Leader in Me is a process designed to help you transform your school in the areas of Leadership, Culture, and Academics to establish a leadership model – where everyone is empowered to be a leader, starting with the adults, then filtering down to the children. The personal leadership process not only transforms your school systems and structures, but transforms your staff and pupils into authentic leaders.
The Leader in Me was developed to address the universal challenges faced by schools. It focuses on developing the child’s character (becoming a person of high integrity and doing the right thing even when others are not watching). It builds a purpose within a child that gives them a reason behind the immediate goals that drives their daily behaviour (having a purpose with a positive direction can transform a child’s life). It gives children 21st century life skills that build grit and resilience to overcome difficulties (children can only play an active part in the learning process and become self-directed when they are able to self-regulate and have the socio-emotional skills to work well with others). The pursuit of a purpose for children facilitates their character development such as integrity, resilience, optimism and self-confidence.
In short, the Leader in Me makes the connection between what pupils are learning academically and their life aspirations.
The Leader in Me process is a whole-person and whole-school transformation approach that treats the universal challenges of Academics, Culture, and Leadership, not as separate entities, but rather interrelated components. It is designed to focus on all three areas to simultaneously improve culture, leadership, and academics to create a holistic impact at schools and with a strong culture of self-leadership for all which impacts on everyone’s confidence and achievements. By focusing on connecting the improvement of school culture, developing leadership in everyone and aligning academics to leadership, the result is emotional well-being within the school. When these three elements are disconnected with disproportional amounts of time given to each in isolation, stress levels rise and resiliency levels decrease.
The Leader in Me is a process, not a programme, it’s an operating system that develops and empowers leadership throughout your school—starting with the adults (all staff), then developing children into confident leaders who can lead themselves and in turn lead others. Pupils who are developed as leaders are equipped with vital social-emotional learning and 21st Century skills to succeed in all areas of life. Transforming pupils into confident leaders is the ultimate purpose and end in mind.
Pupils develop character and competency skills over time as you teach and model leadership in the classroom or work areas—teaching staff become proficient at consistently communicating the worth and potential of each child, and empower the children with meaningful leadership opportunities. Every child gets an opportunity to be a leader.
Children with mental health problems are highly dependent with low resilience. The Leader in Me helps pupils in their maturity and development, moving from dependence to independence and finally interdependence. We do this by equipping children with the mindset, skill set and tool set to develop self-leadership, meaning a child takes responsibility for themselves, and their choices; they take initiative and are self-directed. They can determine a purposeful direction in their lives and schooling, and know what matters most. Then they prioritise and manage their time according to what is most important. Once they learn those skills, they are ready to lead others by working well with others, and looking for ways for everyone to benefit. They have the listening skills to understand others, and know how to express themselves with strong communication skills. Finally, they value different people and understand that working together leads to better results.
As you implement Leader in Me practices in your classroom and work areas, you will implement a variety of leadership principles, concepts, and tools. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People forms the foundation of the programme. The 7 Habits being the basis of everything you do is the key to developing social-emotional skills that lead to leadership and life skills. Simply, the habits help us develop the whole-child by maturing them from dependence to independence, to interdependence. Pupils learn to lead self, then lead others. Since the 7 Habits needs to be modeled by the adults for the children to see and learn from, it is imperative that your staff ‘live’ the habits as it will determine their effectiveness in both work and personal life.
The End result – Everyone feels increased energy because they have a meaningful purpose. For teachers – being equipped to make a positive difference to the whole-child, knowing that they can ultimately guide a child to become a happy, successful adult. For children – a sense of optimism as they are no longer mystified by the relevance of their schoolwork because they are creating a life purpose with key life skills to negotiate their daily personal challenges. Everyone feels more in control of their life and starts to take more initiative to make things better.