By Steve Eaton, editor
Sandra Covey remembers a time she got an unusual phone call while she and her husband were skiing at the Sundance Resort in Utah.
Photo by Sterling Morris
It was someone who told her that U.S. President Bill Clinton was on the phone and would like to talk to her husband, Stephen Covey.
“Oh, sure he is,” Ms. Covey remembers saying, not believing she was keeping the president of the United States waiting.
“No ma’am, this is true,” the voice said. “This is the White House.”
Ms. Covey said when she realized the phone call wasn’t a prank, she went out onto the slopes to get her husband.
Dr. Covey must be used to such calls by now. He has met with presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He has trained 34 heads of state. When he goes to speak in a given country, he’ll contact the head of state and offer his services. Nearly always, the opportunity to talk with Dr. Covey is welcomed. He has not only trained presidents of many countries, but he has also spent time with their cabinets and legislators.
Dr. Covey still travels the world working with organizations and companies interested in getting guidance directly from him. He has even taught in stadiums in India. Jon M. Huntsman said he fully realized just how widespread Dr. Covey’s influence is on a trip to India. He tells a story about a time he was in Mumbai when his car was approached at an intersection by young boys trying to sell him pirated copies of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Dr. Covey’s books have sold more than 20 million copies in 38 languages and in 2002 Forbes named the 7 Habits book one of the top 10 most influential management books ever written. The audio tape version of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is the best-selling nonfiction audio book in history. He has authored the best-sellers, First Things First, Principle-Centered Leadership, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness and several other books. His most recent book is Great Work, Great Career. Dr. Covey said he has another seven books in the works.
Dr. Covey is the co-founder and vice chairman of FranklinCovey, the leading global professional services firm in the world, with offices in 123 countries. He was inducted into the Shingo Academy in April 2002. In 2003, he received the Fatherhood Award from the National Fatherhood Initiative.