44 Wise Stephen Covey Quotes to Memorize

I’ve just purchased the well known book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, by Stephen Covey. This is a best selling book that’s incredibly popular around the world. I’ve haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, but I’m hoping to read it soon.

Stephen Covey was an incredibly successful author, unfortunately passing away in 2012. He wrote many great books on the topic of self-enrichment, and if you haven’t already checked out some of his work, then you need to do so!

I’ve compiled a list for you today, consisting of 44 wise Stephen Covey quotes you should definitely memorize in order to succeed in business and in life. Enjoy guys.


44 Wise Stephen Covey Quotes to Memorize

1. “Your most important work is always ahead of you, never behind you.” – Stephen Covey

2. “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” – Stephen Covey

3. “When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.” – Stephen Covey

4. “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” – Stephen Covey

5. “Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.” Stephen Covey

6. “People and organizations don’t grow much without delegation and completed staff work because they are confined to the capacities of the boss and reflect both personal strengths and weaknesses.” – Stephen Covey

7. “A mission statement is not something you write overnight… But fundamentally, your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life.” – Stephen Covey

8. “Stop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them.” – Stephen Covey

9. “Synergy is better than my way or your way. It’s our way.” – Stephen Covey


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10. “You’re not a product of your nature. That is your genetic makeup or your nurture, the things that have happened to you. Of course those things affect you powerfully, but they do not determine you.” – Stephen Covey


11. “Outsourcing is inevitable, and I don’t think it’s necessarily treating people like things.” – Stephen Covey

12. “If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.” – Stephen Covey

13. “Both times I was in India, I could not get people to listen to each other. I had to literally tell people to listen to each other and tell them that they can’t get creative and find alternate solutions if they don’t listen to each other. There’s a lot of arguing and justifying.” – Stephen Covey

14. “Live out of your imagination, not your history.” – Stephen Covey

15. “Every time you think the problem is ‘out there,’ that very thought is the problem.” – Stephen Covey

16. “I believe in this concept that you learn by teaching.” – Stephen Covey

17. “An empowered organisation is one in which individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organisational success.” – Stephen Covey

18. “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.” – Stephen Covey

19. “Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.” – Stephen Covey


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20. “Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey


21. “When one side benefits more than the other, that’s a win-lose situation. To the winner it might look like success for a while, but in the long run, it breeds resentment and distrust.” – Stephen Covey

22. “There are three constants in life… change, choice and principles.” – Stephen Covey

23. “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

24. “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.” – Stephen Covey

25. “When it comes to developing character strength, inner security and unique personal and interpersonal talents and skills in a child, no institution can or ever will compare with, or effectively substitute for, the home’s potential for positive influence.” – Stephen Covey

26. “If you want small changes in your life, work on your attitude. But if you want big and primary changes, work on your paradigm.” – Stephen Covey

27. “We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals.” – Stephen Covey

28. “The key is taking responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most important things.” – Stephen Covey

29. “Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.” – Stephen Covey


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30. “You can’t talk your way out of problems you behave yourself into.” – Stephen Covey


31. “My parents were just constantly affirming me in everything that I did. Late at night, I’d wake up and hear my mother talking over my bed, saying, ‘You’re going to do great on this test. You can do anything you want.’” – Stephen Covey

32. “The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it.” – Stephen Covey

33. “We become what we repeatedly do.” – Stephen Covey

34. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” – Stephen Covey

35. “The challenge of work-life balance is without question one of the most significant struggles faced by modern man.” – Stephen Covey

36. “I affirm to you the tremendous potential you have, not beyond anything you could ever imagine.” – Stephen Covey

37. “The deepest desire of the human spirit is to be acknowledged.” – Stephen Covey

38. “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” – Stephen Covey

39. “We see the world not as it is, but as we are.” – Stephen Covey

40. “Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.” – Stephen Covey

41. “To learn something but not to do is really not to learn. To know something but not to do is really not to know.” – Stephen Covey

42. “Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.” – Stephen Covey

43. “A little over 5% of the world’s population produces almost 29% of the world’s goods and services.” – Stephen Covey

44. “Begin with the end in mind.” – Stephen Covey



Stephen Richard Covey was an incredible author. I’m excited to continue reading more books of his later on.

What’s your favorite Stephen Covey quote? Leave a comment below.

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