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Covey speaks on father's legacy

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Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012

Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 12:10

Covey speaks about father's legacy

STEPHEN M.R. COVEY, son of bestselling author Stephen R. Covey, speaks to students from the Huntsman School of Business in a Dean’s Convocation on Tuesday. Mickelle Yeates photo

In commemoration of what would have been his father’s 80th birthday, students and faculty of the Huntsman School of Business gathered Wednesday at a Dean’s Convocation Speech to hear author Stephen M.R. Covey reflect on his father’s legacy of leadership.


Covey’s father Stephen R. Covey, the Huntsman Presidential Chair in Leadership, a renowned educator, public speaker and bestselling author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” passed away in July.


“I view this as a tribute from you to my father,” Covey said. “My father loved Utah State University and the Huntsman School of Business, and he was very thankful for this relationship. It was a great source of meaning in his life.”


Covey talked about the principles of leadership his father taught and how it impacted him and millions across the world.


“My father’s thinking has been the software of my mind,” Covey said. “It affects everything I do.”  


Covey said his father taught that as individuals, we each have four needs — to live, to love, to learn and to leave a legacy.  Covey said as students apply these needs as they search for a career, they can find a pathway they are passionate about.


“When you look for a career, be thinking in terms of these four things,” he said. “What need do I want to help in society? What do I love to do? What am I good at doing and what am I called to do? And as you overlap that inspiration, that’s finding your voice. My father taught that beautifully.”


Covey spoke about his father’s “rare gift” to reach out to millions through his books and speeches while also being able to reach the few or “the one.”


“Through his works, through his writings, through his teachings, he literally reached millions of people all over the world, and yet his most significant work was reaching the one,” Covey said. “My father believed in affirming the one. He believed in people even more than people believed in themselves.”


Covey spoke of many instances he saw his father, despite a rigorous schedule, extend effort to reach out to “the one” needing extra support or encouragement: helping his son’s high school friend with a speaking assignment, encouraging and befriending an international student lacking confidence in his abilities and listening and taking his time to say “I love you” to his wife and each of his nine children.

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