Timeless Principles for Our Times
I often hear people refer to the 7 Habits
as 21st century skills—and they are. But
they are also the same skills and traits of
character that I discovered in my study
of the success-makers of the 18th and
19th centuries. And they are the same
skills and traits that will make people
more effective in the 22nd and 23rd
centuries. This is because they are based
on principles that have been around for
a long time and will remain for years to
imagine the potential of every student
enables her to find and nurture the gifts
that each student brings to the classroom.
But notice also the image Pam has of
herself and her role—as being a person
who can reveal to each child his or her
gifts. What would happen in schools if
every adult saw that as his or her
number-one responsibility—to reveal
and nurture each student’s gifts? Isn’t
that what teaching is about? Similarly,
what would happen if school leaders
saw their number-one responsibility as
identifying the unique gifts of each staff
member and bringing those gifts
together in ways that unite and lift the
entire school? In fact, I define leadership
as communicating people’s worth and
potential so clearly that they are inspired to
see it in themselves.
I’m thrilled that the same 7 Habits
that I discovered in a classroom are now
coming back to the classroom in new
and powerful ways. At A. B. Combs and
other leadership-themed schools,
educators are preparing students to
achieve success, not only for today but
also for tomorrow.
1U.S. Department of Education, Office of
Innovation and Improvement. (2008).
Creating and sustaining successful K– 8 magnet
schools. Washington, DC: Author.
Copyright © 2009 Stephen R. Covey.
View a video of A. B. Combs
and other leadership schools
Steven R. Covey is Cofounder and Vice
Chairman of FranklinCovey; www.franklin
His most recent book is The Leader in
Me: How Schools and Parents Around
the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One
Child at a Time (Free Press, 2008).