Chapter Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

This book contains the crystallized wisdom of one of the great teachers of our time, Dr. Stephen R. Covey.

As a young man, Dr. Covey was expected to to work in his family hotel business, but that wasn’t the path for him. He wanted to make a different contribution—to be a teacher, to dedicate his life to unleashing human potential. “Every human being is precious,” he wrote, “endowed with enormous, almost infinite potential and capacity.”

To that end he studied at Harvard graduate school, became a university professor, and then widened his circle of influence as a consultant to business and government leaders. With the 1989 publication of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, considered by many the most influential book of our time, Dr. Covey had—and continues to have—worldwide impact. This book and his others can be found in home and office libraries literally around the globe.

Not only his teaching but his life reminds us of the power of enduring principles. He was not interested in riding fads or pandering for publicity. His passion was to articulate and teach the unchanging, immutable, and ageless truths of life—truths that apply equally well to professional success and to deep personal satisfaction. He also lived by those truths, as countless friends, family members, and students of Dr. Covey will attest.

Arranged under the decisive principles of life—such as integrity, life balance, vision, and love—the stories and quotations in this book teach those principles in accessible, gemlike form.

Although Dr. Covey has passed from us, we will always have the benefit of his timeless teachings—that truth is truth and is self-evident, that you can’t live without principle and expect the universe to accommodate you, and that your life is a precious one that you can waste in mediocrity or invest in greatness.

—The Covey Family

Excerpted from The Wisdom and Teachings of Stephen R. Covey by Stephen R. Covey
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