The world lost a great peacemaker yesterday; one who almost never had to use the word “Peace” while he spread it throughout society all the same.
Stephen Covey is best known as founder of the wildly successful “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” book, program and culture. I have been a devotee of his personal-effectiveness principles for many years. I can directly relate some of my professional accomplishment–and, more importantly, personal confidence and peace of mind–to Stephen’s writing and teaching.
I never met him, but feel as though I knew him. His calm, engaging voice on CD (cassette tape, when I first began hearing his wisdom!) continues to enlighten and entertain. I always felt that an intense passion for helping others came through loud and clear in his speech. We are fortunate to have so much of his legacy captured in audio and video.
For those who don’t know the 7 Habits approach, I’d strongly encourage picking up a book or CD to consider it for yourself. Stephen taught us to try to understand another’s point of view before attempting to make ourselves heard. Some of you are already reading variations on that in Powerful Peace; A Navy SEAL’s Lessons on Peace from a Lifetime at War.
You also have read, or will read, that we have personal power to break patterns of destructive reactionism, and that we are better off if we thoughtfully examine our impact on others. I included also that changing a culture requires time and patience…and he spoke of the “law of the farm,” in which we let natural processes play out naturally. My favorite analogy was always that we don’t continually pull up baby carrots to see whether they’re growing! These are all ideas that were shared in 7 Habits or his other work.
Dr. Covey had a huge effect on my way of thinking, and he receives full credit in Powerful Peace. Yet while I and millions of others have lost an admired leader and world-changer, a much smaller group of people are hurting specially right now that we should keep in our prayers. Let us in the legions of fans, followers and students now remember those who called him Dad, Grandpa and Husband.