BL: Kindly provide a background of the ‘ Leader in Me’ programme?
IAN: The Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model and process—developed in partnership with educators by FranklinCovey—that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the twenty first century. Schools which have implemented the series continue to report an increase in students’ self-confidence, teamwork, initiative, responsibility, creativity, self-direction, leadership, problem solving, and communication for children of all ages, socio-economic levels, learning capacities and cultural backgrounds.
BL: Who are the target beneficiaries of this programme and why?
IAN: The Leader in Me helps a school create a culture that empowers learners to take responsibility for their own education and helps to tap into their wholesome potential. All schools would benefit from this process.
BL: When was it introduced in Kenya and by who?
IAN: It was launched in Kenya in November 2016 and the first school, Tender Care Junior Academy signed up for this programme one year later in November. A number of other local and international schools are lined up to become a part of this process next year. TLIM has been introduced by the Raiser Resource Group – the Franklin Covey authorized partner in Kenya.
BL: To what extent has it benefited its target market?
IAN: We have just put up the measurement metrics in place for Tender Care Junior Academy and expect to see the following improvements in the coming months:
• Decreases in disciplinary issues;
• Greater parent satisfaction and involvement in children’s school work;
• Improved school culture;
• Increased teacher pride and engagement.
BL: What type of leadership skills does this programme provide that the current ones do not?
IAN: The Leader in Me programme is premised on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People leadership programme/book. It inculcates the 7 principles of effective leadership to learners.
Rather than teach a leadership curriculum to schools, this program makes leadership ubiquitous in all the activities of the learners. It looks at 21st century life skills through a partnership with parents, teachers and students. It will do this by changing paradigms or long held beliefs about education ( for instance, the misconception that leadership is only for a few people, while in reality it is for all, or that only a few people are gifted, while in reality, everyone has genius). It will provide tool sets that result in self-confidence, teamwork, initiative, responsibility, creativity, self-direction, leadership, problem solving, and communication. These are skills that are needed in a 21st century environment.
BL: How much does it cost to participate in this programme?
IAN: The investment is dependent on the number of students and staff in a school. It ranges from Kshs.5, 000 to Kshs.15, 000 per child per year for schools with two hundred and over two thousand learners respectively. The bigger the school numbers, the lower the per child cost per year.
BL: What research went into the foundation of The Leader in Me programme that makes it beneficial to the target audience?
IAN: The initial research was done at the AB Combs elementary school in North Carolina almost eighteen years ago. In that school, metrics such as student enrollment, test scores, student and parent participation went up. Indiscipline also went down dramatically. Since then, many schools around the world report an improvement in metrics around leadership, culture and academics.
BL: What role are parents expected to play considering that most of them send their children to school to learn?
IAN: Parents recognize that they want their children to flourish wholesomely not just in academics. They want them to be “world ready” when they leave school or college. The parent supports this process by attending workshops that bring them up to speed on the leadership qualities expected from them. They also attend class and events involving the whole school that showcase their children’s capability across the different aspects in leadership, culture and academics.
BL: Besides ‘ Leader in Me’, which other leadership and life skills programmes does Raiser Resource Group offer?
IAN: Raiser Resource Group Offers programmes in productivity, trust, execution, customer loyalty and sales performance.
BL : Highlight a bit about the global and local trends among players offering leadership and life skills programmes?
IAN: The global trend is for leadership programmes to talk to the mindsets of those that are participating. Mindsets are powerful and unless you debunk certain beliefs, it does not matter how many tools your offer to the participants, they will still approach issues in the same way. The global trend is also for programmes not to be events but processes that are delivered over time. In the process of learning, participants get a chance to use their lessons and tools for practical application at their station at school or at work. The trend is also that there should be a measurement at the pre-process and the post process period so that stakeholders know if learning transfer took place.
BL: Which hurdles do you face in this line of business and how have you addressed them?
IAN: The key hurdles are but not limited to the 5 year political cycles that slow down uptake, lack of quality staff both in terms of character and capability, organizations that do not have a training culture and others that need the training but do not want to pay much for it.
BL: Please provide a brief background of the Raiser Group?
IAN: Established in 2003, Raiser is East Africa’s leading performance development company that has contributed to the development of employees in over 500 local and multinational organizations in 12 African countries. The company has partnered with three leading global organizations : FranklinCovey®, Crestcom International® and Insights® to offer training programmes that align to global learning best practice. Raiser offers executive training programmes in leadership and management, sales, team effectiveness, customer service, and other productivity solutions. For more details, please visit, www.raiser.co.ke.
BL: Kindly share any last words or other pertinent issues around the programme?
IAN: We are all working to build a better future for our country Kenya. One of the ways we can do this in a very profound way is by strengthening the quality of education so that it gives every learner a chance to explore their best potential. If we do this, we will be able to build a new generation of citizens and leaders who are accountable to one another and who care about our country and community. I see The Leader in Me as helping us to convert many Kenyan schools as models of excellence in leadership.