In the mid-80s I emerged from high school with lots of passion and a willingness to dive into whatever was before me. (In other words, energy without a lot of direction)
As a freshman studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado, I met a focused young man named Brian Robins who introduced me to Day-Timers and being organized. Eventually that path led to a simple book called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
The truths in the book spoke to me and have influenced my life in very significant ways.
Today is my 25th wedding anniversary, and looking back I can see the mutual respect and love I have with my wife Diana is strongly influenced by doing my/our best in using those practices to work together.
While in the Air Force, I got to be good friends with Ray Taylor, who was a fellow Coveyite, and we worked side-by-side sharing ideas and helping others with Stephen Covey's wisdom.
I found my calling when I was contacted by Franklin-Covey Coaching, and still am in contact with my original coach, Sara Hurd. Through her I sharpened my focus and decided to help others as she helped me.
Urgency and Importance from my upcoming bookIn fact, the more I look, the more I see the positive influence that Stephen Covey had and continues to have in my life. Whether it's passing on the stories of the man in the subway car whose kids are misbehaving after their mother died, or the urgency versus importance grid, or the concept of sharpening my own personal capabilities, Stephen's ideas are woven through the fabric of my life.
And I consider myself very fortunate to have met Stephen personally and shook his hand. While Ray Taylor was working at the Air Force Academy, the cadets invited Stephen Covey to speak to them, and Ray managed to get me not only in to hear Dr Covey but also to join him for lunch afterwards. It was almost surreal to be sitting in the same room as an icon, yet he was as personable as you would hope he would be.
One of the most powerful exercises I get to take people through is the creation of their own obituary. It's powerful because rarely are people asked to think about their life from the end backwards. And I learned that exercise from First Things First, and shared it with my dad to help him through my grandmother's passing.
While I'm sure there were things Stephen Covey did that he was less proud of, I have to believe that he achieved what he set out to do in this life and, if my life is an example, probably influenced significantly more people than he could imagine.
Godspeed, Stephen R. Covey. You lived, loved, learned, and left quite a legacy.