Home > Uncategorized > Reading notes, part one: Stephen Covey article

Reading notes, part one: Stephen Covey article

The Jan. 15-17 issue of USA Weekend has an article by Stephen Covey, the business leadership guru, offering “seven new ways that each of us can bridge the gulf that separates us from our neighbors.” The premise is that Americans are deeply divided on many issues these days. Here, in a nutshell, is Covey’s advice:

1. “Really try to understand different points of view.” Good advice, but it’s difficult to convince an ideologue, which many people are these days,  to even consider another point of view.

2. “Come up with a third solution that’s better than those already proposed.” Another good idea. Hasn’t worked very well with health care reform, though.

3. “Model yourself after others.” He suggests striving to emulate the best traits of great people such as Abraham Lincoln,  John F. Kennedy and Nelson Mandela. Makes sense but hard to measure up.

4. Don’t let the quest for riches or bitter rivalries obscure who you really are or want to be. Sure. His example is the millionaire who quit the fast lane and started Habitat for Humanity. Great story, but most of us don’t have the income comfort to drop our jobs and pursue another dream. Still a nice idea that can be achieved on a smaller scale through various volunteering efforts.

5. Try new things to widen and deepen your perspective. If you think you hate NASCAR, for example, go to a race and find out firsthand what it’s like. This is the best one so far. It really works.

6. “Understand your audience.” In other words, take an interest in other people, so that you can do a better job of speaking to them about things they care about and perhaps persuading them to your point of view. Makes sense.

7. Laugh. “Is there a better way to break the ice and build a bridge?” Covey asks. He’s right, laughter is a good tool to bring people together.

Okay, so what’s the verdict? Covey’s advice is sound. But I’ve become cynical of late about the hardening of people’s political views. I see this in the e-mails and online comments I receive after my column is published each Friday. Things can swing back to more open-mindedness, but right now too many people are only hearing what they want to hear and not listening to other sides.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Dan
    January 27, 2010 at 8:53 AM

    If you would like to implement some of Stephen Covey’s best ideas, you can use this web aplication:


    You can use it to manage and prioritize your Goals (in each of your life’s categories), projects and tasks, in an intuitive interface. It has a Checklists section, for the repetitive activities you have to do, important but not urgent (Quadrant II, for example your routines/habits). Also, it features a Schedules section and a Calendar, for scheduling you time, activities and for the weekly review.

    Some features from GTD are also present, like Contexts and Next Actions.

    And it’s available on the mobile phone too, so you can access it wherever you are.

    • May 26, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      Dude Congratulations..Its great to see your 100th post. Hihglights, I love about your postings..1.Simplicity in cotnnet.2.Content, you want to read till the end and make you comment.3.Consistent postings4.Organized categoriesAs always, this is like a Hot coffee to me I drop in everyday for a nice brew.

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