This year marks the 30th anniversary of the seminal book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by the late, great Stephen Covey. A special 30th Anniversary Edition is to be released later this month, with new content and personal insights from Stephen Covey’s son, Sean Covey. Another of Stephen’s sons, Stephen M.R. Covey joins Marcel Schwantes on this week’s show to discuss his father’s work and legacy, including the reasons why the book has stood the test of time. Stephen M.R. Covey is co-founder of Covey Link and Franklin Covey Global Speed of Trust, as well as the bestselling author of The Speed of Trust.
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- Marcel describes the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as a masterpiece. It has been called the number one Most Influential Book of the 20th century and one of the best selling books of all time by Fortune Magazine. “When I read it, it changed my life for the better,” Marcel says. [1:28]
- His father lived out the 7 habits at home, Stephen says, because his premise was that the principles should not only work with leaders and organizations, but they should also work at home. Stephen pays tribute to his father: “As good as he was in public, he was even better in private, as a husband to my mother, as a father to us kids. He was who you thought he was. He was the real deal.” [5:03]
- Life is about contribution, not accumulation. [9:16]
- Marcel and Stephen revisit the 7 habits and how new research has further supported these principles. Some of the ideas they talk about are:
- Happiness comes from focusing on your circle of influence.
- If you want to gain influence with others, seek to understand them first. This is giving them a gift of understanding, care, concern, empathy, and love.
- Never be too busy to take time to sharpen the saw. Renew and develop your body, heart, mind and spirit. Start with yourself first. [10:13]
- The 7 Habits book has withstood the test of time because it’s based on timeless principles of effectiveness. Also, it builds the reader from the inside out. Finally, Stephen points out, his father made its principles practical and accessible to the reader. [21:52]
- Trust is a learnable skill. [24:58]
- “Trust affects the speed at which we can move and the cost of everything,” Stephen says. When trust is low, everything takes longer to do and it costs more. On the other hand, when there is high trust, things move faster and cost less. It’s also energizing and joyful, and there are huge dividends, he adds. [25:32]
- Marcel and Stephen discuss why trust is common sense but not common practice. [ 27:19]
- Three behaviors that help to build a culture of trust are: straight talk, creating transparency, and extending trust first. Stephen also describes the counterfeit behaviors that destroy trust. [30:38]
- Stephen advises leaders to declare their intent to create a high trust culture. He gives insights about how to measure trust within an organization. [43:00]
- Many leaders lead through fear because it’s what they know, Stephen posits. Also, they may have a need to be in control, or they may have a scarcity mentality. [45:40]
- “We need to shift the mindset of …what a true leader is,” Marcel argues. We should also stop rewarding the command and control behaviors. Stephen adds that we should prove that leading with love is not only the right thing to do but also the economic thing to do. “We need to create models under the trust and inspire style where they get results and build the culture, and you have the engagement and the inspiration, and they start to say, ‘This is a better way to lead, and if he or she could do it then I can do it too,’” Stephen says.[49:43]
- Stephen challenges listeners to start with themselves to bring about a renaissance of trust. [56:40]
- Stephen M.R. Covey on LinkedIn | Twitter
- Get the 30th Anniversary Edition of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- Todd Palmer: Leaning Into The Uncomfortable (Episode #47)
- Dr. Mara Klemich: What Drives Human Behavior (Episode #43)
- Mike Vacanti: Creating Value By Putting Humans First (Episode #38)
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