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Stephen Richards Covey was a distinguished American nonfiction writer. He was an immensely talented individual whose accomplishments as a great businessman, educator, and powerful public speaker earned him fame. 

He is the author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” one of the most critical business books of the 20th century.

Stephen Covey was among the few authors who have achieved a 5-year run on the best sellers list, a worldwide following, and the development of a multimillion-dollar corporate empire through self-help and business books.

This New York Times best-selling author is regarded as the most influential “management guru” ever. He provided the world with a model for professional and personal efficiency and has improved the lives of millions of individuals worldwide. Many Fortune 500 corporations, government organizations, students, universities, and even former President Bill Clinton were among his clients.

This article features a short biography of Dr. Stephen Covey along with his major and most notable works, the awards he received, and some of his noteworthy books and publications.

Stephen Richards Covey was born to Irene Louise Richards Covey and Stephen Glenn Covey in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 24, 1932. Stephen L. Richards, a counselor, and apostle in the first presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with David O. McKay was the father of Louise.

Stephen Richards Covey was an author, educator, keynote speaker, and businessman from the United States. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is his most famous publication. Among his further works are Principle-Centered Leadership, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, First Things First, The 8th Habit, and The Leader In Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time. He was named one of the Twenty-Five most important individuals by Time magazine in 1996. At the year of his passing, he was a faculty member at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business serving as a professor at Utah State University.

Stephen Mack Covey, who created the inaugural Little America Wyoming near Granger, Wyoming, was the grandfather of Covey. As a child, he was sporty, but a femoral injury in junior high school forced him to redirect his concentration to studies and debate team membership. In the event of such an occurrence, he graduated early from high school.

Covey received his bachelor’s degree In business administration from the University of Utah, his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School, and his Doctor of Religious Education (DRE) from Brigham Young University. He was a Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity member. He received 10 doctorates of honor.

Carl Rogers and Peter Drucker had a significant impact on Covey. His Ph.D. dissertation research on American self-help literature had a considerable impact on his ideas. Covey was also influenced by his membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Seven Habits, as per Clayton Christensen, was a modern distillation of Latter-day Saint ideals.

Not until the late 1980s did he begin working on a different type of self-help book. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People was published in 1989 and has become an instant bestseller. It has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide. In his best-selling book, Covey challenges “The Personality Ethic” concept in favor of “The Character Ethic.” He disproves the notion that values and principles are interchangeable. As per the author, principles and concepts are external natural theories, whereas values are developed naturally.

These values govern human behavior, whereas principles govern outcomes. Covey presented his beliefs in the form of a set of habits that illustrate the constant transition from dependency to independence to interdependence.

Dr. Stephen Covey is credited with the following major works during his lifetime.

  • Principle-Centered Leadership. 1992
  • Spiritual Roots of Human Relations. 1993
  • First Things First, co-authored with Roger and Rebecca Merrill. 1996
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. 1999
  • Living the Seven Habits. 2000
  • The Divine Center. 2004
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. 2004
  • 6 Events: The Restoration Model for Solving Life’s Problems. 2004
  • The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. 2004.
  • The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child At A Time. 2008.
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Network Marketing Professionals. 2009.
  • The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life’s Most Difficult Problems. 2011.
  • The 7 Habits for Managers: Managing Yourself, Leading Others, Unleashing Potential. 2012.

Other Notable Projects

Franklin Covey

In 1997, Stephen R. Covey and Associates joined with Franklin Quest to establish FranklinCovey, an international professional corporation and specialty retailer selling productivity and training tools to organizations and individuals. Their mission statement is that they promote. Their company aims to enable greatness in organizations and individuals around the world.

In 2009, Covey started a series of career development webinars to assist individuals enduring the recession. Its objective was to regularly provide timely and relevant content.

Online Stephen Covey Community

Covey started Stephen Covey’s Online Community in March 2008. The website featured online classes, objective management, and social networking. It was used to teach Covey’s thoughts and concepts on contemporary issues and self-leadership. After his death, the webpage was eventually removed.


Covey served as a professor at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management for many years, where he helped design the Master of Organizational Behavior program, which has since been integrated with the MBA program (OBHR emphasis). Covey also worked as an assistant to the president of the university during his time at BYU.

Covey returned to academia in his later years working at Utah State University as a professor at the Huntsman School of Business, where he held the Huntsman President Chair.

Educational Programs

Covey transformed his 2008 book “The Leader in Me” into several educational endeavors. On April 20, 2010, he published his first blog entry titled “Our Children and the Crisis in Education” on the blog aggregation and media website Huffington Post. FranklinCovey also created a website dedicated just to The Leader in Me concept and conducts quarterly workshops and conferences to instruct primary school officials who wish to implement The Leader in Me approach into their institution’s academic culture.

