What if “old dogs” didn’t need to learn “new tricks?”

What if “old dogs” didn’t need to learn “new tricks?”
Curtis Wiltse, Class of 2013
Beck's Superior Hybrids, Research Manager

Most people reading this article would be classified as “old dogs.” I don’t know about you, but this “old dog” finds it difficult sometimes to learn new tricks. I recently read Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and absolutely loved it. Let’s be honest. My habits (good and bad) were learned, fostered and solidly formed years ago, and they are difficult to change.

What if, though, we were to begin learning and forming leadership habits intentionally in kindergarten? This is happening right now at Washington Woods Elementary School (WWES) in Westfield. As participants in the Franklin Covey “The Leader in Me” program, the leadership team, staff and students at WWES are learning to develop the following 7 “Leader in Me” habits for their lives. The 7 Habits are outlined below:

1) Be proactive. I choose my response (my attitudes and actions) to every situation, and I’m responsible for those responses.

2) Begin with the end in mind. Think ahead and set goals. I can change the things that I have direct control of or influence over.
3) Put first things first. Set priorities and work on important things while saying “no” to things that don’t matter. Be organized and self-disciplined. Make and follow a plan.
4) Think win-win. Recognize that we are in this together. When conflict arises, be prepared to seek other alternatives. I must balance my desires with those of others.
5) Seek first to understand, then be understood. Listen…truly listen to others. Don’t interrupt, and look people in the eyes. Then I can convey my ideas confidently.
6) Synergize. With humility, I can leverage the talents and strengths of other people to do far more than I am able to on my own.
7) Sharpen the saw. Keep my body, mind and heart healthy! Exercise, read, spend time with friends and family, and find ways to serve the needs of others!
I can’t wait to see the impact that these “young dogs” will have!!!
For more information, visit WWES (call Dr. Scott Williams, Principal) or go to www.theleaderinme.org.

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