February 2010
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Overcoming challenges the Stephen Covey way!

Tackling new age challenges also need new age approaches, which was what management guru Dr Stephen Covey’s day long training session revolved around. Recently in town, as part of a three city tour, Dr Covey shared with an exclusive group of participants the secrets to overcoming challenges in today’s times.

Dr Covey began with the need for a paradigm shift, and a change from the practices of the industrial society to the knowledge worker society, which is not characterized by a top down approach. This is perhaps the most important prerequisite for overcoming challenges in today’s times. The seven habits that make for effective people or leaders for that matter, that he is so popularly known for, formed a substantial part of the session. Following this was a discussion on the eight habit – generating results through personal greatness organizational greatness and leadership greatness.

Another interesting idea that Dr Covey touched upon was the Whole-Person Paradigm, which means that everyone operates at four levels – the physical (body), the mental (mind), the emotional (heart) and the spiritual (soul). A person’s level of engagement at his workplace or openness to other people’s ideas depends on which level he is operating from. This in turn decides how effectively he can face the challenges of an overly demanding corporate world.

A number of short videos designed to reinforce these ideas were interesting and powerful learning devices. The session was made peppier by brief interludes in which Dr Covey asked one person from every group to recap for the rest, what was taught in the previous few minutes. After all, research says, more than 90% of what we learn, we learn when we teach.

Although the training session was aimed at corporates essentially, the learning could be applied even to personal relationships or a home situation. Perhaps the most valuable takeaway from Dr Covey’s session was the importance of change that you need to embrace before you are forced to accept it.


Featuring among the most celebrated management gurus and trainers of the world, Dr Stephen R Covey has positively impacted numerous lives and organizations over the years. His book, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is an all time self help bestseller and perhaps the biggest propeller of his popularity across the world. He is currently authoring a book titled, The End of Crime.

Coming from a business family, Dr Covey’s father was the one who persuaded him to study business management from Harvard. “Although I did that, I realized that my true calling or voice was not business but teaching,” he shares.

He has taught management at Birmingham Young University and also completed a doctorate while teaching here, and was later conferred with four honorary doctorates and apart from the Thomas More College Medallion for continuing service to humanity.

Dr Covey is a co-founder of the Franklin-Covey organization, which specializes in the application of Covey's principle-centred approach to leadership and management. His strategies on time management too have been quite popular in the corporate world.
At 77, he continues to train and write and lives in Utah, USA.

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