Soundview Executive Book Summaries


The Covey Family Business

We just booked Sean Covey and Chris McChesney, authors of The 4 Disciplines of Execution, for an upcoming webinar in July, and as I was reviewing the book and information about the development of their execution training, I was reminded of the Covey business legacy.

Stephen R. Covey first broke onto the business scene back in 1989 when he published The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The audio-book of this title later became the first non-fiction audio-book to sell more than a million copies, and the book has sold over 25 million copies.

The elder Covey has followed up his 7 Habits book with The 8th Habit, Principle-Centered Leadership, and recently The 3rd Alternative, along with various versions of the 7 Habits book and additional titles he co-authored. His highly successful Covey Leadership Center eventually merged with Franklin Quest to become FranklinCovey.

His son Stephen M.R. Covey joined the family business, moving up through the ranks to become CEO of Covey Leadership Center. He later started his own company CoveyLink with friend Greg Link. Together they wrote The Speed of Trust and recently followed this up with Smart Trust.

Another son of the elder Stephen, Sean Covey, is Executive Vice President of Global Solutions and Partnerships for FranklinCovey. He followed up his father’s 7 Habits book with The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and just last month released The 4 Disciplines of Execution, based on research and training programs developed through FranklinCovey.

Even the in-laws are part of the business. A.Roger Merrill and Rebecca Merrill co-authored First Things First with Covey in 1994, and later wrote the follow-up title Life Matters.  I wouldn’t be surprised if more Coveys appear on the business scene in the coming years, since Dr. Covey has 9 children and 52 grandchildren.

The real legacy that the Coveys will leave is a laser-focused emphasis on bringing what’s important in life into business. Family values, ethical and moral values, and spiritual life all play a part in his writing and teaching. If we all could integrate our life inside and outside of work into a coherent whole, we would be saved from many of the troubling issues that currently haunt corporate America.

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What Makes a Great Career

How often during the course of a year do see an article about job satisfaction? While no one would ever say that there is an upside to our current economic situation, it is interesting to note that times of economic hardship can sometimes quell the discussion of happiness on the job. In tough times, any job appears to be a great job.

However, there are those that would argue that even economic hardship is no excuse to stay in a job that doesn’t bring satisfaction. After all, in the relationship between a dissatisfied worker and his or her employer, neither side is truly getting what it wants. Wouldn’t  it be more satisfying to have a career that not only brought personal satisfaction but also helped a company to achieve its goals? Nothing should prevent an individual from attempting to find this type of career now. Why wait another day?

Fortunately, one of Soundview’s newest summaries addresses this idea. Our long-time friend Stephen R. Covey and co-author Jennifer Colosimo provide a must-read guidebook to finding one’s way to a better, more fulfilling career in the Soundview summary of Great Work, Great Career: How to Create Your Ultimate Job and Make an Extraordinary Contribution. If you’ve ever wanted to go beyond the traditional role of employee and find your way to your ultimate job, this summary is a great place to start!

If you’re not currently a Soundview subscriber, Great Work, Great Career is a terrific reason to start a subscription. Don’t forget, all of Soundview’s summaries are available in eight digital formats.



Predict the Unpredictable

You’d think after a long day of reading and summarizing the best business books the last thing I’d want to do with my free time is read. What can I say? It’s a passion and I’m blessed that I’m able to work in a field I enjoy. Of course, when the working day is over, I like to relax with a novel or the occasional biography. Any book lover (I believe the clinical term is bibliophile) will tell you that one of their greatest joys is wandering through a used bookstore for hours, pulling random titles from the shelves or discovering a hidden treasure among the stacks. I was delighted to see one of my favorite establishments profiled in The New York Times but sad to hear that it may be changing hands.

As The Times article indicates, the world of the independent bookseller has been somewhat gloomy in the era of Amazon.com. However, the shop profiled in the article has enjoyed a rare amount of success over the past several years. This quality, the ability to have success in a time when there are no guarantees, is the subject of a new summary from Soundview. Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times: How to Win in Any Environment is written by management legend Stephen R. Covey and co-author Bob Whitman. This excellent book offers a look into why some companies are able to weather any storm and perform with consistency. With so  many companies rethinking every step of how they do business, Covey and Whitman provide much needed guidance to finding stability and success. 

Before you go out browsing for your next read, check out our summary of Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times: How to Win in Any Environment.