Thank Stephen Covey for the “Abundance Mentality”

Stephen Covey

Most people know Stephen Covey, who died Monday, for his still-kicking bestseller, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

We’d like to give a special shout out to # 4: Think Win-Win.

Covey is often credited with coining the term “abundance mentality.” In essence, he framed two seemingly opposite mindsets—scarcity and abundance—as a choice.

“We think about succeeding in terms of someone else failing–that is, if I win, you lose; or if you win, I lose. … There is only so much pie to go around, and if you get a big piece, there is less for me.”

Shifting to a win-win mindset, by contrast, “means agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying. We both get to eat the pie, and it tastes pretty darn good!”

Pie aside, Covey empowered millions of people to view abundance as a bona fide choice you can make, not a gift out of the blue. But he was clear that abundance wasn’t just some fuzzy feel-good trick:

“To go for win-win, you not only have to be empathic, but you also have to be confident. You not only have to be considerate and sensitive, you also have to be brave.”

Why brave? Because it takes courage to believe that you can have yours—and help others get theirs, and no one needs to take a loss.

Rest in peace, Stephen, and thank you for your illuminating words.

About face. Where are you still stuck in a win-lose mindset, and how does it limit you?