Questions and Answers
Franklin Covey Co., which offers The Leader in Me process, is a global, public company (NYSE: FC) specializing in performance improvement. It has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange for more than 20 years. We help organizations and individuals achieve results that require a change in human behavior. Our expertise is in seven primary areas: leadership, execution, productivity, trust, sales performance, customer loyalty, and education. FranklinCovey clients include, or have included, 90 percent of the Fortune 100, more than 75 percent of the Fortune 500, thousands of small and midsize businesses, as well as numerous governmental entities and thousands of educational institutions.
FranklinCovey has more than 100 direct and partner offices providing professional services in over 150 countries and territories. Its more than 2,000 employees and partners, the majority of whom live outside the United States, reflect the cultural, ethnic, religious, and political diversity of the populations in the countries in which the company operates. FranklinCovey is not and never has been affiliated or associated with any religious or political objective or philosophy, nor does it have any religious or political intent. The company’s stated purpose is to help individuals and organizations everywhere achieve their own great purposes and potential.
FranklinCovey’s content, thought leadership, and offerings are recognized as among the most impactful in each of its seven practice areas. As a result, FranklinCovey has been honored with numerous awards for the quality of its offerings, and many of its books have achieved national or worldwide best-seller status. FranklinCovey appreciates these recognitions, but values most highly the more than 90 percent annual retention of its clients and customers, and the fact that these clients consistently give FranklinCovey and its offerings their highest ratings.
For nearly three decades, FranklinCovey Education, a division of FranklinCovey, has been one of the world’s most prominent and trusted providers of educational leadership programs and transformational processes. Our mission is to enable greatness in students, teachers, and schools everywhere. The FranklinCovey Education team is primarily composed of outstanding former teachers and administrators at various education levels, and those from organizations that share a belief in and commitment to helping students achieve their potential, improving school culture and increasing school effectiveness.
FranklinCovey’s offerings, books, methodologies, and tools have been utilized by thousands of public and private primary, secondary, and postsecondary schools and institutions, including educational service centers and vocational schools in all 50 states in the U.S. and in over 150 countries.
Yes. All schools work with for-profit organizations to provide essential products and services necessary for the day-to-day operations and improvements of the schools such as the procurement of desks, textbooks, supplies, computers, software, professional development, coaching services, food services, and so forth.
FranklinCovey is well equipped to serve public, charter, and private schools, having worked with thousands of K–12 schools over the past 25 years. As well, the Education division benefits greatly from being part of a larger organization. For example, FranklinCovey’s significant, ongoing research-and-development efforts have resulted in key elements of its world-class content being specifically designed for and made available to schools. As well, FranklinCovey’s commitment to its goal of delivering quality results for those it serves has led FranklinCovey to be able to build and assemble a team of extraordinarily talented and experienced educators.
In an effort to impact as many schools, students, and educators as possible, FranklinCovey offers its educational products and services to educators at a discount of 50 percent or more, compared to its corporate clients. Additionally, over the past several years, FranklinCovey has donated millions of dollars in products and services to schools in need. For example, for each 7 Habits manual purchased by a client organization, FranklinCovey donates a Student Journal to a student in need living throughout the world.
FranklinCovey’s focus is to help organizations and individuals increase their effectiveness and ensures its content, offerings, and processes help clients to do so. The company invests heavily in research and product development, often creating original content and implementation processes and tools. It often acquires and licenses the rights to the best-in-class content from subject-matter experts and widely respected thought leaders, which adds to the quality of its solutions. It then integrates the best elements of this content into its content and solutions in its seven areas of expertise: leadership, execution, productivity, trust, sales performance, customer loyalty, and education. FranklinCovey’s individual, team, and organizational effectiveness content includes contributions from diverse thought leaders such as:
- Fred Reichheld—The Ultimate Question (Customer Loyalty Practice)
- Ram Charan—What the CEO Wants You to Know (Leadership Practice)
- Mahan Khalsa—Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play: Transforming the Buyer/Seller Relationship (Sales Performance Practice)
- Stephen Covey—The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Leadership and Education Practices)
- Dr. Daniel Amen—The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life (Productivity Practice)
- Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson—No One Understands You and What to Do About It (Productivity Practice)
When FranklinCovey acquires or licenses content, it is done solely on the basis of the relevance of that content or contribution to the specific organizational or individual effectiveness issue being addressed. FranklinCovey does not acquire, license, or subscribe to any of these contributors’ personal writings, opinions, or social, religious (or nonreligious), or political views or beliefs.
Leader in Me is an evidence-based, social-emotional learning process—developed in partnership with educators—that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. It is based on secular principles and practices of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness. Distinct in several ways, Leader in Me starts from a powerful premise—every child possesses unique strengths and has the ability to be a leader—which shapes the views of staff to value and develop the whole child. This whole-school improvement model integrates leadership development into existing programs, curricula and traditions and serves as a foundational operating system for the school, improving relationships, transforming culture, and motivating staff and students. All stakeholders are impacted by Leader in Me, starting with the staff of a school, then expanding to students, their families, and the community at large. This Inside-Out Approach is a key ingredient to successfully creating positive change in a school.
