Filipinos remember Stephen Covey's '7 Habits'
When Filipina Rina Songco learned Stephen Covey passed away, she felt sad, despite never having met the motivational book author. Like many others all over the world, Songco remembers discovering Covey's “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” in the 90s.
At the time, Songco was a high school student, and her batchmates were passing around a plastic-covered copy of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens.” The book, written by Stephen's son Sean Covey, applies the elder Covey's “7 Habits” to teenagers and the issues relevant to them.
"This ultimate teenage success book provides a step-by-step guide to helps teens improve their self-image, build friendships, resist peer pressure, achieve goals, get along with parents, and more," reads the book description on Sean Covey's website.
Songco admits that she didn't get to finish reading the teenage version, but when she became an IT professional, her company would recommend attending seminars on the “7 Habits.”
"Actually it was more helpful for adults. In a sense, it creates a baseline for how things are done by the team. We approach the goal in almost the same manner but with different perspectives which allows us to come up with the best technique or solution possible," she shares.
Mia Ventura, who works for an investment bank, also learned Covey's “7 Habits” at work.
"One thing they emphasize when we deal all kinds of people is empathy (Habit 5). We have trainings and exercises on them. It helps other people feel secure when they share scenarios or operational difficulties and when they feel that we are able to empathize, they're more willing to accept the recommended solutions," she shares.
While not everyone who reads the “7 Habits” will be able to stick to them religiously, the book provides a helpful guide which they can use from time to time.
As a college student, Trish Leyesa found Covey's advice useful, particularly the Eisenhower Grid which helps prioritize tasks. And now as an IT professional, she still uses the grid, which helps her come up with realistic timelines to set clients' expectations.
"I can tell them I can finish a task in three days and then the discussion moves from there," says Leyesa.
At Reedley International School, students are taught using a Life Skills curriculum, which is based on principles of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens.” According to the official Reedley blog, headmaster Jerome Castro believes the school's emphasis on these habits for success "make the students particularly well-rounded and adept at coping with the demands of life."
"Thank you for inspiring Reesians to become better individuals... His life lessons will continue to live on," the school said in its condolence message to Covey's family.
At Reedley, the “7 Habits” are taught using activities such as role playing, mock job interviews, and film viewing. Life Skills is taught from Grades 1 to 7 and Upper School levels 1 to 4.
'One of the world’s great human beings'
"We lost a dear friend today. Stephen was one of the world's great human beings. His impact is incalculable and his influence will continue to inspire generations to come," said Bob Whitman, Chairman and CEO of FranklinCovey Co.
Stephen Covey was co-founder and a former vice-chairman and director of the company, which was formed in 1997 when he merged his Covey Leadership Center with FranklinQuest, a global performance improvement company that operates in over 125 countries, including the Philippines.
Headed by Rev. Bienvenido Nebres, S.J., the Center for Leadership and Change, Inc (CLCI) at the Ateneo Professional Schools brings international speakers from FranklinCovey to the Philippines to conduct workshops and other training sessions.
Their programs include the 7 Habits Signature, the 7 Habits for Associates, the 7 Habits Maximizer, the 7 Habits for Managers, and a Certification Workshop.
Covey's international bestseller “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. He also wrote other management books, including “First Things First,” “Principle-Centered Leadership,” “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families,” and “The 8th Habit.”
Covey died at the age of 80 on July 16 due to the residual effects of a bicycle accident he suffered in April. –KG, GMA News