Stephen Covey is a well-known motivator and encourager. His books, speeches, and presentations have dominated the world of self-help resources. So what about Everyday Greatness? Covey remains in his traditional stream of thought, but presenting stories and pithy proverbs to demonstrate attributes that he believes are characteristic of great people (charity, integrity, patience, etc.). Yet, his approach is informed by a faulty understanding of people (that we are basically good) with a faulty ambition for life (be the greatest you can be) and will ultimately lead to a faulty end (failure and emptiness).
While aiming to help people, what Covey has written essentially provides a Book of Virtues for “happy-addicts.” In other words, he is telling the reader “You’re a good person who wants to be happy. These are some inspirations to take that goodness and make you great, so that you’ll be really happy!” That may be the logic of the world, but in the life of the Christian disciple, this sort of thinking lacks grace, Biblical standing, and will ultimately only produce bad fruit. The discerning reader would look, instead, to Jesus Christ and find true greatness (Philippians 2).