Leader in Me utilizes and integrates several leadership, social-emotional learning, quality, and educational models and processes from past and current thought leaders including The 4 Imperatives of Great Leaders and The 4 Disciplines of Execution. The process includes student participation in goal setting, data tracking, leadership roles, Student-Led Conferences, leadership environments, and Leadership Events. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is also a key component of the overall Leader in Me process and is a synthesis of universal, timeless principles of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness such as responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration, and renewal, which are secular in nature and common to all people and cultures.
Leader in Me includes training on establishing a vision for the school, goal setting, data tracking, and personal-accountability systems and is aligned with best-in-class content and concepts practiced by global education thought leaders. Leader in Me provides a logical, sequential, and balanced process to help schools proactively design a culture that reflects their vision of their ideal school. This shared leadership increases engagement and enables students, staff, and families to be self-confident and self-reliant, work effectively with others, and make meaningful contributions.
Leader in Me differs from other whole-school transformation processes in that it offers a holistic, school-wide experience for staff, students, and parents, and creates a common language and culture within the school. The leadership principles and lessons are not taught as a curriculum, but instead are incorporated into coursework, traditions, systems, and culture.
For more information about Leader in Me, visit www.theleaderinme.org.
Leader in Me was originally developed by a principal and teachers who wanted to teach their students life skills such as leadership, responsibility, accountability, problem solving, adaptability, effective communication, and more.
Specifically, in an effort to turn around her failing school, Muriel Summers, principal of A.B. Combs Leadership Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh, North Carolina, identified leadership as her new magnet theme based on community feedback. She decided to utilize Baldridge quality tools, FranklinCovey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and several other educational best practices in designing, developing, and implementing a leadership model for her school.
Within a few years, A.B. Combs experienced what they viewed as a significant turnaround, and was named the #1 Magnet School in America. The school reported improved academic achievement, increased enrollment, soaring parent and teacher satisfaction, and higher levels of student self-confidence. Several other schools across the country took note, replicated Summers’ leadership model and, like A.B. Combs, achieved similar dramatic improvements.
Based on demand from Summers and other principals and teachers who had observed or heard about A.B. Combs’ success, FranklinCovey codified Summers’ process, creating The Leader in Me so that other schools could implement the leadership model and achieve similar results.
On May 16, 2014, A.B. Combs Leadership Magnet Elementary was named the #1 Magnet School in America for a second time. It is the only school to achieve this award twice, having first received the award in 2006. This award for excellence is given annually to the nation’s top magnet school based on a school’s demonstrated ability to:
- Raise student academic achievement.
- Promote racial and socioeconomic diversity.
- Provide integrated curricula and instruction.
- Create partnerships that enhance the school’s theme.
Since its official launch nearly six years ago, over 2,500 public, private, charter, and magnet schools across 35 countries have adopted The Leader in Me. Educators continue to offer feedback on best practices, which provides the basis for continuous improvement and refinement of the process.
Research suggests that the following issues are common to many schools:
- Negative school culture and climate
- Student behavioral issues such as bullying
- Problems with discipline
- Low student engagement
- Low trust and low staff morale
- Minimal focus on whole-child development
- Lack of 21st century skills development
- Teacher and parent dissatisfaction
The Leader in Me directly addresses these challenges and offers a comprehensive approach to solve them.
The Leader in Me helps students develop the skills and self-confidence they need to lead their lives and succeed in school and beyond. Specifically, The Leader in Me focuses on students learning the following 21st century skills:
Students learn these skills through participating in goal setting, data tracking, leadership roles, Student-Led Conferences, leadership environments, Leadership Events, and more.
The Leader in Me utilizes and integrates several leadership, social-emotional learning, quality, and educational models and processes from past and current thought leaders including The 4 Imperatives of Great Leaders and The 4 Disciplines of Execution. The process includes student participation in goal setting, data tracking, leadership roles, Student-Led Conferences, leadership environments, and Leadership Events. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is also a key component of the overall Leader in Me process and is a synthesis of universal, timeless principles of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness such as responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration, and renewal, which are secular in nature and common to all people and cultures.
Even schools that are otherwise very successful are looking for ways to further improve their approach to helping their students develop important 21st-century leadership and life skills. The leadership and life skills taught to students in The Leader in Me and the resulting improvements in school culture, learning climate, and students’ social-emotional skills have proven to benefit both lower-performing schools as well as already high-performing schools.
The Leader in Me is implemented as follows:
- School staff identify a new vision of the outcomes they want for their school (e.g., decreasing discipline referrals).
- School staff learn The Leader in Me principles and tools and begin incorporating the leadership principles in their work and relationships (e.g., learning how to work more cooperatively with each other).
- School staff model the behaviors to their students.
- Teachers are taught how to incorporate the leadership principles and tools into school culture and curricula.
- Key elements of the leadership model are implemented into the school, including:
- Teaching students how to set, track, and achieve their goals in a Leadership Notebook.
- Reinventing the physical environment to reinforce the vision and outcomes for the school (banners, signs, murals).
- Holding Student-Led Conferences, which are similar to parent-teacher conferences, but with the students taking ownership for their learning and leading these conferences.
- Giving each student a leadership role within the school.
- Holding student-led Leadership Events.
- Using a common language of leadership.
