December 2017–The Importance of Connections By Sean Covey
Greetings. For me, the best part of the
holiday season is traditions—both old and new. Traditions keep us connected, bring
a feeling of safety, and create excited anticipation—especially for children.
This month, I’d like to share a story of one parent who realizes the importance
of connections, especially between school and home.
In Kalli Sampson’s
words, when she read The Leader in Me,
it “lit her up inside.” She was familiar with the 7 Habits from college and
always wondered why these powerful paradigms and principles were not taught
earlier in life. When the principal of her children’s school asked what she
thought about implementing Leader in Me,
her answer was a resounding, “Yes!” Kalli was excited about the benefits of
helping to create an empowering culture at the school. However, she couldn’t
help but dream about what it would look like to connect the school culture with
core paradigms of Leader in Me in her
own home was the first step. Kalli could have stopped there and felt good but
instead, she became certified to teach The
7 Habits of Successful Families® so other families in the school could
benefit. Her classes started small but gained momentum through consistency of
teaching. Then she began to invite families from other schools in the district.
Today Kalli’s sessions can have as many as 50 participants.
As the Director
of the Home and Family Division at FranklinCovey, John Covey has witnessed the power of The 7 Habits of Successful Families and how it touches the hearts
and minds of students and families, puts them on common ground, and allows them
to bridge gaps in their relationships. With John’s intimate knowledge of the
content, Kalli’s next step was to work with him to make minor edits to the Leader in Me paradigms to fit the home. Below
is the result.
These powerful Leader in Me paradigms, applied to the home, can do wonders for
creating a fun and healthy family culture. Culture represents the quality of
relationships. Culture is a feeling. Culture is how people generally treat each
other most of the time. Reading The
Leader in Me helped Kalli realize that every place, at home or in the
classroom, has a culture, whether it is by design or by default. So why not
deliberately create the kind of culture we want in both places?“Our children spend most of their day at
school and at home, so working together to design greatness in both cultures
just makes sense,” she said.
community has “rock star” family members—people with incredible strengths and
talents—who want to help. Consider who those people are in your school and
invite them to contribute. Perhaps, like Kalli, one or two individuals or
couples would like to teach The 7 Habits
of Successful Families to other families in your school. Many other school
communities have done this with great success. The vital life skills taught in
a Leader in Me school are so much
more likely to make an impact when reinforced in the home.
you and yours a wonderful holiday season.
Shared leadership takes place when we listen to our children,
value their opinions, and trust them with responsibilities. Such
responsibilities might include helping to prepare family meals, planning family
activities, taking care of a sibling, or contributing through daily chores.
When we look for our children’s strengths, we build their confidence.
We empower them by encouraging and supporting their interests, attending their
games or activities, helping them write a personal mission statement, or simply
letting them know we believe in them. All children need at least one person who
is crazy about them. Let’s let our children know we see their genius.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote goes, “Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what
you're saying.”We are our children’s first teachers—always modeling, always being
an example. As such, we should be aware of what we teach our children in our everyday
interactions. Through our words and tone, we have the ability to change our homes.
Knowing this impact, let’s be wise about what we say and how we say it. After
all, change starts with us.
Attributed to the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, one of my favorite
sayings is, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to
fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” It is both a privilege and a responsibility
to teach our children to develop a love of learning. However, we also need to
help them learn to take the reins of their own education. When we control their
learning too much, we take away their initiative. It takes time, patience, and
a willingness to give up some control in order to build proactive muscles in
Developing the whole person means nurturing our children academically,
but also nurturing their body, heart, and soul. Their social and emotional
education is as important as their academic education. Providing opportunities
for our children to be on teams, to join clubs, to try new things, and to learn
critical life skills such as social etiquette, public speaking, and creative
problem solving develops their social and emotional skills. We want to develop
healthy and resilient children—children who take care of themselves physically,
who have quality relationships, and who have a sense of purpose in life.