Students & Families Resources » Leader in Me (7 Habits)

Leader in Me (7 Habits)

At McSwain School, one of our main goals is to teach our students 21st century leadership and life skills.  While academics are important, developing the whole child through The Leader in Me and the 7 Habits is paramount for student success. 


The principles taught in the 7 Habits are universal, timeless principles of personal, interpersonal and organizational effectiveness, which are secular in nature and common to all people and cultures. They transcend political, philosophical, religious, socioeconomic, generational, gender, and lifestyle differences, and may be adapted and applied in any context or environment.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People


The 7 Habits of Highly 
Effective People
Principles Application Using Age-Appropriate 
Language for Students
Habit 1: Be Proactive
  • Initiative
  • Responsibility
  • Choice
  • Accountability
You’re in Charge: “I am a responsible person. I take initiative to make things happen. I choose my own actions, attitudes, and moods. I do not blame other people for my mistakes. I focus on the things I can influence. 
Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind
  • Vision
  • Planning
  • Purpose
Have a Plan: “I plan ahead. I know how to set and achieve goals. I do things that have meaning and make a difference. I am an important part of my classroom and contribute to my school’s mission and purpose. 
Habit 3: Put First Things First
  • Prioritization
  • Organization
  • Discipline
Work First, Then Play: “I spend my time on things that are most important. This means I say no to things that are less important. I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow my plan. I am disciplined and organized.” 
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
  • Consideration
  • Courage
  • Mutual benefit
  • Fairness
Everyone Can Win: “I balance courage for getting what I want with consideration for what others want. I build good relationships with others by being kind, saying I'm sorry when needed, and keeping commitments. When conflicts arise, I look for options that work for both sides.” 
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
  • Respect
  • Mutual understanding
  • Empathy
Listen Before You Talk: “I listen to other people’s ideas and feelings. I try to see things from their viewpoints. I listen to others without interrupting. I am confident in voicing my ideas. I look people in the eyes when talking.” 
Habit 6: Synergize
  • Creativity
  • Cooperation
  • Diversity
  • Humility
Together Is Better: “I value other people’s strengths and learn from them. I get along well with others, even people who are different from me. I work well in groups. I seek out other people’s ideas to solve problems. 
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
  • Renewal
  • Health and wellness
  • Continuous improvement
  • Balance
Balance Feels Best: “I take care of my body by eating right, exercising, and getting sleep. I spend time with family and friends. I learn in lots of ways and lots of places, not just at school. I find meaningful ways to help others. I am balanced.”