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The Leader in Me

“Leadership is communicating people’s worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.”

~ Stephen R. Covey 

Our Leadership Focus

The statement, Lead with Respect, Learn for a Lifetime, describes what our school has decided to focus upon in order to develop the whole child.  We have embarked on a school-wide journey using The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and The Leader in Me practices to help our students become ready to succeed in the 21st Century, with critical skills and characteristics such as a strong work ethic, motivation, problem-solving, goal setting, effective teamwork skills, academic achievement and valuing diversity in our society.  By developing the whole child, we will foster a community that promotes learning and respect. 

Dollahan is proud and extremely excited to be implementing The Leader in Me philosophy in our school.  The Leader in Me is based on the work in Dr. Stephen Covey’s book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”  The goal of the Leader in Me is for students to understand that they all have the qualities and strengths to become leaders. 

In order to develop leaders one child at a time, we teach The Seven Habits, not as a separate curriculum but by integrating the language of the habits into the curriculum, traditions, and culture at Dollahan.  The Leader in Me will be continually integrated in everything that we do here. 

The Seven Habits are a simple set of rules.  Each one is powerful and worthy of applying to life.  We are honored to be a Leader in Me school and we encourage our students throughout the day to use The Seven Habits as they learn and interact with others.

What is the Leader in Me?

The Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model that acts like the operating system of a computer— it improves the performance of all other programs. Based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleThe Leader in Me produces transformational results such as higher academic achievement, fewer discipline problems, and increased engagement among teachers and parents. Better yet, The Leader in Me equips students with the self-confidence and skills they need to thrive in the 21st-century economy.

What would be possible if your school were filled with students who were responsible, who showed initiative, who were creative, who knew how to set goals and meet them, who got along with people of various backgrounds and cultures, and who could resolve conflicts and solve problems?

This is reality at Leader in Me schools across the country. It started in 1999 when struggling school A.B. Combs Elementary was asked to reinvent itself or be shut down. When Principal Muriel Summers asked parents and business leaders what they wanted in their schools, she heard the following:

  • Leadership
  • Accountability
  • Adaptability
  • Initiative and Self-Direction
  • Cross-Cultural Skills
  • Responsibility
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork

This feedback represents what most people believe — that our schools should not merely be focused on improving test scores, but should provide opportunities for students to develop their full potential. As Muriel searched for answers, she attended a 7 Habits workshop and noticed how comprehensive the habits were in covering the same needs expressed by her community. She and staff developed a leadership theme and a school mission statement:  To Develop Leaders, One Child at a Time. They taught the 7 Habits not as a curriculum, but in a ubiquitous fashion, integrating them into the curriculum, traditions, systems, and culture of A.B. Combs.

-The Leader in

The 7 Habits

Habit 1: Be Proactive

This habit is the ability to control one’s environment, rather than have it control you.  It is about self-determination, choice, and the power to decide your response to stimulus, conditions, and circumstances.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

This is the habit of personal leadership-leading oneself towards your goals by developing the habit of focus and concentration on relevant activities.  By focusing on your goals, you will avoid distractions and become more productive and successful. 

Habit 3: Put First Things First

This is the habit of personal management.  This habit is about organizing and implementing activities in line with the goals you have set in Habit 2.  Dr. Covey states that Habit 2 is the mental creation and Habit 3 is the physical creation of those goals. 

Habit 4: Think Win-Win

This is the habit of interpersonal leadership.  This habit is necessary because achievements are largely dependent on working together with others.  Win-Win is based on the assumption that there is plenty for everyone and success follows a cooperative approach more naturally than a confrontation of win-or-lose. 

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

This is the habit of communication.  It is extremely powerful.  When we listen to other people’s ideas and feelings we can better understand others’ perspectives and when we can express our own thoughts and feelings we can connect with others.

Habit 6: Synergize

This is the habit of cooperation.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, meaning that valuing other people’s strengths and by teaming with others, we can create a better solution than any one of us alone. 

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

This is the habit of self-renewal.  It surrounds all the other habits, enabling and encouraging them to grow.  Self-renewal encompasses four parts: the spiritual, mental, physical and social/emotional.  All areas need feeding and developing. 

Our Leader in Me Journey

Dollahan Elementary students and staff began this exciting journey in 2014!

We have accomplished the following so far this year:

-Obtained long-term support from the Panda Care Foundation to sustain the Leader in Me implementation

-Provided training for staff

-Created a Student Lighthouse Team and Staff Lighthouse Team

-Lighthouse training for the Lighthouse team

-Received support for long-term implementation from a Leader in Me coach from Franklin Covey

-Facilitator training provided for our facilitator team

-Provided parent training on the 7 Habits

Parent Guide (English)

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Parent Guide (Spanish)

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