75 Stephen Covey Quotes (Effective Habits)

Welcome to our collection of 75 great Stephen Covey Quotes (including video)!

Famous Quotes by Stephen Covey

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. Stephen Covey

You can learn great things from your mistakes, when you are not busy denying them.

You can learn great things from your mistakes, when you are not busy denying them. Stephen Covey

The only thing that endures over time is the Law of the Farm. You must prepare the ground, plant the seed, cultivate, and water it if you expect to reap the harvest.

The only thing that endures over time is the Law of the Farm. You must prepare the ground, plant the seed, cultivate, and water it if you expect to reap the harvest. Stephen Covey

You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smiling, nonapoloegetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.

You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smiling, nonapoloegetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. Stephen Covey

Don't argue for other people's weaknesses. Don't argue for your own. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it- immediately. stephen covey quotes

Don’t argue for other people’s weaknesses. Don’t argue for your own. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it- immediately. Stephen Covey

Little kindness and courtesies are so important.

Little kindness and courtesies are so important. Stephen Covey

Effective leadership is the only competitive advantage that will endure. That’s because leadership has two sides- what a person is (character) and what a person does- (competence).

Effective leadership is the only competitive advantage that will endure. That’s because leadership has two sides- what a person is (character) and what a person does- (competence). Stephen Covey
Treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers...
Treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers… Stephen Covey
How you treat the one reveals how you regard the many, because everyone is ultimately a one.
How you treat the one reveals how you regard the many, because everyone is ultimately a one.  Stephen Covey
Strength lies in differences not in similarities.
Strength lies in differences not in similarities. Stephen Covey
Being influenceable is the key to influencing others...
Being influenceable is the key to influencing others… Stephen Covey
Setbacks are inevitable; misery is a choice.
Setbacks are inevitable; misery is a choice. Stephen Covey
Courage is not the absence of fear but the awareness that something else is more important...
Courage is not the absence of fear but the awareness that something else is more important… Stephen Covey
Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.
Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny. Stephen Covey
I teach people how to treat me by what I will allow. 
I teach people how to treat me by what I will allow.  Stephen Covey
Be a light not a judge. Be a model not a choice. be part of the solution not part of the problem.
Be a light not a judge. Be a model not a choice. Be part of the solution not part of the problem. Stephen Covey
We get results based on what we do, and what we do depends on how we see the world around us.
We get results based on what we do, and what we do depends on how we see the world around us. Stephen Covey
To the degree people recognize and live in harmony with such basic principles as fairness, equity, justice, integrity, honesty, and trust, they move toward either survival and stability on the one hand or disintegration and destruction on the other. Stephen Covey quotes
To the degree people recognize and live in harmony with such basic principles as fairness, equity, justice, integrity, honesty, and trust, they move toward either survival and stability on the one hand or disintegration and destruction on the other. Stephen Covey
Love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is the fruit of love the verb or our loving actions.stephen covey quotes
Love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is the fruit of love the verb or our loving actions. Stephen Covey
A humble person is more concerned about what is right than about being right.
A humble person is more concerned about what is right than about being right. Stephen Covey
He who has a why can deal with any what or how.
He who has a why can deal with any what or how. Stephen Covey
The way we see the problem is often the problem.
The way we see the problem is often the problem. Stephen Covey
It is possible to be busy-very busy-without being very effective.
It is possible to be busy-very busy-without being very effective. Stephen Covey
 Unless you're continually improving your skills, you're quickly becoming irrelevant.
Unless you’re continually improving your skills, you’re quickly becoming irrelevant. Stephen Covey
To achieve goals you’ve never achieved before you need to start doing things you’ve never done before.
To achieve goals you’ve never achieved before you need to start doing things you’ve never done before. Stephen Covey
Our character is basically a composite of our habits because they are consistent. Often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.
Our character is basically a composite of our habits because they are consistent. Often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character. Stephen Covey
To think we're in control is an illusion. It puts us in the position of trying to manage consequences.
To think we’re in control is an illusion. It puts us in the position of trying to manage consequences. Stephen Covey
Synergy is what happens when one plus one equals ten or a hundred or even a thousand! It’s the mighty result when two or more respectful human beings determine together to go beyond their preconceived ideas to meet a great challenge. Stephen Covey
We see the world, not as it is, but as we are - or, as we are conditioned to see it.
We see the world, not as it is, but as we are – or, as we are conditioned to see it. Stephen Covey
Empathy takes time, and efficiency is for things, not people.
Empathy takes time, and efficiency is for things, not people. Stephen Covey
Effective people are not problem-minded; they're opportunity-minded. They feed opportunities and starve problems.
Effective people are not problem-minded; they’re opportunity-minded. They feed opportunities and starve problems. Stephen Covey
We develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and obstacles.
We develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and obstacles. Stephen Covey
We may be very busy, we may be very 'efficient', but we will also be truly 'effective' only when we begin with the end in mind
We may be very busy, we may be very ‘efficient’, but we will also be truly ‘effective’ only when we begin with the end in mind. Stephen Covey
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.
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. Stephen Covey (also listed in our business quotes)

Achieving goals is never a simple, straightforward process. We will try things, discover that they don’t work and try something else. Our actions will vary continually.

