40 Lessons on Success from Stephen Covey

Employers and business leaders need people who can think for themselves – who can take initiative and be the solution to problems.

Leadership is a choice, not a position.

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

Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.

Begin with the end in mind.

You can retire from a job, but don’t ever retire from making extremely meaningful contributions in life.

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.

You can’t talk your way out of problems you behave yourself into.

The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it.

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

You’re not a product of your nature. That is your genetic makeup or your nurture, the things that have happened to you. Of course those things affect you powerfully, but they do not determine you.

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

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

Life is not accumulation, it is about contribution.

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.

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.

There are three constants in life… change, choice and principles.

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.

Synergy is better than my way or your way. It’s our way.

40 Lessons on Success from Stephen Covey

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.

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

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.

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

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

Every time you think the problem is ‘out there,’ that very thought is the problem.

I believe in this concept that you learn by teaching.

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.

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.

We become what we repeatedly do.

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.

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.

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.

Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.

Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.

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

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

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

Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.

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