145 Stephen Covey Quotes That Will Change Your Life

Looking for inspirational quotes by the famous author Stephen Covey? We have rounded up the best collection of Stephen Covey quotes, sayings, wishes, and captions (with images and pictures) about life, leadership, success, teamwork, and character to motivate you.

Covey is considered one of the most respected authorities on leadership, having authored “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” which was named the most influential business book of the twentieth century.

Stephen R. Covey was an American non-fiction author, educator, businessman, and influential public speaker. He has authored many books which helped in changing the lives of millions of people.

Also See: Aldous Huxley Quotes

Covey launched “Covey Leadership Center” to help people and organization to achieve their goals. He also established Stephen Covey’s Online Community and career development webinar series.

Covey was also honored by many prestigious awards and accolades throughout his life including the International Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Americans, Fatherhood Award, and International Man of Peace Award.

Unfortunately, Stephen died in a tragic bicycle accident on July 16, 2012,  but his legacy will continue to stay. He’s one of the most established writers of all time and his books continue to sell well today also that inspire you to change for success.

These motivational quotes are divided into these sections;

  • Best Stephen Covey Quotes
  • Famous Quotes By Stephen Covey
  • Popular Stephen Covey Quotes On Leadership
  • Top Stephen Covey Quotes On Change
  • Stephen Covey The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Quotes

These popular quotes from Stephen Covey will encourage you to develop long lasting habits that will help you to change your life completely.

If you like these inspirational sayings then also check out I Can And I Will Quotes and you changed my life quotes to give you the motivation to overcome your struggles and be a winner.

10 Best Stephen Covey Quotes

  1. “Live, love, laugh, leave a legacy.” – Stephen Covey                                                                       
    quotes by stephen covey
    quotes by stephen covey

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

  3. “I teach people how to treat me by what I will allow.” – Stephen Covey                                       
    best quotes by stephen covey
    best quotes by stephen covey

  4. “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” – Stephen Covey                                     
    Stephen R. Covey Quotes
    Stephen R. Covey Quotes

  5. “A life of integrity is the most fundamental source of personal worth.” – Stephen Covey

  6. “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” – Stephen Covey                                                                                                                                     
    stephen covey quotes images
    stephen covey quotes images

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

  8. “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” – Stephen Covey                                                                                                           
    steven covey quote
    steven covey quote

  9. “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

  10. “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.”” – Stephen Covey

Famous Quotes By Stephen Covey

Further, Covey published many other books including The Eight Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness which was a sequel to The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In his works, Covey has covered various topics, some of them including leadership and encouraging children to work on developing to their full potential.

All of the books written by Covey are written in a concise and clear way. They are not superficial like many other personal development books. This is why his books are so successful.

  1. “Be proactive.” – Stephen Covey

  2. “Think win-win.” – Stephen Covey

  3. “Put first things first.” – Stephen Covey

  4. “Listen with your eyes for feelings.” – Stephen Covey

  5. “Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen Covey

  6. “Setbacks are inevitable; misery is a choice.” – Stephen Covey                                                     
    Stephen Covey Quotes about Life
    Stephen Covey Quotes about Life

  7. “Don’t get buried in the thick of thin things.” – Stephen Covey

  8. “The way we see the problem is the problem.” – Stephen Covey

  9. “Strength lies in differences not in similarities.” – Stephen Covey                                               
    quotes of stephen covey
    quotes of stephen covey

  10. “Little kindness and courtesies are so important.” – Stephen Covey

  11. “In relationships, the little things are the big things.” – Stephen Covey                                     
    famous Stephen Covey Quotes
    famous Stephen Covey Quotes

  12. “You and I together are far greater than we are alone.” – Stephen Covey

  13. “The key to life is not accumulation. It’s contribution.” – Stephen Covey                               
    quotes from stephen covey
    quotes from stephen covey

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

  15. “What you do has far greater impact than what you say.” – Stephen Covey

  16. “If two people have the same opinion, one is unnecessary.” – Stephen Covey

  17. “You can buy a person’s hands but you can’t buy his heart.” – Stephen Covey

  18. “Our most important financial asset is our own capacity to earn.” – Stephen Covey

  19. “The more involved you are, the more significant your learning will be.” – Stephen Covey

  20. “Education the heart is the critical complement to educating the mind.” – Stephen Covey

  21. “The great apparent dichotomy is that the more we give, the more we get.” – Stephen Covey

  22. “A disciplined person follows values stemming from their source — the self.” – Stephen Covey

  23. “While we cannot always choose what happens to us, we can choose our responses.” – Stephen Covey

