Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Leader in Me

I recently picked up a book considered as an inspirational one to me. Particularly because I have a daughter on my own. It is called The Leader In Me written by famous Dr. Stephen R. Covey. In his new book, I first thought another breakthrough book about leadership. Little that I know that it is more related to how 7 Habits being considered at early age of 5 years old.

I was amazed with the contents with informative case studies from the school such as A.B Combs. The stories about A.B Combs have taken up at least 3~4 chapters of Stephen Covey effort. I believed he personally witnessed from his own eyes, his famous 7 Habits principle became the "mantra" or foundation for children in the nursery, kindergarden and elementary schools.

The book very much involves today’s young people. It involves our future. Whether you are a concerned parent, a professional educator, or a foresighted business leader, I am confident you will find it to be an invigorating breath of fresh air, a reason to celebrate and an inspiring call for action. For what you are about to read unveils a budding trend that is gaining momentum in a growing number of schools across the United States and in various parts of the world. It is an exciting trend—one that is producing tangible, sustainable results.

In 1999, the A.B. Combs Elementary School in Raleigh, North Carolina, was struggling to find new ways to engage and educate its students. The teachers and administrators began learning practical, principle-based leadership skills and teaching them to their students — even kindergartners —; with remarkable results. In a short time, the number of students passing end-of-grade tests vaulted from 84 to 97 percent. Simultaneously, the school began reporting significant increases in students' self-confidence, dramatic drops in discipline problems, and impressive increases in teacher and administrator job satisfaction. Parents, meanwhile, reported equivalent improvements in their children's attitudes and behaviors at home.

The Principal of A.B Combs, Muriel Summers did an excellent jobs in creating such cultures to our younger generations. Their motto is to "develop leaders, one child at a time" inspired me as a parent itself. I mean in today's education systems we knew very well, children are not taught the necessity skills in order to survive and thrive in this 21st century. Many still implement and teach the same old model which the fellow educators comfortable and proven with times but not for future needs.

Today 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 — young people who are self-motivated, creative, and who have a strong work ethic.

The book explanations based on the case studies did the best way to prepare the next generation for the future is by emphasizing the value of communication, cooperation, initiative, and unique, individual talent — for nothing undermines confidence more than comparison. Whether in the classroom or at home, it is never too early to start applying leadership skills to everyday life.

In a nutshell, I believed this book would be the answer for to many of the challenges facing today's young people, businesses, parents, and educators — one that is perfectly matched to the global demands of the 21st Century.

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