My brief interaction with Stephen R. Covey

Many of us have known or must have read Stephen Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people! In my previous role, I had the opportunity to invite him for a webinar at work and was pleasantly surprised during his interaction!

Over 25 million copies of the book seem to have been sold (Ref – Google search). He and his books have been a source of inspiration for many!

He joined the bridge 10 minutes ahead of schedule and wanted to ensure the connections were working fine. His team had done a round of testing the infrastructure the previous day and we were all set. I checked with him about his introduction and started the webinar introducing him. I asked him what were his sources of inspiration from where he gained clarity about how one can be effective and successful in life (not at any particular job or role). His answer amazed me!

He said he saw himself as a son, father, and then grandparent, and was part of a family of over 100 people. Every interaction was a learning experience. When growing up in a large family, it becomes a question of survival. One needs to figure out how to survive and get your basic needs met. Growing up this way had a huge impact on him and when he started sharing this experience with his grandchildren, he knew what he had figured out can help many, as these were simple ways to be effective. Every individual (he spoke about his grandchildren) has something unique to offer and where they fall behind is their own limitations and how they fail to be effective by themselves. If we break our own boundaries, and just try to be effective – we will see a world of difference!

Stephen Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people

The 60-minute webinar was a huge success. I waited on the other line to thank him and told him that we had a great session and that it was wonderful to hear about his source of inspiration. I asked him that I personally wanted to know how he derived the above from the same. I asked him how did he figure these out while he was learning as that was the tricky part 🙂 No one would have taught him this right off a book. He said –

“Learn to face your challenges and live a life, everyday”.

When we do not run away from challenges and face it, life teaches us, it is up to contextualize it and realize it as we grow older. There would come a day when you know you are continuing to learn, but what you have learned will help others who are seeking to learn! Turn the tables then, start sharing! It makes a huge difference!

Somehow that brief interaction stuck with me for long!

Every time I think about our interaction or see this image, somehow it makes a difference and brings about the clarity to move forward. Try it out – and share your experiences!

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