It is said that a man that follows his passion and then teaches and shares it with the world for everyone’s benefit is a man that lives fully.
One such man is Stephen Covey of ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People‘ fame. His work, passion and his ethics of learn, teach and learn even more through teaching has inspired and made a difference in millions of lives around the world.
Author Stephen Covey, the man behind the “Highly Effective” empire, passed away today. He was 79.
Covey, who studied business at the University of Utah and Harvard, published his best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, in 1989. His “habits” included being proactive, beginning with an end in mind and putting first things first. The seemingly simple steps were embraced by business people around the word who still flock to seminars to hear speakers pontificate on the habits.
I follow Dorothy’s sentiments on ‘pontificate’ but I think it has been alot more than that. Millions have put these 7 habits into practice and experienced highly successful and beneficial results.
In 2004, Covey came up with a 8th habit which allowed him to publish a whole new book. Overall his books have sold 20 million copies in 38 languages, according to Covey’s website.
Over the years, Covey became about much more than just selling books. We estimate that since 1989, his ideas have spawned an empire that has generated $1.4 billion over 23 years.
Most of the money was earned by Franklin Covey, a public company. In 1997 Covey merged with Franklin Quest, which had been best known for organizers and planners, to form Franklin Covey. About three years ago the company divested the planner division to focus solely on seminars and consulting.
The Utah-based company has 590 employees and last year brought in $161 million. Businesses around the globe sign up for Franklin Covey’s seminars about trust, leadership and customer loyalty. In the down economy the business is going strong as executives search for any education that will give them advantages. 2011 revenues were up for the second year in a row and the stock is doing fine, trading at $10 per share, close to a 52-week high.
The $1.4 billion doesn’t represent what Covey was worth when he passed away. A spokesperson for his family pointed out that Franklin Covey is worth $170 million and Covey only owned about 7% of the company which would make his share worth $12 million.
But it’s a statement about the industry that Covey’s work spawned that will likely continue well after his death.
It’s interesting that money is a measurement used in this news report in the wake of Mr Covey’s death. His life obviously had inspired an industry of bringing these life changing teachings to a worldwide audience, and I agree that this service has grossed big money over the years. It’s sad that the money is what is focused upon rather than the impact the work has had on so many lives.
I’ve saw Covey at a seminar in Calgary, Canada in 2010. Was he inspiring? I’d say he was more than that. He lived and breathed a way of being, a way of communicating and a way of overcoming differences of opinion in a way that couldn’t help but touch and inspire the hearts in the room including my own.
Who knows what impact such deliveries have? Who knows what the awareness he brought to a room had on the lives of the people present and the people that were met by the participants that applied what was shared.
The value this work has brought to the world is difficult to measure, and as Dorothy reports fairly large monetary figures lets say it must have stretched quite far and wide.
For me Mr Covey will not be remembered by the $1.4 billion of the Franklin Covey corporation but by the life he breathed and shared. And I for one feel very blessed that I had the good fortune to meet him and listen to what he had to share.
Reading inspiring short stories and quotes each day is something that’s worth experimenting with.
If, like me, you find it feeds your heart, mind and spirit for a much better day, then perhaps it’s something worthwhile building in a a daily routine.
Today’s choice of inspiring short stories is called the 333 story, as shared by Bob Proctor. (It can be found on Facebook here)
This is a wonderful excerpt from Bob Proctor’s book titled, ‘You Were Born Rich’ and its a great story – I hope you enjoy it…
I was doing a seminar, which ran from Thursday night to Sunday, at the Deerhurst Lodge,which is a resort approximately 100 miles north of Toronto. On the Friday night, a tornado swept through Barrie, Ontario, a town about 40 miles south of Deerhurst. The tornado killed a dozen people and did millions of dollars worth of damage. On the Sunday night, as I was coming home, I stopped the car when I got to Barrie. I got out on the side of the highway and looked around. It was a mess. Everywhere I looked, there were smashed houses and cars turned upside down.
That same night, another gentleman, Bob Templeton, was driving down the same
highway. He and I had never met, however, an idea from my seminar was about to bring
us together in a lasting friendship. He stopped to look at the disaster, just as I had, only his thoughts were different than my own. Bob was the Vice-President of Telemedia Communications, a company which owns a string of radio stations in Ontario and Quebec. As he stood there viewing the disaster, he thought there must be something he could do for these people (with the radio stations he had). That thought kept returning to his mind that night and all the next day.