- Parents also play an important role in supporting their children in the process.
- School staff, students, and parents utilize a number of resources (lesson plans, videos, student activity guides, Teacher Editions, posters, books, and The Leader in Me Online) to help them implement and reinforce the process.
The Leader in Me encourages schools to create an environment that emphasizes a culture of leadership. Schools use visual and audio tools to enhance the learning process and reinforce leadership principles. Research shows that students who engage in interactive learning through the use of visual and audio cues such as signs, murals, graphics, music, and events are able to remember, understand, and apply the information at a deeper level.
FranklinCovey provides schools with examples of how a variety of Leader in Me Schools have chosen to reinforce the leadership principles, and encourages each school use the methods they believe would be most effective within their distinctive school culture. The goal of each Leader in Me School is to create an environment and a culture in which every child can become a leader utilizing his or her individual strengths.
No. In fact, The Leader in Me is an adaptable process that equips schools with a set of principles and practices each school can utilize in its own way to create the kind of school culture and climate it desires. Each Leader in Me School identifies and sets its own goals and creates its own individual culture, reflecting the diversity of the community in which it is located.
The Leader in Me is currently being implemented in elementary and middle schools throughout North America and around the globe. A high school version of The Leader in Me is currently under development and will be available in the next few years. However, thousands of high schools currently use elements of The Leader in Me, including content from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. They have proven to be effective tools that improve school culture and equip students with vital leadership and life skills.
Schools and districts typically make the decision to implement The Leader in Me; however, parents may choose to engage in the process as well. For example, some parents support their children by helping them set and achieve goals and track them in their Leadership Notebooks, and follow through on their leadership roles assigned by the school.
FranklinCovey also provides parents with additional information about The Leader in Me, as well as activities parents can utilize at home to help their children become leaders.
For more information, visit: www.theleaderinme.org/parents.
Parents of students in Leader in Me Schools report high satisfaction with the impact of The Leader in Me, according to a recent study commissioned by FranklinCovey and conducted by Lighthouse Research & Development, Inc., an independent market-research firm. The study investigated the awareness, satisfaction, and experiences of parents whose children attend Leader in Me Schools. Five schools were studied for a sample size of 248 parents, ensuring a statistical confidence rate of 95 percent with a ±6.22 percent margin of error. Results of the study include:
- 84 percent of parents said they were satisfied or highly satisfied with The Leader in Me (rating it 5–7, on a 1–7 scale], while only 5 percent were unsatisfied (rating of 1–3). Notably, 77 percent of parents said they were highly satisfied with The Leader in Me as a whole (rating 6–7).
- 78 percent said they were highly satisfied (rating 6–7) with how The Leader in Me has encouraged “character building and development in students.”
- 75 percent said they were highly satisfied (rating 6–7) with “leadership qualities emerging in [their] students” as a result of The Leader in Me.
- Although The Leader in Me is not designed as an academic program, approximately three-quarters of respondents (73 percent) reported being highly satisfied (rating 6–7) with the “academic improvements made by their students” since the implementation of The Leader in Me in their school.
Below are representative comments from parents who expressed satisfaction with The Leader in Me:
Gayle Gonzalez: “Our daughter was in fourth grade; a new boy came to her classroom with significant anger issues. The way the teacher handled this student was inspiring. The teacher visited honestly with the children one afternoon when the boy was not in class. She said, “The recent blowups in our classroom are not working for us to make a good learning environment.” In other words, she involved the students in the solution. The children understood that much of the problem was this new student. On their own, they formed a support team. They said they could help this new boy even better than the teacher could. The young man responded well and was making great academic progress for the first time in his life. When he moved away, students in the class cried. They had learned to love him.”
Rochelle McGee: “My son’s ability to communicate has jumped about 10 levels. When our friends, grandparents, and neighbors comment on how articulate our nine-year-old is, that he actually converses rather than merely answering questions with a yes or no, I can’t help but think it’s the confidence he has built as a by-product of living the 7 Habits.”
Frances Gardner: “Evan is reserved, quiet, and prefers to spend time alone but is very intelligent. When he was five, he was diagnosed on the autism spectrum, so social interactions, speech, and other things are difficult for him. Prior to this year, Evan had only one birthday party with friends. He didn’t like to have parties and had rarely been invited to them…. When The Leader in Me was introduced, I saw how it might help Evan to be more organized and focused educationally, and it has. What I didn’t foresee was how much it would help him outside of school. His social life has blossomed…. Evan has asked to have friends over to play this year, and recently asked to have a birthday party with friends from school…. That day I looked at Evan as a typical second-grade boy having a blast with his buddies on his birthday. At the end of the party, he hugged his friends and thanked them for coming. The program has given my son an opening to be himself with all of his little quirks and still be a part of the group. He is much more comfortable being himself socially. It has lit his fire.”
For more information on this study, or to read additional comments from parents about The Leader in Me, download the Parent Perceptions Survey Report here.
Yes, absolutely. At FranklinCovey, we believe that each and every child has incredible gifts, worth and potential. Leader in Me is designed to engage and empower every student, including those with special needs. All students are invited to participate in the process, to the extent their teachers feel is appropriate, which can include fulfilling leadership roles, engaging in goal setting and data tracking, and participating in student-led conferences and leadership events.
