For many investors and business students, when they hear the name Stephen Covey they immediately think of his infamous book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
I can see a copy right now sitting in my library.
On Monday, the author passed away. In a statement by his family via Reuters, it said he died at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls “due to the residual effects of a bike accident he suffered this past April.”
He was 79-years-old.
Covey founded a Salt Lake City business that grew into the multi million-dollar FranklinCovey corporate consulting, training and publication enterprise, as described by the company’s website.
The businessman is best known for his 1989 “7 Habits” book regarded as somewhat of a self-help guide on how to succeed in business. It has sold over 20 million copies (in 38 languages) according to Amazon.com; it had been named as the No. 1 Most Influential Business Book of the Twentieth Century.
Covey went on to write additional best sellers such as Principle-Centered Leadership, First Things First and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. His most recent book, The 8th Habit, was well on its way to becoming another best seller with its nearly 400,000 copies sold.
Along with his way with the written word, Covey also found success as a motivational speaker on the Fortune 100 circuit. He was also a consultant to large companies including Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and NASA.
In 2011, Covey was named on the biannual list of world’s top 50 business thinkers in 2011 by Thinkers50. He had previously been named as Time Magazine’s 25 most influential Americans.
While Covey earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University and a doctorate from Utah’s Brigham Young University, he also received eight honorary doctorate degrees.
For those of you familiar with Covey, here’s a reminder of his The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
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
Sound familiar? And what was the eighth habit?
Habit 8: From Effectiveness to Greatness
Covey was a unique person and it will be tough to fill his shoes. In a statement by his family announcing his death, it included the following about Covey’s final hours. It said that Covey had been surrounded “by his loving wife and each one of his children and their spouses, as we sang him his favorite hymns, just as he always wanted.”