  24. “A personal mission statement becomes the DNA for every other decision we make.” – Stephen Covey

  25. “Start small, make a promise and keep it. Then, make larger promises and keep them.” – Stephen Covey

  26. “How you treat the one reveals how you regard the many, because everyone is ultimately a one.” – Stephen Covey

  27. “Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.” – Stephen Covey

  28. “Our ultimate freedom is the right and power anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.” – Stephen Covey

  29. “We are free to choose our actions… but we are not free to choose the consequences of these actions.” – Stephen Covey

  30. “Most arguments are not really disagreements but are rather little ego battles and misunderstandings.” – Stephen Covey

  31. “Synergy is the very essence of the family. Every family member contributes a different flavor to the mix.” – Stephen Covey

  32. “Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” – Stephen Covey

  33. “… a family mission statement gives your family a future focus, a sense of hope, a sense of deep meaningful purpose.” – Stephen Covey

  34. “When you make a commitment to yourself, do so with the clear understanding that you’re pledging your integrity.” – Stephen Covey

  35. “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” – Stephen Covey

  36. “My experience tells me that people instinctively trust those whose personality is founded upon correct principles.” – Stephen Covey

  37. “Moral authority comes from following universal and timeless principles like honesty, integrity, treating people with respect.” – Stephen Covey

  38. “Highly proactive people don’t blame circumstances, conditions or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior of their own conscious choice.” – Stephen Covey

  39. “My paradigm shifted. Suddenly I saw things differently, and because I saw differently, I thought differently, I felt differently, I behaved differently.” – Stephen R. Covey

  40. “Our character is basically a composite of our habits because they are consistent. Often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.” – Stephen Covey

  41. “The quality of our thoughts determine our actions and our actions develop our habit. Our habit create our character and our character forges our destiny.” – Stephen Covey

  42. “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

  43. “Your commitment to achieving what matters most will become the foundation for tremendous accomplishments and contributions. You will become the change you seek to make.” – Stephen Covey

  44. “The more people rationalize cheating, the more it becomes a culture of dishonesty. And that can become a vicious, downward cycle. Because suddenly, if everyone else is cheating, you feel a need to cheat, too.” – Stephen Covey

  45. “Synergy is what happens when one plus one equals ten or a hundred or even a thousand! It’s the profound result when two or more respectful human beings determine to go beyond their preconceived ideas to meet a great challenge.” – Stephen Covey

  46. “Deep within each of us is an inner longing to live a life of greatness and contribution – to really matter, to really make a difference. We can consciously decide to leave behind a life of mediocrity and to life a life of greatness – at home, at work, and in the community.” – Stephen Covey

  47. “The most important ingredient we put into any relationship is not what we say or what we do, but what we are. And if our words and our actions come from superficial human relations techniques (the Personality Ethic) rather than from our own inner core (the Character Ethic), others will sense that duplicity.” – Stephen Covey

  48. “Inevitably, anytime we are too vulnerable we feel the need to protect ourselves from further wounds. So we resort to sarcasm, cutting humor, criticism — anything that will keep from exposing the tenderness within. Each partner tends to wait on the initiative of the other for love, only to be disappointed but also confirmed as to the rightness of the accusations made.” – Stephen Covey

  49. “One day, naked and alone in a small room, he began to become aware of what he later called “the last of the human freedoms”—the freedom his Nazi captors could not take away. They could control his entire environment, they could do what they wanted to his body, but Viktor Frankl himself was a self-aware being who could look as an observer at his very involvement. His basic identity was intact. He could decide within himself how all of this was going to affect him. Between what happened to him, or the stimulus, and his response to it, was his freedom or power to choose that response.” – Stephen Covey

  50. “[W]isdom is the child of integrity—being integrated around principles. And integrity is the child of humility and courage. In fact, you could say that humility is the mother of all virtues because humility acknowledges that there are natural laws or principles that govern the universe. They are in charge. Pride teaches us that we are in charge. Humility teaches us to understand and live by principles, because they ultimately govern the consequences of our actions. If humility is the mother, courage is the father of wisdom. Because to truly live by these principles when they are contrary to social mores, norms and values takes enormous courage.” – Stephen Covey

Popular Stephen Covey Quotes On Leadership

Some words of encouragement and wisdom can make a great change in the way we look at things.

These famous leadership and change quotes by the author will help you to get a positive perspective about team management and leading from the front.


