Remembering Stephen Covey

Author and self-help pioneer Stephen Covey left us with a wealth of ideas and resources for changing and improving behaviors when he passed away in 2012, at age 79, following a tragic bicycle accident. As we begin a new year and look forward to the days and months ahead, we would be wise to regularly keep in mind Covey’s timeless principles such as “Be proactive,” “Think win-win,” and “Begin with an end in mind,” to name a few.

All part of his groundbreaking book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” these concepts still sound so simple, yet they made Covey a force of human nature and have been woven into the emotional well-being of millions in almost any walk of life, from self-help to corner offices of Corporate America. Former President Bill Clinton once cited “7 Habits” as one of the three books every worker should read to help boost productivity and Chief Executive magazine chose it as the most influential book of the 20th Century.

Covey once told USA Today that he developed the “7 Habits” after studying hundreds of books and essays on success written since 1776. He said he noticed that the literature of the 20th century was dominated by gimmicks or “social Band-Aids” to improve the personality. In contrast, the writings of Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin, for example, were based on character and principles such as integrity, courage and patience.

Here from an article published by is a summary of Covey’s “7 Habits,” presented with the hope that they contribute not only to improving your success in the workplace but in your personal life as well:

Be Proactive — As human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. We have the independent will to make our own choices and decisions, and the responsibility to make the right choices. You have the freedom to choose your own fate and path, so having the independent will, imagination and self-awareness to make the right move make you a proactive, and not a reactive, person.

Begin With The End In Mind – Mental visualization is extremely important. Covey said that all things are created twice: first, the mental conceptualization and visualization and then the physical actual creation. Becoming your own creator means to plan and visualize what you’re going to do and what you’re setting out to accomplish and then go out and creating it. Identifying your personal statement and your principles will help.

Put First Things First — With your power of independent will, you can create the ending you want to have. Part of that comes with effective time management, starting with matters of importance. Then tasks should be completed based on urgency after you deal with all of the important matters. If you deal with crisis, pressing problems and deadline-driven projects first, your life will be a lot easier.

Think Win/Win – If you believe in a better way to accomplish goals that are mutually beneficial to all sides, that’s a win/win situation. “All parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan,” Covey wrote. “One person’s success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others.” If you have integrity and maturity, there’s no reason win/win situations can’t happen all the time.

Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood – If you’re a good listener and you take the time to understand a concept, it will help you convey your opinions, plans and goals to others. It starts with communication and strong listening skills, followed by diagnosing the situation and then communicating your solution to others.

Synergize – Synergistic communication, according to Covey, is “opening your mind and heart to new possibilities, new alternatives, new options.” This applies to the classroom, the business world and wherever you could apply openness and communication. It’s all about building cooperation and trust.

Sharpen The Saw – Last but not least, sometimes you’re working so hard on the other six habits that you forget about re-energizing and renewing yourself to sharpen yourself for the tasks in front of you. Some sharpening techniques can include exercise and nutrition, reading, planning and writing, service and empathy, and study and meditation. Indeed, taking the time to focus on some of them can be a big help as you plan for achieving future goals and objectives.

News from BLK

As we enter into 2013, we would like to wish everyone a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. We are pleased to report that our office is buzzing with activity and we are busy matching qualified candidates with new job orders. We are optimistic that the activity level will continue at this fast pace throughout 2013.

On the technology front, Berman Larson Kane has completed a year-long project of moving all of our technology over to a cloud platform. Migrating our phone system over the past few weeks has brought this project to a close. We are very pleased with the results of the migration and the flexibility it affords our staff in being better able to serve our clients.