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Renowned Author Addresses University of the Cumberlands


Best-selling author, Dr. Stephen R. Covey, recently spoke at University of the Cumberlands as part of the Principle-Centered Leadership program. Photo by Billy Turner.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. -On April 8, University of the Cumberlands welcomed Dr. Stephen R. Covey to campus as part of the Principle-Centered Leadership program, held in the O. Wayne Rollins Center. Covey is the author of several acclaimed books, including the international bestseller "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." It has sold more than 15 million copies in 38 languages throughout the world. Other bestsellers authored by Covey include "First Things First," "Principle-Centered Leadership," with sales exceeding one million, and "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families."

To be an effective leader, according to Covey, you must have not only values, but also principles. "Values drive behavior," said Covey, " but principles drive the consequences of behavior." According to Covey, principles come from the four parts of human nature—body, heart, mind and spirit.

A principle-centered leader must be fair, to satisfy the human need to live. This is the body principle. A leader must also have love and kindness, which satisfies the need to love and be loved. This is the principle related to the heart. Leaders also must learn and grow, to satisfy the mind. Finally, a leader must serve others and have integrity, to satisfy the spirit. If you neglect any of these four parts of human nature, you turn the people you are leading into things.

In 1996, Covey was recognized as one of Time magazine's 25 most influential Americans, and in 2003, he received the National Fatherhood Award, which he says is the most meaningful award he has ever received. Covey has nine children and 44 grandchildren.

In addition to Covey's keynote at the program, he and University of the Cumberlands President Dr. Jim Taylor presented Principle-Centered Leadership Awards to several local and national people who are principle-centered leaders. Awards were presented to Denzil Edge, president of The Learning House, which specializes in online distance education; Michelle Easton, of the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute; Dr. Terry Forcht, president of Forcht Group of Kentucky; and Ron Robinson, president of Young America's Foundation. Awards also were given to the superintendents of each of the 7 area school systems.

The Principle-Centered Leadership program is the third annual program in the Lecture Series presented by the Forcht Group of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Leadership at University of the Cumberlands. The funding for the center is provided by former Cumberlands professor Terry Forcht and his wife Marion, now owners of Forcht Group of Kentucky. The center provides programs and activities to enhance the development of leadership, character and good citizenship.