Eagles Q&A: Britain Covey talks about his famous grandfather originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Each week during the 2022 season we’re going through the Eagles’ media guide to find an interesting nugget.
The Eagles’ PR interns do a great job filling out these little oddities in the media guides and they serve as a good way to meet the player behind the helmet.
This week, we chatted with rookie receiver/return man, whose famous grandfather Stephen R. Covey wrote numerous self-help books including the bestseller “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” which has sold over 40 million copies worldwide.
Me: What was it like for you growing up and when did you become aware of his influence?
Covey: There were a few different times. We used to have, quote unquote, firesides, growing up. Where he would kind of with the grandkids and his kids teach about his book or his principles and I remember always hating going to them because they were long. And now I look back and think, ‘If I could go back …’ because he passed when I was about 15. We had a great relationship but I didn’t start to really understand everything he taught about and wrote until after he passed. But it’s been cool to get to know him post life, honestly.
Me: Yeah, that’s interesting. Because you weren’t an adult when he passed.
Covey: Totally. But I remember the first time I really realized who he was, was when I took a trip to Europe. I was like 12 years old. And probably six or seven different times someone would see my last name, whether it was when we were checking into the hotel or cab driver or something and they would see the name Covey and they’d say, ‘Like the author?’ And we were out in Germany and London and Paris and then I realized, ‘Oh wow, my grandpa made a big impact on a lot of people.’ But everything he taught and wrote, he was. He never claimed any of those principles to be his own. He just kind of put them in a formula. That’s what was so great about him, was that he was so humble. He never claimed this is my material. He just said this is something that I’ve structured from what I’ve found, which I think is a very humble approach.
Me: Do you have more of an appreciation for it now?
Covey: Absolutely. 100 percent. I’ve ready his books multiple times over, tried to live them. Especially, ‘Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.’ That’s my favorite of the seven habits. I don’t know if you’ve ever read it or remember it but that’s one of the seven habits. No. 5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. My grandpa said it’s the most difficult to practice, so that’s the one I try. And it helps with everything, just that principle in general. Whether it’s being frustrated in the situation I’m in, whatever it is, when you actually seek to understand genuinely and listen with the intent to understand rather than reply. You know what I mean?
Me: Yeah, sure.
Covey: It’s so easy to listen with the intent to reply and not really understand. Loved him. Miss him.
Me: Do you have a special copy of one of his books?
Covey: My dad does and I use his. I mean, my dad’s his namesake. Stephen M. R. Covey. My dad’s kind of carried on his legacy and written a couple of books of his own.
Me: Is that where it ends?
Covey: I don’t know. We’ll see. I would only do something like that if I felt inspired or called to do it kind of thing. Because that’s how they were. It’s not like they grew up wanting to write. They didn’t do it until they felt like they had something to share. But I just wished people could get to know how he was in his personal life. Because he was so much of what you would hope him to be.
Me: How was he personally vs. the guy who wrote the books?
Covey: Well, one, was he loved to break down stereotypes of what a businessman should be in the sense of goofiness. He was like the goofiest person you’ve ever met in your life. He would meet the President of the United States to train him or something and he’d wear these fake teeth and a wig. That’s why he and I always had a great relationship, because I’m a prankster and he was a prankster. Even here on this team, I feel like I’m part of the comic relief for a lot of guys because I’m kind of small and goofy. But I learned it from my grandpa. You’d be in this super serious business situation and he’d pull a prank on someone.
Me: I like that. Thank you man.
Covey: Yeah, absolutely.
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