Stephen Covey

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Renowned Mormon Author Stephen Covey

Stephen R. Covey was a world-renowned author and expert in organization behavior. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes casually called the Mormon or LDS Church. Covey and his wife, Sandra, are the parents of nine children and grandparents of forty-nine grandchildren. They lived in Provo, Utah, near Brigham Young University, where he was once a professor, and where he served on the President’s Leadership Council. Covey served a two-year mission in England for the Church of Jesus Christ in his youth. Covey also served as the president of the Irish Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ starting in July 1962. When Covey studied business at Harvard, he would on occasion go and preach to crowds on Boston Common.

Covey was born on October 24, 1932, in Salt Lake City, Utah. During his teens he developed a bone condition that forced him to give up sports and focus on academics. He often credited his parents with instilling a positive attitude in him — especially his mother, who would stand over his bed and tell him, "You can do anything you want." [1]

He wrote the best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (which, according to Amazon, has sold over 40 million copies worldwide). In 2002, Forbes called the book one of the top 10 most influential management books of all time. Other books he has written include First Things First, Principle-Centered Leadership, and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families. In 2004, Covey released, The 8th Habit. In 2008, Covey released The Leader In Me -- How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time ( Covey established the "Covey Leadership Center" which, in 1997, merged with Franklin Quest to form FranklinCovey, a global professional-services firm and specialty-retailer selling both training and productivity-tools to individuals and to organizations. Their mission statement reads: "We enable greatness in people and organizations everywhere". Covey advised businesses and governments around the world.

Covey held a BSc degree in Business Administration from University of Utah in Salt Lake City, an MBA from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Religious Education (DRE) in Latter-day Saint (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Church History and Doctrine from Brigham Young University. He also held membership in the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity.

Covey was named one of the top 25 most influential Americans by Time Magazine in 1996. In November, 2010, he was awarded the Pioneer in Leadership Award by Brigham Young University Management Society's Utah Valley Chapter.

As a practicing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Stephen Covey authored several devotional works for Latter-day Saint readers, including:

Spiritual Roots of Human Relations (1970)
The Divine Center (1982)
6 Events: The Restoration Model for Solving Life's Problems (2004).

In additional to the Fatherhood Award from the National Fatherhood Initiative in 2003, Covey won many other prestigious recognitions. These included the Thomas More College Medallion for continuing service to humanity; the National Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership; the 1994 International Entrepreneur of the Year Award; one of Time Magazine's 25 most influential Americans of 1996; the Sikh's 1998 International Man of Peace Award; and the 2004 Golden Gavel award from Toastmasters International.

In 2009, at age 76, Covey was still thoroughly engaged in business as well as family pursuits. With all of his children living within 30 miles of home, he attended as many of their milestone events as possible. He was last working on a book called Living Life In Crescendo.

"My life is consumed with a sense of mission, and that gives me energy. When you have a sense of purpose, life is different and you are able to live life in crescendo. Most men are focused on their career, and when that’s over they are over. But if you have a significant purpose and meaning to your life, it strengthens your immune system and gives you an extra 20 years of life" (Utah Valley Magazine, April 30, 2009).

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, and the book hit No.1 on the New York Times bestseller list for Advice, How-to, and Miscellaneous.

Covey's clients included three-quarters of Fortune 500 companies and scores of schools and government entities. He also trained three dozen heads of state, including the presidents of Colombia and South Korea and their cabinets. Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich were among his fans.[2]

In April of 2012, Covey was involved in an accident while bicycling. Covey lost control of his bike while riding down a hill in Provo, Utah. He was hospitalized for two months with a head injury, cracked ribs and a partly collapsed lung but never fully recovered. His health declined from that point, and he passed away with his family by his side at the age of 79, on July 16, 2012, in Idaho Falls, Idaho.