The World Lost a Mammoth Friend: A Tribute to Stephen R. Covey

Guest Post by Jay Abraham

Note from Rich: Jay was closer to Stephen than I was, so I think it’s fitting this tribute come from him…

Stephen R Covey Of 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People Dedication Obituary
Stephen Covey, 1932-2012

Stephen R. Covey, author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” died unexpectedly on Monday. The world is saddened by his passing, but has been blessed these 79 years by his life.

He was a friend, but even more, he was a true benefactor to the betterment of our entire world. An obituary in USA Today started out by calling him “A force of human nature…”

They talked about how his “seven habits” have been woven into the emotional wellbeing of multimillions of people’s lives – in almost every walk of life – from self-help to the corporate boardrooms of big businesses.

Bill Clinton said Stephen’s book was one of three that every worker should read to “dramatically” boost the nation’s prosperity. Chief Executive Magazine said the Seven Habits was THE most influential book of the 20th Century.

One of his most powerful – yet elegantly simple messages: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” He coined the concept of “Win-Win.” He taught people (including me) to be proactive. He stimulated people to think differently, more respectfully, empathically, externally.

He stimulated you to examine your situation and circumstances from perspectives you never considered doing before. And, invariably they’d discover an innovative breakthrough. One that far surpassed the status quo.

Stephen R. Covey wrote his book for business people; but its message and influence crossed over into their personal lives.

Families became stronger, values rose higher, relationships became more meaningful – ALL because of one man’s willingness to dedicate two decades of studying hundreds of books, thousands of essays, legions of different philosophies, ideologies, methodologies – looking for the simple, universal truths.

Interesting — in a world where many people are looking for a short-cut or trying to “game the system,” Stephen’s message was based on an immutable bedrock: Focus on your character, values, conduct, respect for others, operate with unflinching integrity. Have the courage to be extraordinary – not just of yourself, but in your ability to grow, develop, improve and enrich and seed greatness into countless others. He also urged us to have patience.

Stephen loved entrepreneurs like you. He’d “always” make time from his busy schedule and high-paid (we’re talking six figures to speak for 60 minutes) activities, to contribute to me – for you!

If that meant coming to Las Vegas the same day he’d landed from Tokyo just to talk to one of my seminar groups for an hour – he’d do that, too. If that meant stepping out of an important board meeting with some Fortune 500 corporation just to do a 90-minute conference call discussion with my group – he’d willingly and enthusiastically do it.

I’d always get an admonishment from his assistant, saying Stephen can only do it for 60 minutes, and then he’d continue — sharing, inspiring, and transforming my audience for 60 minutes more.

He was just an extraordinary man, a monumental mind, a mammoth influence for all that’s good. Stephen R. Covey was someone who changed every life he touched, myself included.

If you haven’t read the Seven Habits book – do it, now! If you have, but it’s been awhile, do it again and have everyone in your world – business and personal – read it, too!

I was blessed to have Stephen R. Covey not only as a friend, but as a true benefactor of the entrepreneur.

I feel privileged, honored and blessed to have had him and his influence in my life.

I feel more blessed to have had someone transcribe some of the wonderful discussions and interviews he generously did with me – about, and for – you, the passionate entrepreneur.

It is my honor, and privilege – to share two of those documents with you today.

It will mean a lot to me to have you read them or re-read them if you have them already (but it’s been a long time). But it will mean far more to you in the shifts you will make.

One is the full transcript of a nearly two-hour interview I conducted with Stephen on the topic of igniting more passion, possibility and purpose into the hearts and souls of entrepreneurs.

The other is a distilled, “abstract” of a short interview we did of him right before the economy came crashing down. They’re yours-gratis. No opt-in required. No purchase necessary.

Just click this link to download instantly:

Download » Stephen Covey Interviews ZIP
Right click the link and choose “Save As” (file size: 176KB)

In fact, I urge you to pass them around to everyone you possibly can. They don’t benefit me one iota. But they do enrich and illuminate everyone who reads them.

Anyhow, here are both the long and short documents. One we did in 2005, and the other in 2008.

Also, since Stephen’s son, Stephen M.R. Covey is also a precious friend and personifies in his professional life all his father stood for – I’d like you to ALSO have a profound interview I was equally privileged to conduct with him on the concept of trust’s role in our business and personal life’s success.

Again, I felt enormously lucky to have had Stephen R. Covey befriend me and my work. You will be equally blessed if you follow his teachings.

Stephen R. Covey truly was a force of human nature. You’ll understand why when you read his perspectives on life.

Rich talks about the Author:

Jay Abraham is not only one of my closest friends and mentor, he’s also spent over 25 years as a consultant to small and medium-sized businesses (and a few dozen Fortune 500 companies as well). In fact, he’s consulted with over 10,000 clients in more than 400 industries worldwide. He’s also the first person I call when I have a new idea so we can hash it out. To learn more, visit