Working closely with accredited special needs teachers, FranklinCovey developed specialized teaching alternatives in Leader in Me K-6 grade curriculum to service the unique needs of special needs students. Accompanying each lesson within Leader in Me Leadership Guide: Teacher Edition is a “Differentiated Options” section, providing educators with more than 266 teaching strategies to best meet the needs of their students.
FranklinCovey continuously evaluates and refines its curriculum to ensure our leaders of tomorrow – and the educators who teach Leader in Me – receive the best possible experience.
First published in 1989, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is considered one of the most influential, best-selling business and management books ever written, having sold over 25 million copies in 52 languages. According to Fortune, The 7 Habits is “one of the best-selling books of all time,” was named the “most influential book of the 20th century” by Chief Executive magazine, and was listed as “one of the top 10 most influential management books ever” by Forbes. For the last 25 years, the 7 Habits have guided generations of readers and have been successfully adopted and implemented by thousands of the world’s leading organizations in every country, including Fortune 100 and 500 organizations, governmental agencies, and educational institutions.
In The 7 Habits book, Covey writes that he conducted an in-depth study of decades of principles of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness, which he gleaned from numerous books, articles, and essays, written by some of the world’s greatest thinkers and leaders such as Aristotle, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Johnson, George Bernard Shaw, Viktor Frankl, T.S. Eliot, Carl Rogers, and Peter Drucker. These principles include fairness, integrity, teamwork, honesty, human dignity, service or contribution, quality or excellence, potential, patience, nurturance, encouragement, responsibility, vision, collaboration, and renewal. Covey emphasized that these principles were not his own; rather, he synthesized and assembled them into a framework that was easy to understand and implement—The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
The principles taught in the 7 Habits are universal, timeless principles of personal, interpersonal and organizational effectiveness, which are secular in nature and common to all people and cultures. They transcend political, philosophical, religious, socioeconomic, generational, gender, and lifestyle differences, and may be adapted and applied in any context or environment.
In his foreword in the 25th anniversary edition of The 7 Habits book, Jim Collins, business thought leader and author of The New York Times best-seller Good to Great, said:
“There had been hundreds of years of accumulated wisdom about personal effectiveness...but it was never assembled into one coherent, user-friendly framework. Stephen Covey created a standard operating system —the “Windows®”—for personal effectiveness and he made it easy to use….The ideas embedded in the framework are timeless. They are principles. That is why they work, and why they speak to people in all age groups around the globe…. But, I think the most important aspect of the 7 Habits—what makes it not just practical, but profound—is its emphasis on building character rather than “attaining success.” There is no effectiveness without discipline and there is no discipline without character. …I have come to a personal belief...that great leadership begins first with character—that leadership is primarily a function of who you are, for this is the foundation for everything you do.”
The principles taught in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People are outlined in the table below:
|The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People|
|The 7 Habits of Highly
|Principles||Application Using Age-Appropriate
Language for Students
|Habit 1: Be Proactive||
||You’re in Charge: “I am a responsible person. I take initiative to make things happen. I choose my own actions, attitudes, and moods. I do not blame other people for my mistakes. I focus on the things I can influence.|
|Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind||
||Have a Plan: “I plan ahead. I know how to set and achieve goals. I do things that have meaning and make a difference. I am an important part of my classroom and contribute to my school’s mission and purpose.|
|Habit 3: Put First Things First||
||Work First, Then Play: “I spend my time on things that are most important. This means I say no to things that are less important. I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow my plan. I am disciplined and organized.”|
|Habit 4: Think Win-Win||
||Everyone Can Win: “I balance courage for getting what I want with consideration for what others want. I build good relationships with others by being kind, saying I'm sorry when needed, and keeping commitments. When conflicts arise, I look for options that work for both sides.”|
|Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood||
||Listen Before You Talk: “I listen to other people’s ideas and feelings. I try to see things from their viewpoints. I listen to others without interrupting. I am confident in voicing my ideas. I look people in the eyes when talking.”|
|Habit 6: Synergize||
||Together Is Better: “I value other people’s strengths and learn from them. I get along well with others, even people who are different from me. I work well in groups. I seek out other people’s ideas to solve problems.|
|Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw||
||Balance Feels Best: “I take care of my body by eating right, exercising, and getting sleep. I spend time with family and friends. I learn in lots of ways and lots of places, not just at school. I find meaningful ways to help others. I am balanced.”|
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book, Covey writes that he conducted an in-depth study of decades of principles of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness, which he gleaned from numerous books, articles, and essays, written by some of the world’s greatest thinkers and leaders such as Aristotle, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Johnson, George Bernard Shaw, Viktor Frankl, T.S. Eliot, Carl Rogers, and Peter Drucker. These principles include: fairness, integrity, teamwork, honesty, human dignity, service or contribution, quality or excellence, potential, patience, nurturance, encouragement, responsibility, vision, collaboration, and renewal. Covey never claimed these principals as his own; rather, he synthesized and assembled them into a framework, which was easy to understand and implement—The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
These universal, timeless principals of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness are secular in nature and common to all people and cultures. They transcend political, philosophical, religious, socioeconomic, generational, gender, and lifestyle differences, and may be adapted and applied in any context or environment.