Achieving goals is never a simple, straightforward process. We will try things, discover that they don’t work and try something else. Our actions will vary continually. Stephen Covey

"There are three constants in life... change, choice and principles." Stephen Covey quote

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

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” Stephen Covey quote

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

"The challenge of work-life balance is without question one of the most significant struggles faced by modern man." Stephen Covey quote

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

"Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out." Stephen Covey quote

Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out. Stephen Covey (also posted in our leadership quotes)

"Have an abundance mentality: When people are genuinely happy at the successes of others, the pie gets larger." Stephen Covey quote

Have an abundance mentality: When people are genuinely happy at the successes of others, the pie gets larger.  Stephen Covey

"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." Stephen Covey quote

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. Stephen Covey

“Treat a person as they are and they will remain as they are. Treat a person as they can and should be and they will become as they can and should be.” Stephen Covey quote

Treat a person as they are and they will remain as they are. Treat a person as they can and should be and they will become as they can and should be. Stephen Covey

Personal Leadership Quotes by Stephen Covey

Basing our happiness on our ability to control everything is futile. While we do control our choice of action, we cannot control the consequences of our choices.
Basing our happiness on our ability to control everything is futile. While we do control our choice of action, we cannot control the consequences of our choices. Stephen Covey

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. Stephen Covey
Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important...
Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important… Stephen Covey
Think win-win.
Think win-win. Stephen Covey
Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; It's holy ground. There is no greater investment.
Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; It’s holy ground. There is no greater investment. Stephen Covey
Once you have a clear picture of your priorities--that is values, goals, and high leverage activities--organize around them.
Once you have a clear picture of your priorities–that is values, goals, and high leverage activities–organize around them. Stephen Covey
Highly proactive people don’t blame circumstances, conditions or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior of their own conscious choice.
Highly proactive people don’t blame circumstances, conditions or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior of their own conscious choice. Stephen Covey
When we look at how others respond to us, we risk reacting to them, rather than operating from our values, which don't depend on other people's responses.
When we look at how others respond to us, we risk reacting to them, rather than operating from our values, which don’t depend on other people’s responses. Stephen Covey
The key to life is not accumulation. It’s contribution.
The key to life is not accumulation. It’s contribution. Stephen Covey

"The proactive approach is to change from the inside out--to be different, and by being different, to effect positive change in what's out there--I can be more resourceful, I can be more diligent, I can be more creative, I can be more cooperative." Stephen Covey quote

The proactive approach is to change from the inside out–to be different, and by being different, to effect positive change in what’s out there–I can be more resourceful, I can be more diligent, I can be more creative, I can be more cooperative. Stephen Covey

"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." Stephen Covey quote

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Stephen Covey

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. Stephen Covey quote

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.  Stephen Covey

"Most people say their main fault is lack of discipline… The basic problem is that their priorities have not become planted in their hearts and minds." Stephen Covey quote

Most people say their main fault is lack of discipline… The basic problem is that their priorities have not become planted in their hearts and minds. Stephen Covey

"Live out of your imagination, not your history." Stephen Covey quote

Live out of your imagination, not your history. Stephen Covey

We are free to choose our actions, . . . but we are not free to choose the consequences of these actions. Stephen Covey quote

We are free to choose our actions . . . but we are not free to choose the consequences of these actions. Stephen Covey Quotes

“But until a person can say deeply and honestly, "I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday," that person cannot say, "I choose otherwise.” Stephen Covey quote

But until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.” Stephen Covey

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

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

"The key is taking responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most important things." Stephen Covey quote

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

"Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important." Stephen Covey quote

Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important. Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey Quotes on Communication

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

Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply. Stephen Covey
What you do has greater impact than what you say.
What you do has greater impact than what you say. Stephen Covey
Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships.
Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships. Stephen Covey

"In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do." Stephen Covey quote

In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do. Stephen Covey Quotes

"Seek first to understand, then to be understood." Stephen Covey quote

Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Stephen Covey

Biographical Sketch

Stephen Covey (October 24, 1932 – July 16, 2012) was an American educator and best-selling author.

Honors and Awards: 25 most influential Americans award by Times in 1996  and the International Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1994.

He graduated from the University of Utah in 1952 with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Covey went on to earn his MBA at Harvard Business School in 1957 as well as a Doctor of Religious Education (DRE) from Brigham Young University. He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He was awarded ten honorary doctorates.

Covey started his management consulting business in 1983, it is currently known as Franklin Covey Co.

Six years later, in 1989, Covey published The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a business and self-help book that influences powerful lessons in personal change. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is still one of the best-selling non-fiction business books of all time.

He then became a professor at the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University in 2010.

Must Read

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Further Reading

 

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