’s known best for his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which catapulted him to fame, leading to more books as well as his seminars and consulting and the Franklin Quest products (particularly the well-known Franklin planners).
Although he and I were quite different, especially spiritually and politically, our philosophies have intersected and been in sync through the years, sometimes in surprising ways. For example, when I was shopping my book The Greatness Challenge to agents and publishers, he came out with his book The 8th Habit–about striving for greatness.
We share the same outlook on success being defined by more than just money or promotions. Focusing holistically on who you are and who you want to be is far more meaningful than focusing on what you want and what you want to be.
He was not without his critics, but no one can deny the enormous impact he had. He was often accused of oversimplifying, which is a challenge for all coaches and consultants who work with businesses and individuals. People tend to forget that the evolution of ideas often must start with the simplest of foundations—to reach the most people and enable some common understanding before we can customize our guidance to the specifics of a person or situation.
He also exemplifies an important theme in my work—that our lives and work are not over or on the decline after 50, that we are just getting started. At 79, he was still going strong in every aspect of his life.
He had presence in the world, and the world will feel his absence.
Image credit: Success Magazine