Stephen R. Covey, Herald of Good Habits, Dies After Bike Crash
By DOUGLAS MARTIN-NY Times
Published: July 16, 2012
Stephen R. Covey, who won a global following and a five-year run on best-seller lists by fusing the genres of self-help and business literature in his 1989 book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic,” died on Monday at a hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He was 79.
The cause was complications of a bicycle collision three months ago, his family said in a statement.
Mr. Covey’s book sold more than 25 million copies worldwide, and also became the first audiobook to sell more than a million copies. After conferring with Mr. Covey over Thanksgiving in 1994, President Bill Clinton said American productivity would greatly increase if people followed Mr. Covey’s advice. More than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies flocked to use a consulting company he had founded.
Mr. Covey is survived by his wife, the former Sandra Merrill; nine children; and more than 50 grandchildren.
Mr. Covey hated to waste time. He made copies of documents and kept them in briefcases under his desk in case he lost an original. And he liked to do more than one thing at a time. Fortune reported that he was once seen at a gym lying on the floor of the shower room being sprayed by three shower heads while he brushed his teeth and shaved.
In explaining his second recommended habit — Begin with the end in mind — Mr. Covey urged people to consider how they would like to be remembered. “If you carefully consider what you want to be said of you in the funeral experience,” he said, “you will find yourdefinition of success.”