  • Thomas More College Medallion for enduring humanitarian service
  • The National Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Innovation and entrepreneurship – Lifetime Achievement
  • The International Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the year 1994
  • One of the twenty-five most influential Americans in 1996, according to Time Magazine.
  • The Sikh’s International Man of Peace Award for the year 1998
  • Fatherhood Award presented by the National Fatherhood Initiative in 2003
  • Toastmasters International Golden Gavel Award for 2004
  • Received the debut Corporate Core Values Award as a representative of the FranklinCovey Corporation from the California University of Pennsylvania at the “national Franklin Covey Conference” in 2006.
  • Added to the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum Hall of Fame on November 14, 2009.
  • Maharishi Award from Fairfield, Iowa’s Maharishi University of Management
  • The Aman2020 Award was presented by the Aman Wolde foundation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

When Stephen Covey originally published The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the book became an instant hit as people suddenly understood that their lives were heading in the wrong way and that there were so many simple things they could undertake to steer their lives in the right direction. This book provided excellent instruction on how to live life efficiently and approach the aim of becoming a “success” in life.

However, not everyone fully comprehends Stephen Covey’s model, or perhaps some individuals have not yet read it. This is unquestionably true since we still witness so much failure everywhere. We are not claiming that applying Covey’s approach, or any other model for that matter, will guarantee success, but considering the number of units the book has sold, we have seen many more triumphs around us already!

The majority of individuals are too indolent to integrate Stephen Covey’s principles into their life. They believe his opus to be little more than a coffee-table book or a work for light reading while traveling, after which it is forgotten. They are unaware that this book holds information that can alter their lives.

Individuals frequently have had a warped myopic view of Covey’s principles. These people have already been impressed by the book. If you ask them to recite the seven habits, they can do it verbatim, but they miss the bigger picture. They do not comprehend that Covey intended to convey more than what he wrote.

This is the objective we are pursuing. We are attempting to demonstrate that Covey’s book, or rather his paradigm, was a model in and of itself. There was nothing wrong with it. There ought to be no element of your life left untouched if you adopt it.

First Things First

In his book First Things First, Stephen M. R. Covey suggests categorizing chores by urgency and significance so that you can spend your limited time on what must be accomplished. Using personal anecdotes and professional acumen gleaned from decades of experience, he proposes a fresh perspective on your “to-do” list. Instead of providing you with another calendar, First Things First offers you a guide, since your destination is more vital than your speed.

From the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People comes a guide on balancing your professional and personal objectives.

You might wonder why you are getting more done in less time, but you might have an inadequacy of inner calm, rich relationships, equilibrium, and assurance that you are doing what’s most important and you are doing it well.

Even when you believe you’re being the most productive, does this question niggle at you? If so, First Things First can assist you in comprehending why we so frequently prioritize things that are insignificant to our greater aims and our satisfaction.

Principle-Centered Leadership

From the writer of the New York Times bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People comes a handbook on leadership at the core level.

How can organizations and individuals thrive under profound change? Despite billions of dollars in capital, time, and human effort, why do endeavors and utmost efforts to transform organizations fail? How do we liberate our own and others’ talent, creativity, and energy when under pressure? Is it reasonable to expect a balance between family, personal, and professional life?

Stephen R. Covey argues that principle-centered leadership, an inside-out, long-term strategy for developing both individuals and organizations, is the solution to these and other difficulties. The key to overcoming the issues we confront today is developing a principle-centered core inside ourselves and within our businesses.

Dr. Covey provides insights and instructions to help you implement these ideas at work and home, resulting in not only a greater awareness of how to boost productivity and quality but also a new awareness of the significance of creating professional and personal relationships. The outcome is a life that is more rewarding, balanced, and effective.

The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child At a Time

Dr. Stephen R. Covey, the renowned author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, demonstrates how his leadership ideas can be utilized in children of all ages.

We are flooded with instructions and information about what to do, who to be, and how to live in the modern world. But what if there were a way to learn how to think as well as what to think? A curriculum that taught adolescents how to organize their priorities, concentrate on their goals, and be a good outcome in their schools?

This is the Leader in Me curriculum. Stephen R. Covey demonstrated in this best-seller that the 7 Habits, which have already transformed the lives of millions of readers, can be used by young children as they mature. In leadership development programs, schools around the nation are adopting these practices, most notably at the A.B. Combs Elementary School in Raleigh. The applications not only work, but they accomplish far more than expected.

This book is brimming with examples of how students flourish under the program, from the schoolroom that decided to form a support network for a student with behavioral issues to the 4th grader who managed to overcome his fear of speaking in public and ended up taking his class fellows to watch him compete in a national story-telling contest.

The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life’s Most Difficult Problems

There are numerous strategies for “conflict resolution,” but the vast majority require compromise, a low-level agreement that halts the conflict without producing new or unique outcomes.

The 3rd Alternative provides a revolutionary way to resolving conflict and creative issue solving, surpassing previous approaches to conflict resolution by establishing a road to a third alternative. 

A third alternative goes beyond your method or my method to a higher and better path — one that enables both sides to exit from debate or even intense conflict in a much better position than they had originally envisioned. 

With the third option, nobody needs to sacrifice anything and everyone benefits.

Covey explains the efficacy of 3rd Alternative reasoning through prime examples and tales from his experience as a consultant. His diverse examples include a Canadian metropolitan police service that transformed a crime-filled community; a judge who helped bring a quick, peaceful solution to one of the biggest environmental lawsuits in the history of America without stepping foot in a hearing room; the headmaster of a high school for children of migrant workers who increased the graduation rate from 30 to 90%; and a handful of little-known individuals who are silently finding new strategies for bringing peace to the Middle East.


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