What I Learned from Stephen Covey


About fifteen years ago, I had the great opportunity to travel to Sanford, Florida and get certified in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I was sent to get certified to come back and train the workshop in my company. It was an awe-inspiring, growth opportunity for me in so many ways!! If you want people to point out any mistake you ever make – facilitate something like the 7 Habits workshop. It raised the bar so high on the expectation of how I would react in any given situation that I started working at home about 50% of the time to sharpen my saw. It sounds funny to talk about it now, but the employees at the law firm I worked at would analyze my reaction to things in every situation after they attended this workshop. The work is powerful and I am still striving to do my best in the habits today. Stretch goals!

Some things I still find to be amazing about that experience is that a) the habits are still relevant in my life and b) it wasn’t anything new. Stephen Covey didn’t invent the 7 Habits, he merely studied human behaviors and principles. He crated the package, but all the information he covered was available long before he wrote the 7 Habits.

So, what did I learn from the experience? I learned that your vision and values create the framework, roadmap and compass for you to get where you are going. I learned that if you don’t take care of yourself and consider your needs, you won’t be able to help others, and I learned that the most important thing that I could do in my career was listen. I’ve taken this learning with me everywhere I’ve gone and I’m still working on getting better at it today.

I found that the real power from the workshop was not the information that was covered, but the questions that were asked. The reason the workshop was so powerful was because it asked you – What do you want to achieve in your life? What is the most important thing for you? What do you want to be remembered for? How do you spend your time? It was the power of imaging yourself in that light that handed the reins over from the facilitator to the participants. It wasn’t about the workshop, it was about you.