The following night, I was doing another seminar in Toronto. Bob Templeton and Bob
Johnson, another vice-president from Telemedia, came in and stood at the back of the
room. They were evaluating my seminar, trying to decide if I could help their company
reach its goals, which I ultimately did. Because of Bob Templeton’s influence, I
subsequently worked for the entire Canadian broadcasting industry. He loved what I was doing in my seminars because it was in harmony with his way of thinking.
Bob Templeton became fascinated with the laws of the universe, particularly The Law of Polarity or as it is often referred to, The Law of Opposites. This law clearly states everything has an opposite. You cannot have an up without a down, hot without cold or in without out. By the same token, if you can figure out why something you want to do cannot be done, by law, you must be able to figure out how it can be done. People who accomplish great things are aware of the negative, however, they give all of their mental energy to the positive.
After the seminar, Bob Templeton went back to his office. He told me it was late but this one idea he picked up had him excited. It also had him committed to the idea of raising millions of dollars and giving it to the people who had been caught in the tornado, and he was going to raise the money immediately! Furthermore, he was not remotely interested in why he couldn’t.
The following Friday he called all of his executives at Telemedia into his office. At the top of a flip chart in bold letters, he wrote three 3’s. He said to his executives “How would you like to raise 3 million dollars, 3 days from now, in just 3hours and give the money to the people in Barrie?” There was nothing but silence in the room.Finally someone said, “Templeton, you’re crazy. There is absolutely no way we could raise 3 million dollars, in 3 hours, 3 days from now!”
Bob said, “Wait a minute. I didn’t ask you if we could or even if we should. I just asked you if you would like to.” Bob Templeton was wise; he was appealing to the charitable side of their nature. It was important for those present to openly admit that this was something they wanted to do. Bob Templeton knew that his new idea could show anyone how to accomplish anything they wanted by working with the law.
They all said, “Sure, we’d like to.” He then drew a large T underneath the 333. On one side he wrote, ‘Why We Can’t.’ On the other side he wrote, ‘How We Can.’ Under the words, ‘Why We Can’t,’ Bob Templeton drew a large X. As he placed the X on the flip chart, he said, “Now there is no place to record the ideas we think of which explain why we can’t raise 3 million dollars, in 3 hours, 3 days from now, regardless of how valid they might be.” He continued by explaining, “When anyone calls out an idea which suggests why we can’t, everyone else must yell out as loud as they can, NEXT. That will be our command to go to the next idea.
Ideas are like the cars on a train, one always follows the other. We will keep saying Next until a positive idea arrives.” Bob smiled and continued to explain that, “Opposite the X on the other side of the flipchart, directly under the words, ‘How We Can,’ I will write down every idea that we can come up with on how we can raise 3 million dollars, in 3 hours, 3 days from now.”
He also suggested in a very serious tone of voice, that everyone will remain in the room until we figure it out. “We are not only going to think of how we can raise 3 million dollars immediately, after we originate the ideas we are going to execute them!” There was silence again.
Finally, someone said, “We could do a radio show across Canada.”
Bob said, “That’s a great idea,” and wrote it down under, ‘How We Can.’
Before he had it written on the right hand side of the flipchart, someone said, “You can’t do a radio show across Canada. We don’t have radio stations across Canada!” Since Telemedia only had stations in Ontario and Quebec, you must admit that was a pretty valid objection. However, someone in the back of the room, in a rather soft tone said,“Next.”
Bob Templeton replied, “Doing a radio show is how we can. That idea stays.” But this
truly did sound like a ridiculous idea, because radio stations are very competitive. They usually don’t work together and to get them to do so would be virtually impossible according to the standard way of thinking.
All of a sudden someone suggested, “You could get Harvey Kirk and Lloyd Robertson,
the biggest names in Canadian broadcasting, to anchor the show.” These gentlemen are
anchors of national stature in the Canadian television industry. Someone clearly spoke out saying, “They’re not going to go on radio.” But, at that point the group yelled,
“NEXT.” Bob said that was when the energy shifted; everyone got involved and it was
absolutely amazing how fast and furious the creative ideas began to flow.
That was on a Friday. The following Tuesday they had a radiothon, where 50 radio
stations, from all across the country, agreed to work in harmony for such a good cause.
They felt it didn’t matter who got the credit, as long as the people in Barrie got the money. Harvey Kirk and Lloyd Robertson anchored the show and they succeeded in
raising 3 million dollars, in 3 hours, within 3 business days!
