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Management Theory of Stephen Covey

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks

Better your business using the Covey seven habits of highly effective people

A look at Stephen Covey’s background reveals a lifelong dedication to helping others control their destiny with uplifting and straight-forward guidance. His book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” is the most influential business book of the 20th century. He is a recipient of the International Man of Peace Award, the National Fatherhood Award, International Entrepreneur of the Year and eight honorary doctorate degrees.

The Stephen Covey seven habits of highly effective people are among the most widely used management innovation strategies in recent years. The Covey model is an “inside-out” philosophy, meaning that change starts inside each of us and works its way out. He finds a person’s character to be a collection of habits that consist of skill, knowledge and desire. Covey claims that effective people have seven important habits. The Covey seven habits of highly effective people are as follows:

1. The Covey model requires you to “be proactive.”

2. Think of the future and “begin with the end in mind.”

3. “Put first things first” when adopting Covey motivational theory.

4. Consider everyone’s needs and desires to develop “win-win” situations.

5. Covey theory asks you to “seek first to understand and then to be understood.”

6. “Synergize” for creative cooperation.

7. Continue to develop and learn as you “sharpen the saw” with Stephen Covey theory.

Grow from dependence to independence under the Stephen Covey management theory

Stephen Covey believed that all of our actions are the result of past conditioning and that we must change our habits, and who we are, in order to succeed with making large changes in our lives. We start our lives dependent upon others. The initial three habits of Stephen Covey management training take you from dependence to independence. Habit one calls managers to be proactive, rather than reactive, and take control of their environment. Habit two requires the manager to think of the future, always keeping in mind the desired outcome. The third habit means that a manager must first manage herself, implementing activities that accomplish the second habit.

Rely on interdependence through the management theory of Stephen Covey

Once you accomplish the first three habits of the Stephen Covey seven habits of highly effective people, the next three habits allow you to become interdependent. In other words, managers become just as dependent upon their staff as their staff is dependent upon them. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship; habit four is think win-win. To be successful at interdependence, you must have good communication with others to develop positive relationships, as habit five means you try to understand others before you get them to understand you. Then, the synergy of habit six means you must all work together to achieve mutual goals.

Improve yourself continually with the Covey Model

Habit seven, “sharpen the saw,” means that you continually learn from your experiences in order to make yourself a better person. In 2004, Covey added habit eight to the mix, which allows you to go “from effectiveness to greatness.” Covey believes that we should always aspire toward greatness, on personal, leadership and organizational levels, and that requires us to always act with integrity and inspire others to do the same.

  • The renovation and growth of your company begins when you change the core elements of who you are. Once you determine to make the change, implement the Stephen Covey seven habits of highly effective people and refuse to give up, then innovation is sure to follow.
Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
Staff Writer
Chad Brooks is a writer and editor with more than 20 years of media of experience. He has been with Business News Daily and for the past decade, having written and edited content focused specifically on small businesses and entrepreneurship. Chad spearheads coverage of small business communication services, including business phone systems, video conferencing services and conference call solutions. His work has appeared on The Huffington Post,,, Live Science, IT Tech News Daily, Tech News Daily, Security News Daily and Laptop Mag. Chad's first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014.