The Wisdom and Teachings of Stephen R. Covey (Part 1)

January 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Personal

Stephen R. Covey, the well-known author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, passed away in July last year. He left behind a legacy of insights and teachings that continue to inspire individuals, organisations and businesses on their personal and professional effectiveness, leadership, relationships and success.

His most inspiring teachings and sayings are compiled in the new book, The Wisdom and Teachings of Stephen R. Covey. Here are some of our favourite quotes from the book:


Nothing destroys trust faster than making and breaking a promise. Conversely, nothing builds trust more than keeping a promise.

Without involvement, there is no commitment. Mark it down, asterisk it, circle it, underline it. No involvement, no commitment.


We must never become too busy sawing to take time to sharpen the saw.


I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our responses. In those choices lie our growth and our happiness.

On the rudder of a huge ship there is another mini-rudder called the trim-tab. By moving the trim-tab ever so slightly, the rudder is slowly moved, which eventually changes the whole direction of a huge ship. See yourself as a trim-tab. By making small changes, you begin to have reverberations on the organization and possibly change the whole culture.

Reactive people are often affected by their physical environment. If the weather is good, they feel good. If it isn’t, it affects their attitude and their performance. Proactive people can carry their own weather with them. Whether it rains or shines makes no difference to them.


Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic.

Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.


Any time we think the problem is “out there,” that very thought is the problem.

Effective people are not problem-minded; they’re opportunity-minded. They feed opportunities and starve problems.

There is no quick fix to chronic problems. To solve these, we must apply natural processes. The only way we can reap the harvest in the fall is to plant in the spring and to water, weed, cultivate, and fertilize during the long summer.


Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They’re either speaking or preparing to speak. They’re filtering everything through their own paradigms, reading their autobiography into other people’s lives.

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

You can’t think efficiency with people. You think effectiveness with people and efficiency with things.

Check out Dr Stephen R. Covey’s other bestselling books:

Images: Amazon

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