Stephen R. Covey on his life’s legacy

I had the chance to attend (well to be honest, sneak into, get kicked out of VIP and sneak in again) a big Covey conference. Having read his 7 Habits about seven years ago, I remember how much it taught me about disciplining myself. Those 7 habits can be found in all the main philosophical ideologies in the world – from eastern and western religions, successful businesses to personal character ethics. Then last year I read the 8th Habit (better of the two) and loved that it was all about finding your voice (finding what you are passionate about) and empowering others to do the same. Attack life.

“Leadership is affirming people’s worth and potential so clearly that you are inspired to see it in yourself” – Dr. Covey.

So of course I really wanted to ask Covey what he wants to be remembered after his time has passed – his answer was not about being remembered as an author. *video also includes people who were waiting in line for his book signing*

With over 15 million The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People sold, Covey wants his legacy to encourage people to view children as potential leaders. Won’t lie, part of me had a hard time following the first part of his answer.

Do you agree that children should be viewed as potential leaders? If so how do you go about that? That’s tough for me to visualize.


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  • Edmund

    I think if you had asked him the same question years ago you would have gotten a very different answer. Maybe as he ages he realizes more and more that the younger generations will be running the world and making decisions for him and therefore he hopes to bring out the best in the younger generations.
    The last guy was great too. I don't know what he said but it looked like salad tongs in his hand.

  • Filip Matous

    Totally hear you dude, we're going to view things a lot different from how we do when we're in our twenties. Heck, I bet our viewpoints will drastically change once we have kids ourselves. You can let me know in a couple months 😉

    The last dude was waiting in line for the book signing and for some reason had a magic wand in his hand. Think he had a lil too much grandpa's cough medicine, loved his laugh though.

  • Joe Pollhein, Sr.

    As a parent and a devotee of The Seven Habits, I could not agree more. Leadership is a learned trait. “Born Leaders” are a myth. If we expose our children to these habits and concepts at an early age, and model the behaviors we desire to develop in them, we cannot help but influence their growth in a positive and healthy direction. Stephen Covey's works, especially his son Sean's book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens, are excellent examples of ways we can teach our children the right principles and values to serve them well for their entire lives. As a father of 5, I know all too well our opportunities to influence and help shape our children's lives are precious and not to be squandered.

  • Zengirl


    Stephen covey is very inspiring to me in books, his classes and what he does. It is funny that I also mentioned him today on my blog, on different context. I would have sneaked in to hear him as well. How was the experience?

    By the way, thank you for stopping by at my blog and for your comments. Good luck, I wish you success on your new blog!

  • Filip Matous

    Hmm, I guess that is something to remember when eventually become a father myself, giving children the opportunity to lead and develop the qualities of a leader. Always being the leader and not letting the child take a turn at responsibility is an unhealthy idea, however, I would guess the default for most parents.

    Thanks for the insight Joe!

  • Filip Matous

    Hi Zengirl,

    Yeah I was curious as to what people were currently saying about Covey and that is how I stumbled on your blog.

    I heard about Covey the day he was in town so after work I grabbed my gear and put on my journo face, haha. Sometimes I feel he is permanently stuck in the early 90's but the principles are always relevant. Have you read the 8th habit? That book is really fantastic, and very much my favorite Covey book.

  • Zengirl


    Interesting, how you found my blog,I have not added my blog to any search yet! and Yes, I have read the 8th habit book as well. I should re-read it again, it has been awhile.

  • Filip Matous

    When I was looking around to see what people were saying about Covey, you were one of the top Google hits for recent blog posts. Google automatically sends spiders to your site and must have picked up on your keywords. Maybe other people have also linked to your site, promoting good seo.

    Try getting on Twitter for your blog as it will be even easier for you to distribute your content. Regardless, keep up the writing, and keep helping people improve their lives!

  • Zengirl


    Interesting info. I do intend to write useful information that may help others. Let's see it may help me better myself and keep me grounded at the same time.

  • Filip Matous

    Good luck Zengirl! Keep me posted and feel free to ask me any twitter how to's when you start up.

  • Luke

    I saw the Covey video in Mike Walton's New Media Strategies class here at BYU-Idaho. I would love to use some of your videos on my inspirational website. Do you mind?

  • Filip Matous

    Very cool. Of course I would be happy. Sounds like a fun class!

  • Tai

    Great vid; Covey's principles inspired me to write my own book, Collabetition.
    thank you for sharing!

  • Filip Matous

    You bet, Tai. Totally understand the inspiration, the 8th habit had a lot to do with starting this website for me. 'Helping others find and use their voice' – as I learn to use mine.