In order for such a programme to succeed, I personally think that there needs to be a vast amount of perseverance and a lot of the participants, especially at the staff level will need to ‘buy in’ to the idea that the implementation of such a programme is beneficial to one and all. Beyond that, there must also need to be a change in personal mindsets and a great sense of focus and confidence in the ‘messages’ of success and leadership. Indeed, there is mention in the book, of members of staff who feel that they cannot or will not participate in the philosophies of the school and voluntarily leave.
Chapter 5 ‘Unleashing a Culture of Leadership’ describes what tools were used to reinforce the messages of the Habits. These are listed as Behaviours, Language, Artefacts, Traditions (Rituals) and Folklore. While some were easy to see as typical reinforcements, others while slightly different, made sense. Traditions for example included annual celebratory days for success and Artefacts could come in the form of posters of positive messages. Folklore typically centred on stories of how the culture of success and leadership and enabled change within the school, celebrating especially the students.
Chapter 6 ‘Rippling across the Globe’ and chapter 7 ‘Moving Upward and Beyond’ are descriptions of case studies from around the World. The practises and approaches in implementing the same philosophies and programmes in other countries and other American states. Some brief examples are also included from Singapore, the UK and Guatemala.
In the final two chapters (Chapter 8 Make It Happen One Step at a Time and Chapter 9 Bringing it Home), Covey summarises approaches to take in order to implement and apply the concepts in an educational setting and how to start pursuing the same goals and philosophies in our homes. It is refreshing that these two chapters do no simply serve as a marketing mouthpiece for the further commercialisation of the Habits programme(These come at the end of the book). Covey comes across as genuinely trying to help encourage success without personal gain.
Here, Covey defines successful leadership as ‘a leader of leaders’ allowing and encouraging others to reach their highest potential in their ‘own’ way instead of being ‘a leader of followers’.
At the very end, Covey reinforces the idea that the home environment plays a role of immense magnitude and how important it is to reinforce the culture, thoughts and habits of success and leadership.