Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Leader in Me (2nd Edition) by Stephen R. Covey, Sean Covey, Muriel Summers, and David K. Hatch

Title: The Leader in Me (2nd Edition)
Author: Stephen R. Covey, Sean Covey, Muriel Summers, and David K. Hatch
Read by: Fred Sanders
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Length: Approximately 8 hours and 45 minutes
Source: Simon & Schuster Audio Digital Review Copy – Thank-you!

The subtitle of this book explains it all: “How Schools Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time”.  I first heard of The Leader in Me at the college I work at, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.  The book was discussed as well as the seven basic habits, but not much detail was given.  I then heard about The Leader in Me again this year as it is being used at the school my children attend.  When I was given the opportunity to review this audiobook, I jumped at the chance to learn more about what The Leader in Me entails.

In the Leader in Me, there are basically seven habits which are briefly explained at the beginning.  The habits are as follows:

Habit 1 – Be Proactive
Habit 2 – Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3 – Put First Things First
Habit 4 – Think Win-Win
Habit 5 – Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Habit 6 – Synergize
Habit 7 – Sharpen the Saw

After the introduction of these habits, the rest of the audiobook focused on how well different schools implemented these habits and how it made a difference in the lives of the students.  I eagerly anticipated the section on how to apply this at home and at the college level so I could work on it with my own children and college students.  Sadly both of these sections were very brief.  It did mention a book called Seven Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey.  I checked this out from the library and brought it home last night.  All of my kids said they’ve already read it at school and were eager to read it again which was very interesting.  Seven Habits of Happy Kids focuses on stories that involve the seven habits with a parents note on the end with discussion points for your kids and ways to implement the habits.  More information about the Leader in Me and tips can be found at:

From listening to the audiobook, I learned overall that the system works great, but not how to actually implement it.  I gathered that your school has to sign up basically for training on how to implement it school wide.  I’m not sure how that works on a college level.  I was happy to learn what the Leader in me was all about, but sad that there weren’t more practical applications of it in this audiobook.

Fred Sanders was a good narrator of the audiobook and it was very interesting to listen to on my daily commute and while I was working on chores.

My favorite part of the audiobook was actually a story towards the end about Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan.  It basically described how Sullivan was able to use the leadership principals in her own life to make a success and was able to teach these principles to Helen Keller.  I was fascinated and would actually love to listen to an audiobook all about that!

Overall, The Leader in Me is a very informative audiobook that describes how the seven leadership habits are working in schools around the world, but doesn’t provide the practical insights on how to apply them.


  1. Do not be decieved by this corporate grab of public school resources. At some point an honest discussion about the appropriateness, indeed legality of TLIM in the public schools must be undertaken. There is another side to this. You might simply inquire of the many schools who have summarily dropped the program, some that were even prominently featured in the Covey founding "TLIM book". One principal put it this way . . ."We have de-Coveyed everything in our building!" Teachers and students in that building also report being much happier now that TLIM is gone! I know it seems like all you hear is how much someone "loves" the program but I suggest to you that the emperor is not only without clothes, he is emaciated and struggling for survival. If you truly want to “seek first to understand”, I suggest you contact me at 270-866-1244 or and I will supply you with a summary document of my three years of research on this ill-advised, non-research based, exploitative program. Of course you may choose to simply “drink the Covey Kool-Aid” while innocent public school students continue to suffer the abuses rendered by this disastrous program!

  2. How would school children be "abused" by this program of learning to be more self-sufficient to think of others? I'm afraid I need specific details to believe you.

  3. Laura, thank you for a well-written, honest review of this audio book. The Habits you list are important ones for leaders/leaders-in-training. I have long adored the story of Helen Keller and her teacher.

  4. Me too - I think I need to read more about Helen Keller in the future. Thank-you for your nice comment!

  5. Please contact Mr. WILKERSON..I am friends with a school teacher..who has also researched LinMe...It is not what it seems on the outward...