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

  2. “He who has a why can deal with any what or how.” – Stephen Covey

  3. “Primary greatness is on the inside. It’s about character.” – Stephen Covey                             
    Stephen Covey Quotes on Character
    Stephen Covey Quotes on Character

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

  5. “Make time for planning; Wars are won in the general’s tent.” – Stephen Covey

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

  7. “It is possible to be busy-very busy-without being very effective.” – Stephen Covey

  8. “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Stephen Covey

  9. “By behaving in ways that build trust with one, you build trust with many.” – Stephen Covey

  10. “Leadership is a choice that lies in the space between stimulus and response.” – Stephen Covey

  11. “Treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” – Stephen Covey

  12. “A humble person is more concerned about what is right than about being right …” – Stephen Covey

  13. “Unless you’re continually improving your skills, you’re quickly becoming irrelevant.” – Stephen Covey

  14. “In the Industrial Age, leadership was a position. In the Knowledge Age, leadership is a choice.” – Stephen Covey

  15. “Be a light not a judge. Be a model not a choice. be part of the solution not part of the problem.” – Stephen Covey

  16. “To think we’re in control is an illusion. It puts us in the position of trying to manage consequences.” – Stephen Covey

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

  18. “If you put good people in bad systems you get bad results. You have to water the flowers you want to grow.” – Stephen Covey

  19. “Leadership is the highest of the arts, simply because it enables all the other arts and professions to work.” – Stephen Covey

  20. “You can retire from a job, but don’t ever retire from making extremely meaningful contributions in life.” – Stephen Covey

  21. “Are leaders born or made? This is a false dichotomy – leaders are neither born nor made. Leaders choose to be leaders.” – Stephen Covey

  22. “Effective people are not problem-minded; they’re opportunity-minded. They feed opportunities and starve problems.” – Stephen Covey

  23. “We may be very busy, we may be very ‘efficient’, but we will also be truly ‘effective’ only when we begin with the end in mind.” – Stephen Covey

  24. “Once you have a clear picture of your priorities that is values, goals, and high leverage activities, organize your life around them.” – Stephen Covey

  25. “It’s become a status symbol in our society – if we’re busy, we’re important; if we’re not busy, we’re almost embarrassed to admit it.” – Stephen Covey

  26. “Synergy is not only the answer to human conflict; it is also the principle that underlies the creation of every truly new thing in the world.” – Stephen Covey

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

  28. “Most meetings are a waste of time, because they are so ill-prepared and there’s so little opportunity for true synergy in producing better results.” – Stephen Covey

  29. “If you wish to communicate effectively and to influence others, you would need to understand them first. And understanding can only come from listening.” – Stephen Covey

  30. “Basing our happiness on our ability to control everything is futile. While we do control our choice of action, we cannot control the consequences of our choices.” – Stephen Covey

  31. “Time management is essentially a set of competencies. The idea is that if you can develop certain competencies, you’ll be able to create quality-of-life results.” – Stephen Covey

  32. “More than an evolution, we need a revolution. We need to move beyond time management to life leadership – to a fourth generation based on paradigms that will create quality-of-life results.” – Stephen Covey

  33. “I don’t define leadership as becoming the CEO. A CEO is no more likely to be a leader than anyone else. I am talking about leading your own life, being a leader among your friends, being a leader in your own family.” – Stephen Covey

  34. “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

  35. “The bottom line is, when people are crystal clear about the most important priorities of the organization and team they work with and prioritized their work around those top priorities, not only are they many times more productive, they discover they have the time they need to have a whole life.” – Stephen Covey

Top Stephen Covey Quotes On Change

Covey has always emphasized on the importance of accepting change and evolving every day and be a better version of yourself.

With time and new developments we all need to look forward and adapt and update ourself. Clinging to past experiences will only hinder your growth.

These wise words and sayings by Covey through light on how changing and exploring new ideas will lead to our personal growth.

  1. “Link yourself to your potential, not to your past.” – Stephen Covey

  2. “Happen to things, don’t let things happen to you.” – Stephen Covey

  3. “Being influenceable is the key to influencing others.” – Stephen Covey

  4. “You can’t change the fruit without changing the root.” – Stephen Covey

  5. “The wonderful thing is that vision is greater than baggage.” – Stephen Covey

  6. “Empathy takes time, and efficiency is for things, not people.” – Stephen Covey

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

  8. “We judge ourselves by our intentions. And others by their actions.” – Stephen Covey

  9. “The greatest thing you can do for your children is love your spouse.” – Stephen Covey

  10. “Each of us guards a gate of change that can be opened only from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

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

  12. “To learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.” – Stephen Covey

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

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

  15. “We GET results based on what we DO, and what we DO depends on how we SEE the world around us.” – Stephen Covey

  16. “If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control – myself.” – Stephen Covey

