Stephen Covey Biography | Inspiration Quotations | Motivation Quotes

Stephen Covey
Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey Motivational Quotations:

  • “Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”

  •  “Every human has four endowments - self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change.”

  •  “Leadership is a choice, not a position.”

  •  “Listen with your eyes for feelings.”

  •  “The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

  •  “When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That's when you can get more creative in solving problems.”

  •  “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.”

  •  “Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.”

  •  “Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.”

  •  “Moral authority comes from following universal and timeless principles like honesty, integrity, treating people with respect.”

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

  •  “There are three constants in life... change, choice and principles.”

  •  “Stop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them.”

  •  “When you really listen to another person from their point of view, and reflect back to them that understanding, it's like giving them emotional oxygen.”

  •  “Synergy is what happens when one plus one equals ten or a hundred or even a thousand! It's the profound result when two or more respectful human beings determine to go beyond their preconceived ideas to meet a great challenge.”

  •  “Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition - such as lifting weights - we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.”

  •  “Synergy is better than my way or your way. It's our way.”

    Stephen Covey


  • “A mission statement is not something you write overnight... But fundamentally, your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life.”

  •  “The bottom line is, when people are crystal clear about the most important priorities of the organization and team they work with and prioritized their work around those top priorities, not only are they many times more productive, they discover they have the time they need to have a whole life.”

  •  “If you want small changes in your life, work on your attitude. But if you want big and primary changes, work on your paradigm.”

  •  “Remember, we are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

  •  “Your most important work is always ahead of you, never behind you.”

  •  “In school, many of us procrastinate and then successfully cram for tests. We get the grades and degrees we need to get the jobs we want, even if we fail to get a good general education.”

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

  •  “The more people rationalize cheating, the more it becomes a culture of dishonesty. And that can become a vicious, downward cycle. Because suddenly, if everyone else is cheating, you feel a need to cheat, too.”

  •  “The key is taking responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most important things.”

  •  “You can retire from a job, but don't ever retire from making extremely meaningful contributions in life.”

  •  “It's amazing how confused and distracted and misdirected so many people are.”

  •  “Life is not accumulation, it is about contribution.”

  •  “People and organizations don't grow much without delegation and completed staff work because they are confined to the capacities of the boss and reflect both personal strengths and weaknesses.”

  •  “Instead, I have an abundance mentality: When people are genuinely happy at the successes of others, the pie gets larger.”

  •  “The true identity theft is not financial. It's not in cyberspace. It's spiritual. It's been taken.”

  •  “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

  •  “It takes a great deal of character strength to apologize quickly out of one's heart rather than out of pity. A person must possess himself and have a deep sense of security in fundamental principles and values in order to genuinely apologize.”

  •  “An empowered organisation is one in which individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organisational success.”

  •  “You can't talk your way out of problems you behave yourself into.”

  •  “We become what we repeatedly do.”

  •  “What air is to the body, to feel understood is to the heart.”

  •  “Public behavior is merely private character writ large.”

  •  “The deepest desire of the human spirit is to be acknowledged.”

  •  “To learn something but not to do is really not to learn. To know something but not to do is really not to know.”

  •  “When one side benefits more than the other, that's a win-lose situation. To the winner it might look like success for a while, but in the long run, it breeds resentment and distrust.”

  •  “Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconcious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.”

  •  “Between stimulus and response, there is a space where we choose our response.”​

    Stephen Covey


  • “When it comes to developing character strength, inner security and unique personal and interpersonal talents and skills in a child, no institution can or ever will compare with, or effectively substitute for, the home's potential for positive influence.”
  •  “Begin with the end in mind.”

  •  “Reactive people... are often affected by their physical environment. They find external sources to blame for their behavior.”

  •  “We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals.”

  •  “Live out of your imagination, not your history.”

  •  “There's strong data that, within companies, the No. 1 reason for ethical violations is the pressure to meet expectations, sometimes unrealistic expectations.”

  •  “What is common sense isn't common practice.”

