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How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time

By Stephen R. Covey

#1 Bestselling Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“The leadership program has totally transformed English Estates Elementary in every aspect, from improved academic performance to far fewer behavioral problems and more parent involvement. Teachers tell me they would not want to work at any other school. Students take it home, and it has had an impact on parents, too. It is essential for students to have these skills to be successful in the future.”
—Dr. Bill Vogel, Superintendent, Seminole County Schools, Florida

The world has entered an era of the most challenging and profound change in history. Most of our children are not prepared, and we know it. Parents around the world see the change and know that the traditional education methods are necessary, but not enough. Their children need to become far more responsible, creative, and tolerant, and they need to increase their ability to think for themselves, take initiative, and solve problems. On the other hand, business leaders are not finding people whose skills and character match the demands of today’s global economy, including strong communication, teamwork, analytical, technology, and organizational skills. They need young people who are self-motivated, creative, and have a strong work ethic.

How do we bridge this ever-widening gap? In The Leader in Me – How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time (Free Press; Publication date: November 18, 2008; $24.99), bestselling author Stephen R. Covey tells the story of the extraordinary schools, parents, and business leaders around the world who are preparing the next generation to meet the great challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. The Leader in Me shows how one elementary school in Raleigh, North Carolina decided to try incorporating The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and other basic leadership skills into their school’s curriculum in very unique and creative ways. Inspired by the amazing success of Principal Muriel Summers and the teachers and staff of A.B. Combs Elementary School in Raleigh, other schools and parents around the world have adopted the approach and have seen remarkable results.

Here are some examples of what these schools are doing:
In Raleigh, North Carolina, A.B. Combs Elementary was recognized as the #1 magnet school in America after experiencing a sharp and sustained improvement in student-achievement scores.
In Alberta, Canada, Joseph Welsh Elementary is reporting that parent satisfaction with what children are being taught has increased from 67 to 98 percent.
In Decatur, Alabama, a local businessman and chamber of commerce president adopted Chestnut Gove Elementary and sponsored it as a leadership school.
In Adams County, Illinois, documented improvements in academic success at Dewey Elementary captured the eye of the United Way, which is now working to ensure that all 10,000 students in the county receive the same opportunity.

By integrating principles of personal leadership and effectiveness into all the core subjects and curriculum, teachers are helping students identify their talents and find ways to use them in their daily routines. Several of these schools are reporting documented improvements in academic scores; and all are experiencing reduced discipline problems, greater parent satisfaction and involvement, soaring student self-confidence, improved school cultures, and increased teacher pride. In The Leader in Me, Covey outlines the leadership program, based on The 7 Habits, that these schools are using:
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win-Win,
Habit 5: Seek First to be Understand, Then to be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Whether in the classroom or at home, it is never too early to start applying leadership skills to everyday life. Drawing on the many techniques and examples that have already seen incredible success around the world, The Leader in Me shows how easy it is to incorporate these skills into daily life. It is a timely answer to many of the challenges facing today’s young people, businesses, parents, and educators – one that is perfectly matched to the global demands of our time.

About the Author
Stephen R. Covey is an internationally respected leadership authority, family expert, teacher, organizational consultant, and co-founder and vice chairman of FranklinCovey Co. He has been recognized as one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans.

How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time
AUTHOR: Stephen R. Covey
IMPRINT: Free Press
Pub Date: November 18, 2008

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"Voice is unique personal significance—significance that is revealed as we face our greatest challenges and that makes us equal to them."
Dr. Stephen R. Covey, from The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness
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