Although Stephen Covey has moved on from this world, his words have inspired many and remain a beacon of light for those searching for truth and inspiration in personal and professional life. I am a huge fan of his teachings — his lessons of empathy and the importance of listening have not only made me a better person but have also helped shape my career in ways that conventional management thinking never could have.
Below are the 12 most profound life lessons I learned from this great man.
1. Seek first to understand then to be understood
2. The way we see the problem is the problem
3. There is a way to solve the toughest problems we face, even those that look unsolvable
There is a path that cuts through nearly all life’s dilemmas and deep divisions. There is a way forward. It’s not your way and it’s not my way. It’s a better way than any of us have thought of before.
4. Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves
5. I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions
6. People are working harder than ever, but because they lack clarity and vision, they aren’t getting very far
They, in essence, are pushing a rope… with all of their might.
7. Our first birth gift: the freedom to choose
8. Find your voice and inspire others to find their voice
9. Human beings are not things needing to be motivated and controlled; they are four dimensional — body, mind, heart and spirit
10. If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control — myself
11. You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage —pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things
The way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.”
12. Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny
Rest in Peace, Mr. Covey — your legacy continues to inspire many. Did he inspire you too? Please leave a comment below and let us know how.
Featured image courtesy of e. doerr via Creative Commons.