  17. “To achieve goals you’ve never achieved before you need to start doing things you’ve never done before.” – Stephen Covey

  18. “The roots of the problems we face in the world, in our national life, and in our family and personal lives are spiritual.” – Stephen Covey

  19. “I think the most significant work we’ll do in our whole life, in our whole world is done within the four walls of our home.” – Stephen Covey

  20. “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

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

  22. “Don’t argue for other people’s weaknesses. Don’t argue for your own. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it – immediately.” – Stephen Covey

  23. “The only thing that endures over time is the Law of the Farm. You must prepare the ground, plant the seed, cultivate, and water it if you expect to reap the harvest.” – Stephen Covey

  24. “But until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday”, that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise”.” – Stephen Covey

  25. “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

  26. “To value oneself and, at the same time, subordinate oneself to higher purposes and principles is the paradoxical essence of highest humanity and the foundation of effective leadership.” – Stephen Covey

  27. “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

  28. “To the degree people recognize and live in harmony with such basic principles as fairness, equity, justice, integrity, honesty, and trust, they move toward either survival and stability on the one hand or disintegration and destruction on the other.” – Stephen Covey

  29. “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

  30. “If I make deposits into an Emotional Bank Account with you through courtesy, kindness, honesty, and keeping my commitments to you, I build up a reserve. Your trust toward me becomes higher, and I can call upon that trust many times if I need to. I can even make mistakes and that trust level, that emotional reserve, will compensate for it. My communication may not be clear, but you’ll get my meaning anyway. You won’t make me “an offender for a word.” When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.” – Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Quotes

The bestseller Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for an unprecedented 250 weeks.

The purpose of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to help you lead your life in a truly effective way. They represent a proven process of personal and interpersonal growth that can have an immediate and lasting impact.

Also See: Life Changing Quotes

Stephen Covey believed that all of our actions are the result of past conditioning and that we must change our habits, and who we are, in order to succeed with making large changes in our lives.

  1. “Start with the end in mind. ” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  2. “Happiness, like unhappiness, is a proactive choice.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  3. “Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  4. “Admission of ignorance is often the first step in our education.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  5. “Ineffective people live day after day with unused potential.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  6. “To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  7. “When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  8. “Courage isn’t absence of fear, it is the awareness that something else is important.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  9. “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are──or, as we are conditioned to see it.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  10. “It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  11. “The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  12. “Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  13. “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  14. “As you care less about what people think of you, you will care more about what others think of themselves.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  15. “Two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right. It’s not logical; it’s psychological.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  16. “At some time in your life, you probably had someone believe in you when you didn’t believe in yourself.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  17. “There’s no better way to inform and expand your mind on a regular basis than to get into the habit of reading good literature.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  18. “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  19. “Love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is the fruit of love the verb or our loving actions. So love her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  20. “It is one thing to make a mistake, and quite another thing not to admit it. People will forgive mistakes, because mistakes are usually of the mind, mistakes of judgment. But people will not easily forgive the mistakes of the heart, the ill intention, the bad motives, the prideful justifying cover-up of the first mistake.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Steven Covey Biography

Covey was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 24, 1932. Covey when in school was very good in athletics, but due to a serious hip injury, he had to give up on sports and decided to focus completely on his academics.

He did very well in high school and then graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in business administration. After graduation, Covey did his MBA from Harvard University and a Doctorate of Religious Education (DRE) from Brigham Young University.

Not until the 1980’s Covey started working on self-help books. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People his first self-help book came in 1989 and became a huge success. It sold over 25 million copies and was regularly put on readers’ favorites lists.

In the book, Covey explains the traits that people need to become successful. He further explains that success is not achieved due to luck but results from the hard work and habits you develop and follow.

The book encourages you to develop habits that Covey is confident will make anyone successful.

After completing his studies, Covey started teaching at Brigham Young University. In 1962, he became the first president of the Irish Mission of the church.

While serving the church Covey penned many spiritual works, some of them being Spiritual Roots of Human Relations and The Divine Center.

These best Stephen Covey quotes also cover Stephen Covey 7 habits quotes, Stephen Covey quotes on change, Stephen Covey quotes leadership, Stephen Covey quotes about life, Stephen Covey quotes on trust, Stephen Covey quotes on goals, Stephen Covey quotes on relationships, Stephen Covey quotes teamwork, Stephen Covey quotes on success, and Stephen Covey quotes on character.

If you are motivated by these wise words of wisdom, feel free to spread the positive vibes and share them with friends and family on Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, and more.

If we have missed some quotes, share them with us in the comment section below and we shall be happy to add them to the list.

Share the inspiration with friends & family!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *