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10 Inspiring Quotes from Stephen Covey

Stephen Covery PhotographWe were saddened last week to learn of the death of author Stephen R. Covey. He was famous as a professor of business, a speaker and consultant whose writing on organizational and personal behavior impacted millions of people. But Dr. Covey will always be most famous for writing The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which sold more than 25 million copies. He was once named amount Time magazine’s Most Influential Americans and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Through his distinguished career, he wrote and said so many things that still inspire us as business people and human beings. He truly lived his own admonition to “live, love, laugh, leave a legacy.” Here are a few more things that Dr. Covey said that we find inspirational:

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.”

“Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.”

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.”

“In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.”

“Live out your imagination, not your history.”

“We are not animals. We are not a product of what has happened to us in our past. We have the power of choice.”

“Dependent people need others to get what they want. Independent people can get what they want through their own efforts. Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.”

“The first choice we make each and every day is, “Will we act upon life, or will we merely be acted upon?”

—Stephen R. Covey