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey writes,
“…The reality of such principles or natural laws becomes obvious to anyone who thinks deeply and examines the cycles of social history. These principles surface time and time again, and the degree to which people in a society recognize and live in harmony with them moves them toward either survival and stability or disintegration and destruction. The principles I am referring to are not esoteric, mysterious, or ‘religious’ ideas. There is not one principle taught in this book that is unique to any specific faith or religion, including my own. These principles are a part of most every major enduring religion, as well as enduring social philosophies and ethical systems. They are self-evident and can easily be validated by any individual. It’s almost as if these principles or natural laws are part of the human condition, part of the human consciousness, part of the human conscience. They seem to exist in all human beings, regardless of social conditioning and loyalty to them. Even though they might be submerged or numbed by such conditions or disloyalty…. Principles are guidelines for human conduct that are proven to have enduring, permanent value. They’re fundamental. They’re essentially unarguable because they are self-evident.…”
The 7 Habits of Happy Kids is a New York Times best-selling children’s book authored by Sean Covey and illustrated by artist Stacy Curtis. The book introduces young readers to the 7 Habits through a cast of characters and accessible stories that give parents tools to help explain useful life lessons.
The characters in the book were inspired from and are based on Covey’s own children and their personal interests in life and experiences with the 7 Habits. From being proactive to sharpening the saw, this kid-friendly, New York Times best seller has a fully illustrated story to introduce each of the 7 Habits.
Yes. Leader in Me is an evidence-based program and it is making a measurable impact on schools all over the world and in the lives of millions of students, parents, teachers, and administrators.
Since 2010, the empirical evidence for Leader in Me has been growing rapidly and there are now over 30 academic research studies which have evaluated the effectiveness of Leader in Me and proved its impact. A full range of experimental methods have been used, from sophisticated quantitative analysis of statewide data, to intensive qualitative studies that analyzed interview data from dozens of educators, families, and students. In addition, nearly all of the studies were reviewed by a peer or academic advisory group before release, and all studies were conducted by researchers who had full intellectual freedom in the analysis and results.
Research that demonstrates this impact includes research from the University of Michigan’s College of Education, which released the findings from two separate quasi-experimental studies in two reports showing positive impacts to student disciplinary referrals and attendance in Leader in Me schools. One report focused on disciplinary rates and attendance in Missouri and the other on disciplinary rates in Florida. The findings are the strongest empirical evidence of the effectiveness of the Leader in Me process to date. Both studies followed the strict evidence standards required by What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) and the Collaborative of Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
Below are key findings from the two reports:
- Leader in Me schools in Missouri had 42 percent fewer discipline incidence than predicted by pre-Leader in Me performance and matched controls. Had Leader in Me schools not participated in the process, they would have had significantly more discipline incidence.
- Leader in Me schools in Missouri who left the Leader in Me process experienced a significant decline (P˂0.0001) in school attendance compared to schools that still remain in the Leader in Me process and matched control schools.
- Leader in Me schools in Missouri that have participated in the process since the launch of Leader in Me 3.0, experienced significantly increased attendance (P=0.007).
- An analysis of Florida Leader in Me schools compared with matched control schools revealed a 23 percent improvement in disciplinary incidence for Leader in Me schools.
For more information about the impact of Leader in Me and to view these studies, as well as many other studies, visit www.theleaderinme.org/what-is-the-impact/.
Leader in Me is a fairly new process, having officially launched in 2009 when schools began implementing it. Thereafter, educators offered feedback on best practices, providing continuous improvement and refinement of the process in order to achieve better results. Thus, the current research on Leader in Me is still in an early stage, but the findings so far are very promising.
There are several multiyear studies underway by universities, and FranklinCovey continues to collaborate with independent institutions to measure and evaluate the impact of Leader in Me. Accumulating this third-party research takes time, and FranklinCovey continues to add to the evidence base as it becomes available. Currently, the following papers and studies illustrating the impact of Leader in Me include:
- Researchers from the University of Rochester reviewed the literature on both systemic school reform and social and emotional learning, and conclude that Leader in Me is on solid theoretical footing. Learn more.
- A white paper by leadership-education researcher Shirley R. Steinberg, Ph.D., draws on the existing literature around school climate, leadership development, and high school graduation to show how Leader in Me benefits schools and students. Learn more.
- Westgate Research, Inc., was commissioned by FranklinCovey in 2014 to interview Leader in Me principals in schools in the United States and Canada, who had been using Leader in Me in their school for at least a year, as to the impact of the process in their school. The sample included schools from different socioeconomic situations, various sizes, and the range of urban/suburban/rural contexts. The cooperation rate for the survey was very high. Once a school principal was contacted and understood the purpose of the survey, 96 percent agreed to complete the interview. This high level of cooperation provides the assurance that the results of the study are representative of all principals who had at least one year’s experience with the process. The interviewing, analysis, and reporting were done independently of FranklinCovey, as was all principal contact.
Based on the results of the random telephone survey of 260 Leader in Me principals, 99 percent of principals reported that Leader in Me had a “very positive” or “positive” impact in their school and 87 percent said they were “extremely likely” to recommend Leader in Me to another school principal. The most frequently cited positive results were:
- Reduced discipline problems and/or improved student behavior
- Common language for staff, student, and parents
- Improved student responsibility and/or ownership and accountability
- Improved leadership skills among students and/or teachers
- Improved school culture and/or climate and morale
- Improved academic performance and better academic test scores
- The ROI Institute was commissioned by FranklinCovey to run a large-scale impact report using their trademarked ROI Methodology. This methodology is used by more than 5,000 organizations, making it the most used and implemented evaluation system in the world. Independent of FranklinCovey, ROI determined the two school districts to assess, with four Leader in Me Schools within each district (a total of eight Leader in Me Schools examined). Control schools within each district were used in appropriate comparison analyses.
Researchers concluded that 90 percent of teachers “strongly agree” or “agree” that “students acquired new knowledge and skills to be better leaders at school and home.” They also concluded that measure for student improvements showed “at least having an average rating equivalent to moderate improvement…the findings indicate Leader in Me is having an impact on both school- and student-related measures.” Learn more.
- Education Direction, an independent educational consultancy, was commissioned by FranklinCovey to understand the key challenges current principals face with regard to learning at their schools, and to identify how Leader in Me compares with other well-established programs in terms of addressing these challenges.
- The United Way of Acadiana partnered with the University of Louisiana’s Picard Center to evaluate the impact of Leader in Me on participating local schools. The researchers compared two cohorts of Leader in Me Schools to control schools (i.e., schools within the same district that were not implementing Leader in Me) and analyzed growth within each school. Behavioral analyses (e.g., discipline referrals) from this initial study were inconclusive due to “poor data quality” at the school district. However, the study’s authors suggest the analysis “provides some encouraging results on academic measures” as Leader in Me Schools outperformed control schools on a number of measures. This first report, in a multiyear assessment, may provide insights on the indirect role Leader in Me may play in supporting academic growth. Learn more.
- The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber commissioned research on the impact of Leader in Me on 11 schools in Cedar Valley, Iowa, after the schools had implemented the process for one to four years. Education researchers from the University of Northern Iowa and Hawkeye Community College analyzed qualitative and quantitative data from the schools.
They found decreases in chronic absenteeism, the reduction of bullying and harassment, the enhancement of school culture, and the application of the 7 Habits within schools, all of which is included in their interim report. Learn more.
- Lighthouse Research & Development, Inc., was commissioned by FranklinCovey to investigate the awareness, satisfaction, and experiences of parents whose children attend Leader in Me Schools. Five schools were studied for a sample size of 248 parents, ensuring a statistical confidence rate of 95 percent with a ±6.22 percent margin of error.
A key finding of this study was more than three-quarters of respondents (77 percent) said they were highly satisfied with the Leader in Me program as a whole (rating 6–7 on a 1–7 scale)), compared to 4 percent who said they were highly dissatisfied (rating 1–2 on a 1–7 scale), making it 19 times more likely that parents were highly satisfied than highly dissatisfied. Further findings are that 75 percent of parents said they were highly satisfied with “leadership qualities emerging in [their] students” as a result of the Leader in Me program, including increased confidence, self-esteem, and responsibility. Learn more.
Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Research Reform in Education (CRRE) was commissioned by FranklinCovey to conduct a case study that evaluated Leader in Me at two K–6 schools that differed in geographical location and demographical characteristics (East Coast/West Coast). The study was fulfilled by two experienced researchers from CRRE.
The stakeholder research concluded that “the majority of teachers are highly supportive of Leader in Me and view it…as easy to implement, providing a much-needed supplement to academic and testing emphasis, and effective for building the confidence and character of their students.” They also concluded that “the vast majority of students value Leader in Me for many reasons, especially giving them guidance, structure, and order for planning and behaving; facilitating their interactions with peers; and creating a bridge and common language for communicating with adults.” Learn more.
It is important to note that Leader in Me is not designed as an academic-improvement process, but rather as a whole-school transformation model and process that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. It is based on secular principles and practices of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness. It starts with the premise that every child possesses unique strengths and has the ability to be a leader, which shapes the views of staff to value and develop the whole child. It integrates leadership development into existing school programs, curricula, and traditions, and serves as a foundational operating system for the school, improving relationships, transforming culture, and highly motivating staff members and students.
Like the founding Leader in Me School, A.B. Combs Leadership Magnet Elementary School, other Leader in Me Schools, parents, and students from around the world have shared their stories and have self-reported significant improvements from participating in Leader in Me. A number of these schools have provided FranklinCovey with case studies or trend studies that detail outcomes associated with the process.
Leader in Me Schools, which have implemented the process with fidelity, report increases in the following: student self-confidence, teamwork, initiative, responsibility, creativity, self-direction, leadership, problem solving, and communication for children of all ages, socioeconomic levels, learning capacities, and cultural backgrounds.
Schools also report achievement in the following key outcomes: fewer discipline referrals and suspensions; improved teacher, student, and parent satisfaction and engagement; general student behavioral improvement; improved student leadership skills; enhanced school culture; and increased student self-directed learning.
To find more information on results and recent research, please visit the What is the Impact page.
Educational literature indicates that schools with positive learning climates free from discipline problems, bullying, and disengagement perform better academically. Additionally, the literature suggests that effective social emotional learning in schools leads to better academic outcomes for students. With over 30 academic research studies completed, Leader in Me has demonstrated impact in all of these areas including school culture, student behavior, attendance, students’ social-emotional skills, and staff and student engagement. Further, several recent studies show an impact on academics. There is growing evidence that the Leader in Me process improves academics.
FranklinCovey also recognizes that Leader in Me is one of numerous factors that can impact academic achievement in schools, including factors such as curriculum standards and testing, assessment approaches, demographics, district practices, administrative experience, quality of teaching, personnel turnover, etc. Many of these variables are outside the control of the school or Leader in Me. Thus, only empirical studies that isolate these many variables over the long-term can establish a causal relationship between Leader in Me and academic improvement, and studies like this are underway but not yet completed.
Leader in Me schools seek improvements in three areas – leadership, culture, and academics – and have access to the Measurable Results Assessment (MRA) to help them measure performance in these areas.
The MRA is a rigorously developed tool used to annually collect, analyze, and report student-, staff-, and school-level outcomes related to the focus on improving leadership, culture, and academics. It can be used to help a school identify its strengths and weaknesses, develop improvement plans, and monitor progress. The MRA measures are aligned with the highly effective practices outlined in the Leader in Me Framework. This alignment empowers schools to move from data insights to action plans and best leverage their limited time and resources to meet their goals.
Many Leader in Me schools also measure success by working toward FranklinCovey’s Lighthouse Certification, which is a highly-regarded standard set by FranklinCovey that is attainable by every Leader in Me school. As it is a significant benchmark, applying for this certification typically occurs four to five years after a school begins the Leader in Me process (see the Question: “What is a Leader in Me Lighthouse School?” for more about becoming a Lighthouse School).
Leader in Me is having a significant, measurable impact on schools all over the world and in the lives of millions of students, parents, teachers, and administrators, as is evidenced by the findings resulting from studies conducted by leading academic institutions and third-party research organizations. To learn more about the impact the process is having, visit www.theleaderinme.org/what-is-the-impact.
FranklinCovey is committed to schools achieving quality results. The company invests significant resources into continuous improvement of its educational training, coaching, and resource materials so that schools may build and sustain strong, dynamic leadership cultures.
To achieve successful cultural transformation through the application of Leader in Me, in the initial onboarding process preparation is guided to ensure that the school is ready to fully engage in Leader in Me implementation. Qualification and pre-work is required with each school prior to implementation to ensure that the principal and staff are informed, engaged, and committed to implement the process with fidelity. During the implementation and as long as a school remains in the Leader in Me network of schools, FranklinCovey provides extensive support to maintain quality:
- Principals and school staff are engaged in ongoing in-person and virtual coaching from FranklinCovey. Coaching aims to identify common challenges that limit high performance, allows the sharing of best practices, and aligns Leader in Me to key school and district priorities.
- Regional training for new staff members.
- Schools are provided access to a Web-based portal that provides additional tools for implementation, including;
- Video resources and Illustrated Leadership stories that are age appropriate for student to use in class.
- Student Leadership Guides to download and use with students.
- Annual surveys at the student/staff/parent level to help the school track their progress, identify areas of further improvement and provide data so their coach can build a custom learning plan. This information also populates a dashboard tracking progress.
- Web-based Professional Development for Staff encompassing the full impact of FranklinCovey content.
- Lesson Plans that are aligned to the priorities of the school and class, including The First 8 Days Leadership lessons for the beginning of the school year.
- The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Families resources.
As it relates to the quality of Leader in Me, FranklinCovey invests significant time and research on current trends and developments in the fields of education, leadership, and culture. Additionally, educators continue to offer feedback on best practices, which also provides continuous improvement and refinement of the process.
Within the education industry, it is common for schools to receive recognition for outstanding achievement. The Lighthouse Certification is a highly-regarded standard set by FranklinCovey that is attainable by every Leader in Me school. As it is a significant benchmark, applying for this certification typically occurs four to five years after a school begins the Leader in Me process.
The certification is evidence that schools have produced outstanding results in school and student outcomes, by implementing the process with fidelity and excellence. It is also because of the extraordinary impact that the schools may be having on staff, students, parents, and the greater community.
Today, there are more than 300 schools around the world that have earned Lighthouse certification by meeting the following criteria:
- The principal, school administration and staff engage in ongoing learning and develop as leaders, while championing leadership for the school.
- Leadership principles are effectively taught to all students through direct lessons, integrated approaches, and staff modeling. Students are able to think critically about and apply leadership principles.
- Families and the school partner together in learning about the 7 Habits and leadership principles through effective communication and mutual respect.
- The school community is able to see leadership in the physical environment, hear leadership through the common language of the 7 Habits, and feel leadership through a culture of caring, relationships, and affirmation.
- Leadership is shared with students through a variety of leadership roles and student voice leads to innovations within the school.
- Schoolwide, classroom, family and community leadership events provide authentic environments to celebrate leadership, build culture, and allow students to practice leadership skills.
- The school utilizes The 4 Disciplines of Execution process to identify and track progress toward the high priority goals of the school, classroom, and staff members.