  •  “Studies have identified a significant 'skills gap' between what students are currently being taught and the skills employers are seeking in today's global economy. Our children must be better prepared than they are now to meet the future challenges of our ever-changing world.”

  •  “Outsourcing is inevitable, and I don't think it's necessarily treating people like things.”

  •  “I affirm to you the tremendous potential you have, not beyond anything you could ever imagine.”

  •  “Every time you think the problem is 'out there,' that very thought is the problem.”

  •  “How can you possibly reconcile the justice of God with the idea that only through Christ can you be saved? Most of the world lives and dies and never even hears of Christ. There has to be some mechanism set up for all those who have ever lived to have an opportunity to hear of Christ.”

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

  •  “A cardinal principle of Total Quality escapes too many managers: you cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships.”

  •  “I believe in this concept that you learn by teaching.”

  •  “Mind over mattress.”

  •  “Everyone must be proactive and do all they can to help themselves to stay employed.”

  •  “If you have a family mission statement that clarifies what your purpose is, then you use that as the criterion by which you make the decisions.”

  •  “Principles are guidelines for human conduct that are proven to have enduring, permanent value.”

  •  “There is a heavy emphasis in Mormonism on initiative, on responsibility, on a work ethic, and on education. If you take those elements together with a free-enterprise system, you've got the chemistry for a lot of industry.”

  •  “Most negotiators are trying to get their way.”

  •  “Every time I see high-trust cultures, I see a lessening of adversarialism.”

  •  “But with the steady disintegration of the family in modern society over the last century, the role of the school in bridging the gap has become vital!”

  •  “Family home evening is more for the purpose of teaching values and gospel principles, displaying talents and enjoying different kinds of family fun and activities.”

  •  “The solutions to our problems are and always will be based upon universal, timeless, self-evident principles common to every enduring, prospering society throughout history.”

  •  “My parents were just constantly affirming me in everything that I did. Late at night, I'd wake up and hear my mother talking over my bed, saying, 'You're going to do great on this test. You can do anything you want.'”

  •  “In this knowledge-worker age, it's now increasingly tied to doing well in school so you can get into better grad schools so you can get better jobs - so the pressure to do well is really high.”

  •  “A little over 5% of the world's population produces almost 29% of the world's goods and services.”

  •  “We need to have business leaders who live by deep, strong principles.”

  •  “Both times I was in India, I could not get people to listen to each other. I had to literally tell people to listen to each other and tell them that they can't get creative and find alternate solutions if they don't listen to each other. There's a lot of arguing and justifying.”

  •  “The spirit of America has nurtured responsibility and community unlike any other country.”

  •  “Some habits of ineffectiveness are rooted in our social conditioning toward quick-fix, short-term thinking.”

  •  “If you carefully consider what you want to be said of you in the funeral experience, you will find your definition of success.”

  •  “I believe in Coach Louis Wong. He is so much more than just a football coach.”

  •  “The challenge of work-life balance is without question one of the most significant struggles faced by modern man.”

  •  “Historically, the family has played the primary role in educating children for life, with the school providing supplemental scaffolding to the family.”

  •  “It's a fact that more people watch television and get their information that way than read books. I find new technology and new ways of communication very exciting and would like to do more in this field.”

  •  “The roots of the problems we face in the world, in our national life, and in our family and personal lives are spiritual.”

  •  “The world has entered an era of the most profound and challenging change in human history.”

  •  “Trust is central to an economy that works.”

  •  “We see the world not as it is, but as we are.”

  •  “Most people are basically a victim of the circumstances of their life. They have things like 9/11, they have terrorism threats, they have new war threats, they have economy problems, and they think, 'What can I do? I'm basically a victim.'”

  •  “When the external factors over which one has no control in a way start to become negative, it starts to affect our creative juices.”

  •  “One of the things that I have admired about India is the spiritualism of the people.” “For me, the essence of the great American Dream is spiritual. I believe that our Constitution is inspired and that it is based on principles that are timeless and universal. This is the reason why 95% of all written constitutions throughout the world are modeled after our Constitution.”



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