You see, you can have whatever you want; all things are possible when you put your
focus on how you can and “Next” every idea telling you why you can’t.
This may be a difficult exercise in the beginning, however when you persist “Nexting”
any and all negative concepts, the flow of positive ideas will roar into your marvelous mind.
Alfred Adler, the renowned psychologist, coined the extraordinary phrase “I am grateful to the idea that has used me.” There can be no doubt that creative, forward-thinking ideas literally breathe new life into every fibre of your being. They awaken a part of you that you never even knew was sleeping.
Bob Templeton never received five cents for the leadership role he played, in marshalling 50 radio stations from right across Canada, to raise the three million dollars for the people of Barrie, Ontario in Canada. However, you must remember that this is truly an orderly universe; God’s way of running this show is exact—when you put good out, it must come back.
I shared this story, when it happened, with two good friends of mine, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. They were so intrigued by the story, they published it in their book Chicken Soup for the Soul.
A while back I was doing a satellite television broadcast for RE/MAX Real Estate with
Mark Victor Hansen and he was telling me that, at last count, they had sold six million copies of their book. He also told me they are constantly receiving letters from people who read the ‘333 story’ and use it to perform similar mental magic in their lives.
Think of it, millions upon millions of people are making positive things happen in their lives because Bob Templeton would not listen to the reasons why he and his staff could not raise 3 million dollars, in 3 hours, just 3 days after they began to brainstorm the idea.
By the way, Bob Templeton has told me he and his staff have formed the habit of
‘333ing’ their wants and, as a result, he has gone on to become the President of NewCap Broadcasting company, a highly profitable corporation, with stations right across Canada.
It is my opinion that Bob Templeton has set up a force for good that will follow him
wherever he goes. Profit has become his second name. Begin at once to ‘333’ all of your wants and profit will follow you as well.
This is one of a few inspiring short stories that I find makes a difference in my thinking whenever a challenge arises that just seems impossible. Bob Proctor shares many inspiring short stories in his book “You Were Born Rich”
Richard’s got such a clear and simple view of doing business it’s quite an inspiration. I’ve dug in and read a few of his books, I’ve even took a plane to see him in Canada in 2009 live.
Strangely enough I must admit he’s quite an inspiration just to listen to, and his insightful, hype-free genuine insights on business are gems to hear, digest and apply.
Listening to a man that believes he can do whatever he puts his mind to with the help of the right people has a certain energy to it. It’s an uplifting energy.
Believing you can do and achieve whatever you want is quite freeing, especially from those taunts of doubt.
And being free is a wonderful feeling for action to arise from. Whether you’re in business or not I would recommend just being in the same room as Richard when you get the chance, you’ll take away far more than some business insights.
For me it’s impacted the way I bring up my kids let alone do business.
I’ve heard it whispered on the grape vine that you can see Richard in London on or around the 2nd of July (I found the info with more details here).
So: “What if the world was your oyster, and you believed you could do whatever you put your mind to.. could you make an impact to positively effect the lives of others..?”
Personally I think this is an ideal opportunity to see and meet Richard in London… no plane flights for me this time around. There’s even a chance of having drinks and a meal with him, if you choose to.
Just to experience the type of energy this man has about him is an instruction in itself.
There’s more details of location, times and a choice of options here.
Let me know what you think.. if you do choose to go let me know… we could meet up for lunch.
Do you know how to make a real decision?.. or do you just dip your toe in half expecting to fail..?
What do you choose to be your motivating feeling and emotion?
Is it one to make you move forward.. or one to make you shrink back?
The power of the questions you ask yourself.. whether you want to focus on the negative less inspiring aspects.. or the positive moving forward and growing aspects.. the choice always lies with you, no matter what circumstances arise.
Who is right: the man who thinks he can.. or the man who thinks he can’t?
They are both right. They have both chosen what they think.. and what they think will direct and dictate their behaviours and actions.
How do you want to condition yourself.. Do you want to condition your repetition muscle to put you in a more consistent peak state.. moving you towards getting what you want more freely?..
Or do you want to be conditioned for more of the same old same old..?
Your peak state can inspire and motivate those around you, let alone yourself. It’s wonderful having choices. It’s wonderful being alive. It’s wonderful to connect and live with inspiration.
So the question isn’t “Can you decide..?”.. you can always do that.. you’re doing it every minute of the day.. you’re even doing it right now.
The question is “what will you decide”.. What state are you going to allow to rule you?