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Primary Greatness: The 12 Levers of Success Paperback – November 15, 2016
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"When life weighs us down with problems and disappointments, we sometimes feel that we are not successful and it is difficult to move forward, let alone make progress toward reaching our goals. In this book, Stephen Covey provides us with 12 principles to live by that can help us have the character, courage and confidence to push past life’s difficulties to create our very best life.”—Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, 2006
“Primary Greatness teaches that what some may consider greatness – money, power, social prominence – is far less important than a life of honesty, love, and contribution. It is in fact, personal integrity that is the foundation for all success. In this powerful set of essays, Stephen Covey shows that you cannot deliver value without values.”—Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo
Dr. Covey’s teachings have been instrumental in shaping both my personal and professional life. The 12 levers outlined in Primary Greatness outline a clear path for anyone to achieve success. This is a wonderful book filled with incredible nuggets and wisdom.”—Kevin Turner, COO, Microsoft
"In these remarkable early essays by Stephen Covey, you'll find the core principles of genuine success — and the seeds of the famous seven habits. With his trademark clarity, Covey emphasizes the importance of integrity and intrinsic rewards and makes a powerful case for life our live more from imagination than memory. PRIMARY GREATNESS is an ideal book for anyone looking for guidance in how to live a truly successful, worthwhile life of service.”—Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of DRIVE, TO SELL IS HUMAN, and A WHOLE NEW MIND
"The essays in this book are still so timely, even though Covey wrote them many years ago. In this book, he continues to remind us that what we do every day in our personal and professional relationships – how we treat others – reflects our loyalty and commitment to building lives of character. Thank you, Stephen, for providing us with these pearls of wisdom."—Kimo Kippen, Chief Learning Officer, Hilton Worldwide University
About the Author
Recognized as one of Time magazine’s twenty-five most influential Americans, Stephen R. Covey (1932–2012) was an internationally respected leadership authority, family expert, teacher, organizational consultant, and author. His books have sold more than twenty-five million copies in thirty-eight languages, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was named the #1 Most Influential Business Book of the Twentieth Century. After receiving an MBA from Harvard and a doctorate degree from Brigham Young University, he became the cofounder and vice chairman of FranklinCovey, a leading global training firm.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book truly makes me think and reflect, upon a turbulent world that we live in nowadays. We are enslaved by the internet, social media, gadgets, and smartphones. We are more hooked into both quick-fixes and superficialities, while getting less and less in touch with our true inner voices. I cannot stop reading this book, once I got both the Kindle and Audible versions of it. Frankly speaking, for the past 4 to 5 years, I am mostly disappointed with the so-called new books published by Franklin Covey, since they are getting more and more commercialized, always repeating the same old stuff, especially spinning off from the "7 Habits brand franchise". But this time, when I read this new book, I found it more like the books of Dr.Covey in his earlier years (probably condensed from many of his older articles!), by which are more deep and in touch with our hearts, rather than just theoretically appealing to our heads. Even just by reading Sean Covey's preface, I was so touched by it, and I kept reading, fully inspired by the importance of pursuing Primary Greatness in one's life for deeper meaning, achievements and happiness. Hope you will be inspired by it too!
As Sean Covey explains, “This book is an excellent collection of several of my father’ best essays that have never appeared in book form and aren’t well known. But they are vintage Stephen Covey and contain some of his best thinking.” I agree.
With regard to this book’s title, Covey continued to emphasize to his son that there are two ways to live: “Primary greatness is who you really are – your character, integrity, your deepest motives and desires. Secondary greatness is popularity, title, position, fame, fortune, and honors. He taught me not to worry about secondary greatness and focus on primary greatness.”
These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of coverage in Primary Greatness:
o Examining motives and the inner life ((Pages 5-7)
o Achieving success with maturity as a sign of greatness (13-22)
o Relationships (15-17 and 82-83)
o Discipline and habits (20-22)
o Magnetic forces and culture (35-37)
o Accountability mindset (41-43 and 91-93)
o Gandhi and proper behavior (43-44)
o Business ethics (53-54 and 60-62)
o Gossiping (56-57 and 120-123)
o Identifying gifts and talents (76-78)
o Priorities and Primary Greatness (74-87)
o Creating an essence of leadership (81-87)
o Sacrifice and and Primary Greatness (88-96)
o Responsibility and Primary Greatness (106-114)
o Steadfast loyalty (116-123)
o Security and diversity (136-139)
o Knowledge and continuous learning (145-146 and 150154)
o Mental health/Social skills/Wellness (150-154)
o Teaching to learn and culture (158-160)
o Wisdom (161-169)
o Change (171-172 and 175-177)
This is an anthology of eighteen essays, each about nine pages in length. To varying degree, they reveal the nature and extent of the potential impact of twelve “levers of success” – Integrity, Contribution, Priority, Sacrifice, Service, Responsibility, Loyalty, Reciprocity, Diversity, Learning, Renewal, and Teaching -- when attempting to achieve personal growth and professional development. A separate chapter is devoted to each of the eight.
As I read and then re-read the material in this book, I felt as if Stephen Covey had written it for me. His insights and counsel helped me to reflect on my life thus far, to examine (in fact, re-examine) my current circumstances, and then begin to formulate a path to follow during whatever time remains for me. My guess (only a guess) is that many others who read this book will feel the same way.
One final point: Primary greatness is not an ultimate destination; rather, it is a never-ending process, a journey during which there will be an abundance of perils as well as opportunities. How to respond? Presumably Stephen Covey agrees with Helen Keller: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”