Beginning With The End In Mind: The Stephen Covey Legacy

The One about Stephen R. Covey
The One about Stephen R. Covey (Photo credit: kndynt2099)

Two days ago, one of the authors and thought leaders I hold in highest esteem passed: Stephen Covey.

For those who don’t know, he wrote The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

http://www.betterworldbooks.com/The-7-Habits-of-Highly-Effective-People-H0.aspx?SearchTerm=The+7+Habits+of+Highly+Effective+People

For me, this was not just another book on my extensive reading list but a guiding philosophy and meditation that changed my outlook on life and my place in the world and encouraged me to proactively follow my true north. Adhering to these guiding points of light and universal truths have made me a happier, more succesful and ultimately more impactful human.

On a cultural level, Stephen’s contributions represent one of the milestones that marked our global shift from a knowledge-based to conceptual economy.  He was able to take time-honored wisdom (from ancient to pop-philosophy and spirituality) and translate it into language that reached a populace whose world view and place in society / business would be the driving force behind change for the better.  The 7 Habits represent a cultural ideal intended to help move our way of life forward in a sustainable manner that can maintain momentum.

In contrast to some macro-sociological theories like Conflict theory that propose the only way a society can function smoothly is if we have a conflict to react to or a common enemy to unite against, Stephen illuminated a diametrically opposed way of thinking, putting for the assertion that  conscientious pro-activity and an ability to manage a balance of the many roles we play in our lives (business people, fathers, siblings, friends, community members, spiritual beings, etc.) is the most effective way to keep ourselves and our world grounded and moving forward.

I imagine that Stephen, when he began with the end in mind,  indeed envisioned the impact he could have living his own life by walking the talk.  I would say he may have even exceeded his own expectations but that is likely a misguided notion.  He believed, as I now do, that as a human populace, our only limitations are our vision and willingness to act.

To quote Poet Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.”

Stephen Covey fearlessly and rigorously shined his light and encouraged all who are willing to listen to shine.

I will shine on in your honor, Mr. Covey.

Thank you for your contribution, commitment and inspiration.  May you rest well knowing you will be missed but never forgotten as your wisdom continues to move us forward.

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