How Many of Covey’s 7 Habits Do You Practice?

Dr. Stephen R. Covey passed away last month at the age of 79 from complications of an April bicycling accident tin Provo, Utah. As you undoubtedly know, Covey was the author of the epically successful The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The groundbreaking book was published in 1989 and has sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages. In Covey’s honor, I thought it might be worth reviewing his 7 habits here:

  • Habit 1: Be Proactive
  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
  • Habit 3: Put First Things First
  • Habit 4: Think Win-Win
  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
  • Habit 6: Synergize
  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Remember that much of this language was new in 1989, leading 7 Habits to be one of the most influential management books of all time. One of the world’s foremost leadership authorities, Covey also published Principle-Centered Leadership and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. Additionally, he founded Covey Leadership Center, which later merged with Franklin Quest to create FranklinCovey Co., a “global consulting and training leader in the areas of strategy execution, leadership, customer loyalty, sales performance, school transformation and individual effectiveness,” with 44 offices in 147 countries, according to the company’s website.

At Covey’s passing, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert commented, “His combination of intellect and empathy made him a truly unique and visionary individual. The skills he taught, and importantly, the personal example provided by the life he led, will continue to bless the lives of many.”

Clearly, the universal applicability of Covey’s rules is what has made 7 Habits so useful, but it’s striking how many of his tenets apply directly to financial planning. Be proactive. Begin with the end in mind…

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