Childhood & Early Life
Stephen Richards Covey was born on October 24, 1932 in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America to Stephen Glenn Covey and Irene Louise Richards Covey.
While in junior high school, he was diagnosed with slipped capital femoral epiphysis, due to which he could not pursue athletics. Nevertheless, he actively participated in debates and public speaking events in high school.
He graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he served on church mission in England for two years.
Upon returning, he attended Harvard University, from where he obtained an MBA. From 1962, he became president of the Irish Mission of the church and continued to work for the church’s mission.
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He was appointed as the assistant to the president of Brigham Young University. Additionally, he held the post of the professor of business management as well. While at the university, he pursued his degree in Doctor of Religious Education.
In 1970, he authored the book, ‘Spiritual Roots of Human Relations’. This book addressed the root cause of relationship problems and provided spiritual solutions to readers.
In 1982, he came out with the book ‘The Divine Center’. The book was one of his many devotional works that he wrote for the Latter-day Saint readers, a Christian primitivist church.
In 1984, he resigned from his teaching position at Brigham Young University in order to establish a training company named, ‘Stephen R. Covey and Associates’.
In 1987, ‘Stephen R. Covey and Associates’ was renamed ‘Covey Leadership Center,’ This company was aimed at offering training and productivity tools to both organisations and individuals.
On April1, 1989, he came up with the book, ‘Principle-centered Leadership’. The book dealt with various strategies for both personal and professional effectiveness. It also provided an insight on how to develop people and organisations.
In 1989, he published his best-seller, ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’. This was his most notable business and self-help book that attained international acclaim. The book sold more than 25 million copies and was translated in 38 languages.
In 1994, he came up with his next publication ‘First Things First’.Co-authored by A. Roger and Rebecca R. Merrill, the book highlighted the importance of time management.
Meanwhile, to reach out to a wider audience, he merged ‘Covey Leadership Center’ with Franklin Quest to come up with ‘Franklin Covey’. It was a global professional-services firm that indulged in selling training and productivity tools to individuals and to organizations
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In 2004, he published the book, ‘The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness’, which was a sequel to his previously published book, ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’. The book urged people to find a voice of their own and inspire others to do the same.
In 2008, he came out with the book titled, ‘The Leader In Me — How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time’. This book delved deeply into how certain schools, institutions and people were nurturing the next generation to meet the challenges and opportunities in the 21st century.
In 2008, he launched the ‘Stephen Covey's Online Community’, a collection on online courses and social networking. With people syncing to the World Wide Web, he used the online platform to convey his ideas on current topics and self-leadership.
In 2010, he authored the article, ‘Our Children and the Crisis in Education’, which appeared on the Huffington Post news. He also conducted conferences and workshops to train elementary school administrators through a website.
Awards & Achievements
In 1994, he was the recipient of the International Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
In 1996, ‘Time’ magazine named him as one of the ‘25 most influential Americans’.
In 1998, he was awarded The Sikh’s International Man of Peace Award.
In 2003, he received the ‘Fatherhood Award’ from The National Fatherhood Initiative, a non-profit organisation.
In 2004, he was the recipient of the ‘Golden Gavel’ award, conferred upon him by Toastmasters International, a non-profit educational organisation.
On November 14, 2009, he was inducted into the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum Hall of Fame.
Personal Life & Legacy
He was married to Sandra, with whom he fathered nine children. He was blessed with fifty two grandchildren.
He died on July 16, 2012 at the age of 79 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, after suffering from complications that rose due to a bicycle accident.