J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Stephen Covey Tribute

Stephen Covey Tribute

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Stephen Covey has past away, but his legend lives on:

Covey will be missed, but not forgotten.   I see him all around me every day in the halls of Microsoft …

Many of my mentors, mentees, and colleagues are avid Stephen Covey fans.  I know a lot of Softies around Microsoft that echo the patterns and practices of Stephen Covey’s work.    One of my early managers, was a raving fan of Stephen Covey and he made it real.  He absolutely practiced what he preached and he was one of the most inspiring managers that I ever worked for.

One of the most important lessons I learned from that same manager was that I had to be OK with failure.  I had to risk enough to be able to fail.   I had to be open to the idea that I couldn’t make everything succeed all of the time.   He said it was this vulnerability that would become my strength.  He also said that if I could embrace the idea of letting others fail and learn from their mistakes that it would be more empowering in the long run.  People flourish when we give them the room.  

He also taught me that you get more power, the more you give away.   When you trust people, and they know you have their back, they reciprocate.  The trust grows in two ways.   People go out on a limb, because they know it’s OK to be vulnerable.  People tell you stuff that they would only tell you when there is trust.   This creates a powerful loop of learning and growth.

Anyway, I think Stephen Covey’s impact was powerful and pervasive.   He is with us everywhere.  The next time you hear somebody say, “Let’s start with the end in mind,” or “Are we focusing on what’s important, or just reacting to what’s urgent?”, smile and nod in acknowledgement that Covey has forever shaped how we lead ourselves and others.

Please enjoy Stephen Covey Leaves a Legacy.