Stephen R. Covey (1932-2012)

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

“I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer” in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.”

“Management works in the system; Leadership works on the system.”

“You can’t talk your way out of what you’ve behaved yourself into.”

“There are three constants in life… change, choice and principles.”

“The way we see the problem is the problem”

“Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.”

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.”

“Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.”

“It’s easy to say ”no!” when there’s a deeper ”yes!” burning inside.”

“Accountability breeds response-ability.”

“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.”

“Don’t argue for other people’s weaknesses. Don’t argue for your own. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it / immediately.”

“We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of these assumptions.”

“We may be very busy, we may be very efficient, but we will also be truly effective only when we begin with the end in mind.”

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood”

“Live out of your imagination, not your history.”

“Basing our happiness on our ability to control everything is futile”

“Between stimulus and response is our greatest power – the freedom to choose”

“Our character is basically a composite of our habits.”

“We are limited but we can push back the borders of our limitations.”

“Happiness can be defined, in part at least, as the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually.”

“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”

“Until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.”

“Most people think of leadership as a position and therefore don’t see themselves as leaders.”

“Ineffective people live day after day with unused potential. They experience synergy only in small, peripheral ways in their lives. But creative experiences can be produced regularly, consistently, almost daily in people’s lives. It requires enormous personal security and openness and a spirit of adventure.”

“People can’t live with change if there’s not a changeless core inside them. The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about and what you value.”

“Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.”

“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”

“Admission of ignorance is often the first step in our education”

“Nothing is more exciting and bonding in relationships than creating together”

“Interdependency follows independence.”

“We accomplish all that we do through delegation — either to time or to other people.”

“How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most.”

“A cardinal principle of Total Quality escapes too many managers: you cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships.”

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.”

“Priority is a function of context.”

“When you have a challenge and the response is equal to the challenge, that’s called “success”. But once you have a new challenge, the old, once-successful response no longer works. That’s why it is called a “failure”.”

“The ”Inside-Out” approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness means to start first with self; even more fundamentally, to start with the most inside part of self / with your paradigms, your character, and your motives. The inside-out approach says that private victories precede public victories, that making and keeping promises to ourselves recedes making and keeping promises to others. It says it is futile to put personality ahead of character, to try to improve relationships with others before improving ourselves.”

“There are certain things that are fundamental to human fulfillment. The essence of these needs is captured in the phrase ‘to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy’. The need to live is our physical need for such things as food, clothing, shelter, economical well-being, health. The need to love is our social need to relate to other people, to belong, to love and to be loved. The need to learn is our mental need to develop and to grow. And the need to leave a legacy is our spiritual need to have a sense of meaning, purpose, personal congruence, and contribution”

“Wisdom is your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other. It embraces judgment, discernment, comprehension. It is a gestalt or oneness, and integrated wholeness.”

“The character ethic, which I believe to be the foundation of success, teaches that there are basic principles of effective living, and that people can only experience true success and enduring happiness as they learn and integrate these principles into their basic character.”

“The ability to manage well doesn’t make much difference if you’re not even in the right jungle.”

“Opposition is a natural part of life. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.”

“To focus on technique is like cramming your way through school. You sometimes get by, perhaps even get good grades, but if you don’t pay the price day in and day out, you’ll never achieve true mastery of the subjects you study or develop an educated mind.”

“It takes a great deal of character strength to apologize quickly out of one’s heart rather than out of pity. A person must possess himself and have a deep sense of security in fundamental principles and values in order to genuinely apologize.”

“Lose/Win people bury a lot of feelings. And unexpressed feelings come forth later in uglier ways. Psychosomatic illnesses often are the reincarnation of cumulative resentment, deep disappointment and disillusionment repressed by the Lose/Win mentality. Disproportionate rage or anger, overreaction to minor provocation, and cynicism are other embodiments of suppressed emotion. People who are constantly repressing, not transcending feelings toward a higher meaning find that it affects the quality of their relationships with others.”

“In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.”

“People with a scarcity mentality tend to see everything in terms of win-lose. There is only so much; and if someone else has it, that means there will be less for me. The more principle-centered we become, the more we develop an abundance mentality, the more we are genuinely happy for the successes, well-being, achievements, recognition, and good fortune of other people. We believe their success adds to…rather than detracts from…our lives.”

“Private victories precede public victories. You can’t invert that process any more than you can harvest a crop before you plant it.”

“The most important ingredient we put into any relationship is not what we say or what we do, but what we are. And if our words and our actions come from superficial human relations techniques (the Personality Ethic) rather than from our own inner core (the Character Ethic), others will sense that duplicity. We simply won’t be able to create and sustain the foundation necessary for effective interdependence.”

“Security represents your sense of worth, your identity, your emotional anchorage, your self-esteem, your basic personal strength or lack of it.”

“People who exercise their embryonic freedom day after day, little by little, expand that freedom. People who do not will find that it withers until they are literally ”being lived’.’ They are acting out scripts written by parents, associates and society.”

“To live; to love; to learn; and to leave a legacy”

“As a principle-centered person you try to stand apart from the emotion of the situation and from other factors that would act on you, and evaluate the options. Looking at the balanced whole–the work needs, the family needs, the other needs that may be involved, and the possible implications of the various alternatives — you’ll try to come up with the best solution taking all factors into consideration. We are limited but we can push back the borders of our limitations.”

“You can’t live principals you can’t understand.”

“Love – the feeling – is a fruit of love, the verb”

“Begin with the end in mind.”

“Private victories precede public victories.”

“Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”

“Public behavior is merely private character writ large.”

“When you listen with empathy to another person, you give that person psychological air.”

“What we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do. There are people we trust because we know their character. Whether they’re eloquent or not, whether they have human-relations techniques or not, we trust them and work with them.”

“Power is the faculty or capacity to act, the strength and potency to accomplish something. It is the vital energy to make choices and decisions. It also includes the capacity to overcome deeply embedded habits and to cultivate higher, more effective ones.”

“As people enable themselves to achieve one or two goals for the year that are most meaningful, they will find power, peace of mind, and confidence in their abilities because they have achieved what they set out to accomplish. Your commitment to achieving what matters most will become the foundation for tremendous accomplishments and contributions. You will become the change you seek to make.”

“In addition to self-awareness, imagination and conscience, it is the fourth human endowment-independent will-that really makes effective self-management possible. It is the ability to make decisions and choices and to act in accordance with them. It is the ability to act rather than to be acted upon, to proactively carry out the program we have developed through the other three endowments. Empowerment comes from learning how to use this great endowment in the decisions we make every day.”

“It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the business of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall.”

 

Advertisements
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: