Leadership Lessons from a First-Grader

| by Katie Weeks

Our son, Ian, finished first grade at a new school in May. One part of his curriculum was Leader in Me based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

Leader in Me is based on a theory of change known as the See-Do-Get Cycle. When you change the way you See things, it influences what you Do and the results you Get.

First grade-level definitions and examples of the habits help simplify something we adults can make complicated.

So, here you have the 8 Habits of Highly Effective People as defined by a first-grader:

Habit
1st Grader’s Definition
An Example
Be proactive
“Doing something without someone telling you to.”
“I take the garbage out on Tuesdays before being asked.”
Begin with the end in mind
“Thinking before you do it.”
“Don’t go in the pool before sunscreen.”
Put first things first
“Do what you need to do then do what you want to do.”
“Putting the silverware away before playing on my iPad.”
Think win/win
 
“Everybody gets what they want.”
“When me and mom play Pokémon. I do Pokémon hunting and she gets to walk.”
Seek first to understand, then to be understood
“Listen to what other people say then see if you can combine your idea and their idea together to make it better.”
“When me and Hanna (his younger sister) put our two Lego houses together.”
Synergize
“Work together.”
“When I helped Hanna fold her clothes.”
Sharpen the saw
“Keeping your body healthy.”
“When me and mom went for a walk.”
Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs
“Speak up.”
“When someone was being a bully, I said stop it.”

 I am so grateful that our first-grader was introduced to these topics so young. Thank you, Ms. Alva and Principal Rogers, for ensuring meaningful learning happened during such a challenging year.

Now that we have been reminded, and the concepts have been simplified, let us all try to live into these habits a little more deeply.

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