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Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Next Best Thing

"In order to retain the loyalty of those who are present, never speak ill of those who are absent": Stephen Covey

Despite his politics and fundamentalism, the late Stephen Covey's writing has exerted a significant impact on my development as a person. Three of his books - including the runaway bestseller "Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People" - are so marked up I've considered buying 2nd copies. After hearing myself quote him yet again recently with the words opening this post, and then soon after reviewing my notes from those three books, I stopped to reflect - Who introduced me to this man's work? Before that, a few questions for you.

Who first led you to an author that subsequently influenced your life? Have you acknowledged your debt to the person who helped you discover a treasure that could have easily escaped your attention? If no, why not?

With respect to the work of Stephen Covey, my next step was searching out a work colleague from the early 90's. Colleagues the two of us once shared and Facebook helped me find her and send a message saying thanks for a gift given to me over twenty years ago. Most of us will likely not get to meet or interact with authors who've had an impact on our growth. So, why not the next best thing? If you proceed, share with me and others the author who has influenced you, who turned you onto that author, and your path to acknowledging the gift given to you.

1 comment:

  1. Never read Covey but your disclaimer, "despite his fundamentalism", underscores a fatal flaw with the premises of his work. In philosophy there is a saying, "never use an 'is' to justify an 'ought'". Covey uses his fundamental belief system as justification for the way things should be. If, by chance, some his 'oughts' correspond to useful habits it is probably because these things are common-sense heuristics that have been around for a long time, tried and true. Perhaps his writings have been helpful to some despite underlying premises which are false, covariation in nature often being conflated with causality.