Quicklet on Stephen Covey's The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time

by Teirrah McNair

What's in the book?

Quicklets: Your reading sidekick!

    • About the Book
    • About the Author
    • Synopsis
    • Key Terms and Definitions
    • Chapter-By-Chapter Commentary & Summary
    • Additional Resources



Published in 2008, Stephen Covey’s The Leader in Me revolutionizes public education and brings many people to the table who see potential, and invest in youth. The Leader in Me surpasses established schoolroom formulas and empowers students, teachers, parents, administrators and business people lead the preparation of this generation to “thrive in the 21st century.” According to Covey, the book was born out of need to make his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People applicable to students in primary grades. The book, or rather the 7 Habits system, is rapidly growing in popularity in schools around the world. Covey wonderfully captures the system’s successes and challenges in The Leader in Me.


Teirrah McNair is a college graduate who has been writing for stage, video and publications for over 20 years. Her gospel comedy video, Medicine for the Heart won the coveted Western Access Video Excellence (W.A.V.E.) award and was described by Oakland Tribune columnist Brenda Payton as a ”hilarious video that fills the prescription for laughter”.


A former youth pastor and educator, McNair penned over 25 short plays for children as artist in residence in California and Alaska. She then set out to write one person shows for herself including the seven character play Dirty Laundry, described by the San Francisco Sun Reporter as “a mighty talent for bringing life to the stage”. More recently McNair published Lucille Nadine Alexander’s Birthday and The Adventures of Martin Tyrone Sanchez Dupree for children and The Way of Salvation and The Way of The Holy Spirit for adults.


In this chapter Covey sets the tone for and gives us a sneak preview of the case he will make in favor of leadership-centered rather than fact-centered education for all children. From his perspective, we have to look at the present offerings in schools today and see if those schools are adequately preparing young people to thrive in a 21st century marketplace.  For Covey that preparation is a partnership principally between schools and parents who can join forces and send the same message to young people. Covey presents his pilot leadership training program through the eyes of a parent searching for a good neighborhood school.


The pilot for Covey’s ‘Leader in Me’ program is A.B. Combs Elementary in Raleigh, North Carolina. The statistics, the reputation, and the word of mouth about Combs Elementary is so extraordinarily positive that the parents have to visit to see for themselves.  Their visit to Combs is eye opening and answers the question in this chapter’s title, “Too good to be true?”

From the moment they step on campus, these parents get an opportunity to experience Covey’s ‘Leader in Me’ program at work. The parents witness four keys that distinguish Combs from other schools.

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