Stephen Richards Covey (born October 24, 1932 in Salt Lake City, Utah) is the author of the best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Other books he has written include First Things First, Principle-Centered Leadership, and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families.
In 2004, Covey released The 8th Habit. In 2008, Covey released The Leader In Me—How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time. He is currently a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.
Covey was the son of Stephen Glenn Covey and his wife Irene Louise Richards. Louise was the daughter of Stephen L Richards, an apostle and counselor in the first presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints under David O. McKay
Covey earned a B.S. in business administration from the University of Utah, an MBA from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Religious Education (DRE) from Brigham Young University. Covey is a brother of Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity. He has been awarded ten honorary doctorates.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey’s best-known book, has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide since its first publication in 1989. (The audio version became the first non-fiction audio-book in U.S. publishing history to sell more than one million copies.) Covey argues against what he calls “The Personality Ethic”, something he sees as prevalent in many modern self-help books. He instead promotes what he labels “The Character Ethic”: aligning one’s values with so-called “universal and timeless” principles. Covey adamantly refuses to conflate principles and values; he sees principles as external natural laws, while values remain internal and subjective. Covey proclaims that values govern people’s behavior, but principles ultimately determine the consequences. Covey presents his teachings in a series of habits, manifesting as a progression from dependence via independence to interdependence.