While Anthony Keane is credited for the actual creation of Gneo, the many thinkers and productivity gurus who influenced him provide the real catalyst for the Gneo of today. In honor of those inspirational men and women, we are dubbing September as the “Month of Influence” and taking each week to profile and credit these integral individuals.
To kick off the month, we begin with the esteemed Stephen Covey. Although he passed away tragically in July 2012, his ideas and principles live on, especially in the Gneo community.
If Dr. Covey had a fan club, Gneo would run for president, that’s how crazy we are about him.
If you are a highly successful person whose triumphs can be traced back to seven habits, then you are likely a disciple of Stephen Covey. Renowned productivity and leadership guru, Dr. Covey’s best-selling book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” sold more than 25 million copies since it was first published in 1989.
Covey began his life in Salt Lake City, Utah. As a boy, Covey was highly athletic but a severe leg injure forced him to switch his focus from sports to academics. After graduating early from high school, Covey went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Utah, followed by an MBA at Harvard University, and finally a Doctor of Religious Education from Brigham Young University.
Following his education, Dr. Covey went on to pursue a variety of projects including the authorship of his many successful books, the establishment of FranklinCovey, the Stephen Covey Online Community, and involvement at Utah State University including teaching as well as the Stephen R. Covey Center for Leadership.
Beyond his professional work, Dr. Covey’s personal life included similarly prodigious accomplishments. He and his wife Sandra, were the proud parents of nine children and fifty-two grandchildren.
Stephen Covey pioneered the idea of character over personality in relation to success, presenting the idea of aligning personal values with universal principles. Principle-centered living and principle-centered leadership stand at the core of the Covey teaching, and resonate with a large audience as they transcend individual differences of politics, philosophy, religion, socioeconomic level, gender, lifestyle, and age.
Stephen Covey’s teachings stood on a foundation of three constants that he defined as “change, choice, and principles.” His most popular principles from “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” include being proactive and having personal vision, beginning with the end in mind, putting “first things first”, thinking in a win-win way that promotes the interests of others, pursuing empathy by seeking to understand before being understood, practicing creative cooperation, and finally “sharpening the saw” by living in a state of balanced renewal.
Stephen Covey & Gneo
Where to begin?! The teachings of Stephen Covey are like Gneology 101 but perhaps the strongest shared idea between Covey and Gneo is the idea of beginning with the end in mind. With Gneo, goals are the guiding principles by which tasks are either pursued or discarded. Through the assignment of “urgent” and “important” distinctions, individuals can see how their daily activities either contribute or detract from overall success.
Gneo also encourages people to establish goals that balance the personal, professional, and relational aspects of life. Professional success at the expense of personal health is only a partial triumph. Like Covey’s sharpened saw principle, Gneo espouses the idea that taking care of oneself allows for any effort to produce greater impact.
Are you a similar Covey fanatic? What are some favorite ideals that you have integrated into your life?