- Students lead their own learning with the skills to assess their needs, set appropriate goals, and carry out action plans. They track progress toward goals in Leadership Notebooks and share these notebooks with adults in student-led conferences.
- Teacher planning and reflection, trusting relationships, and student-led learning combine to create environments for highly engaged learning.
Leader in Me schools maintain their Lighthouse Certification for two years and continue to foster their growth in exemplifying a leadership culture. At the end of the two years, schools may recertify to maintain their Lighthouse Certification.
FranklinCovey provides its world-renowned content and processes to schools at a discount of 50 percent or more compared to its corporate clients.
The standard cost of implementing The Leader in Me varies based upon the numbers of staff and students served at each school. Averages in the U.S. range from $40-$50 per student per year during the first three years of implementation, and $14-$19 per student per year beyond year three. Recent innovations with the process have also introduced the ability for districts to become certified in The Leader in Me content and deliver training to their own staff through a train-the-trainer approach, which can significantly reduce the cost. Comparing similar processes is difficult, based upon various implementation strategies and scope of services provided. But, when compared to processes with similar scope of services, the cost of The Leader in Me is comparable or less expensive.
Schools that implement The Leader in Me process over the first three years receive:
- Six days of on-site staff training, which includes training in The 7 Habits (two days), Launching Leadership (one day), Creating Culture (one day), Aligning Academics (one day), and Empowering Instruction (one day)
- Two onsite coaching days per year
- Two community coaching days per year
- Coaching phone calls and other virtual coaching support
- Regional new-staff training
- Regional principal development
- The Leader in Me Online, which includes numerous resources, such as digital training modules, classroom videos, lesson resources, assessment tools, best practice sharing, etc.
- Student leadership curriculum, teacher resources, and other classroom materials
In a survey of principals who have implemented The Leader in Me, 90 percent of principals responded that The Leader in Me is a “worthwhile” or “extremely worthwhile” investment.
Over the past several years, FranklinCovey has donated millions of dollars in donations, products and services to schools in need. For example, FranklinCovey provides donations to schools directly or to foundations that support Leader in Me Schools. Additionally, for each 7 Habits manual purchased by a client organization, FranklinCovey donates a student leadership guide to a deserving student living throughout the world.
The Leader in Me process teaches students valuable leadership and life skills through a systematic approach. For schools to experience the full impact of the process, it must be implemented with fidelity, which requires intentional training with the prescribed content and follow up and ongoing coaching to support the integration of the content within the school.
While some schools read the book and try to implement the process independently, they report difficulty in communicating and integrating the content into the school and in achieving the desired outcomes without additional support. Schools who partner with FranklinCovey receive that support with professional development, materials, and coaching, which account for the majority of the cost of implementing the process.
FranklinCovey remains committed to investing in and refining the Leader in Me process to reflect the latest trends, research, and developments in the fields of education, leadership and culture. Educators also offer their feedback on best practices, adding to the continuous improvement of the process.
Many schools and districts have the ability to self-fund, some through federal and state grant programs and others through their operating budgets. Schools also raise funds from the community, including businesses, chambers of commerce, civic groups, private philanthropies, and other nonprofit foundations.
Yes. Many corporations and nonprofit organizations have been very supportive of schools implementing The Leader in Me by contributing funds as part of their corporate social-responsibility programs. Some of these partners include Panda Express, Panda Cares, I Am A Leader Foundation, the Allan P. Markin Charitable Foundation, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, Honda, Pearson, 3M, Staten Island Foundation, Enersolve, Jordan Education Foundation, Wegmans, Southwest Florida Workforce Development Board, Naples Children & Education Foundation, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, PotashCorp., United Way, Holy Guacamole, Southwest Louisiana Economic Alliance, Economic Development Alliance of Jefferson County, Pine Bluff Chamber of Commerce, Lafayette Education Foundation, and Carver Foundation.
Leader.org, also known as I Am A Leader Foundation, is an independent, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing programs and services that build student character and leadership in schools around the world. The foundation engages business and community leaders as partners to fund these initiatives through grants that are awarded to highly prepared and committed schools in financial need. The majority of the foundation’s funding has thus far been granted to schools that desire to implement The Leader in Me. Specifically, Leader.org provides funding to help schools pay for training in the first few years of The Leader in Me process, and schools pay for sustainment services with their own funds, ensuring they are invested in and highly committed to sustaining The Leader in Me over time.
FranklinCovey desires to make The Leader in Me accessible to as many schools as want to implement it. The company has discounted its products and services by 50 percent or more compared to its corporate pricing, and it donates millions of dollars in cash and products and services to schools directly or to foundations that support Leader in Me Schools, such as Leader.org.
Leader.org was founded by Boyd Craig, a former employee of FranklinCovey, who worked with the late Stephen Covey, collaborating with him on his writing, publishing, speaking, and consulting. He also served as FranklinCovey’s Vice President of Higher Education in its Education Practice.
Because of Boyd’s passion for leadership development in education, and encouraged and supported by a major corporate sponsor with a deep philanthropic commitment to improving education, Craig started the I Am A Leader Foundation, where he currently serves as the foundation’s chairman and CEO. The foundation is not affiliated with any political or religious philosophy or entity.
For more information about the foundation, visit www.leader.org.
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