Steven Covey Quotes

Most popular Steven Covey Quotes

Trust is the highest form of human motivation.  It brings out the very best in people.

motivation persuasion trust

The way we see the problem is the problem.


Live out of your imagination, not your history.
— Steven Covey


Seek first to understand and then to be understood.
— Steven Covey

managing people

Self-growth is tender; it's holy ground. There's no greater investment.


When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.


In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.


Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.
— Steven Covey


Leadership is communicating people's worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.


Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.


If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take just gets you to the wrong place faster.
Every exaggeration of the truth once detected by others destroys our credibility and makes all that we do and say suspect.


Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.


Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.


You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically—to say 'no' to other things.

saying no

Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition, such as lifting weights, we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.

adversity challenges character

People can't live with change if there's not a changeless core inside them. The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about and what you value.
— Steven Covey

the self

A cardinal principle of Total Quality escapes too many managers: you cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships.
— Steven Covey

management business

It takes a great deal of character strength to apologize quickly out of one's heart rather than out of pity.  A person must possess himself and have a deep sense of security in fundamental principles and values in order to genuinely apologize.


An effective goal focuses primarily on results rather than activity.  It identifies where you want to be, and, in the process, helps you determine where you are.  It gives you important information on how to get there, and it tells you when you have arrived.