At a previous employer, I organized a management book club for the managers in my department. Each month we picked a book for the group to read and then discuss. It was a great way to become familiar with key management concepts, keep abreast of current trends, and keep learning new techniques. The first book we read together was The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
On Monday July 16th, the author of that book, a man who was recognized as one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans passed away. Forbes.com reported that Stephen R. Covey passed at the age of 79 from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident in April.
According to www.StephenCovey.com, Dr. Covey “dedicated his life to demonstrating how every person can truly control their destiny with profound, yet straightforward guidance”. Here are some of the milestones of his career:
• Over 20 million books sold (in 38 languages)
• The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was named the #1 Most Influential Business Book of the Twentieth Century
• Authored four titles with sales exceeding one million copies each: First Things First , Principle-Centered Leadership, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
• Co-founder and vice chairman of FranklinCovey, the leading global professional services firm with offices in 123 countries
The lesson I most attribute to Dr. Covey is the Urgent/Important Matrix. Although the concept is said to originally been credited to Eisenhower, Covey is credited with launching it mainstream. This time management tool is based on the concept of rating tasks first on their importance and then on their urgency. The goal is to focus your time on the highly important and high critical activities versus wasting time on the low importance and low urgency items.
Leave a comment with your favorite Dr. Covey lesson. I would love to hear them.
Thank you, Stephen R. Covey, for your knowledge and leadership. Rest in Peace.