Legacy Leadership Academy’s character education focuses on a leadership culture. The culture is cultivated by combining these elements:

  1. A common language
  2. Engagement by faculty and students
  3. Consistent modeling by everyone in the organization

It is done by carefully integrating 2 proven Leadership approaches: Gallup’s Strengths-based and Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People models.

LLA will teach timeless, universal, self-evident Principles of Leadership. We understand that that true leaders can see the worth and potential of an individual and can communicate it clearly so that he or she is inspired to see it themselves. We do this by teaching and practicing Gallup and Covey principles at each level of the school; Board of Directors, faculty, staff, students and parents when possible. We strive to assure “there is a teacher in every classroom who cares that every student, every day, learns and grows and feels like a real human being.” (Donald O Clifton, Strengths concept founder)

Gallup’s Model

Our primary focus is to prepare the students to function successfully in life. Society holds several assumptions about success. Many people teach and believe that success comes from behaviors or techniques that are learned, or if you want it badly enough you can have it and if you dream it, you can achieve it. They have the assumption that if you follow the “right” path you will succeed and that those who succeed have followed particular steps. Most also have the idea that if you fix your weaknesses you will be more successful.

Gallup’s Strengths research has shown that there is a different path to success:

  1. Some behaviors can be learned, but many are impossible to learn.
  2. The “best” in roles can deliver the same outcomes, but they use different methods to get there.
  3. Trying to “fix” our weaknesses only prevents failure.
  4. Building upon our natural Talents leads to success.
  5. A Strength will develop by adding Knowledge and Skill to a Talent.

Common Language

This Strengths-based approach enables our adult leaders and students to understand and appreciate their unique Talents. Gallup identifies 34 different Talents that every adult has and by understanding each and using them appropriately, a common language or vocabulary can be created. The teachers and students learn to honor and respect Talents and Strengths in others that are different than their own. Our teachers watch for the Talents in their students and speak of them to the students. They are then able to help the students develop those Talents into Strengths and work with other students with complementary Talents and facilitate a win-win outcome for all involved.

Our teachers and staff know their top Talents by taking an online assessment provided by Gallup. This assessment enables the teacher to understand themselves and better engage each child emotionally on a daily basis. Our teachers learn to understand what stimulates and motivates each student so they can encourage growth through their Talents and relationship they have with that student.


Engagement is a voluntary choice to work with a heartfelt effort to achieve the Mission and goals of the organization. A different world cannot be built by indifferent people, a Strengths-based school must begin with immensely talented, deeply committed, engaged individuals who are given the opportunity to do what they do best every day. Their engagement is infectious, and others learn the satisfaction and rewards of being engaged.

Modeling Consistently to Maintain Culture

Teachers and administrators know that to be the best in the world they need to be ‘really good’ at nourishing those for whom they have a responsibility by practicing a Servant/Leader role. Reaching this point requires that all team members are committed to excellence for themselves and those around them. By practicing and reinforcing these successful principles, on a daily basis the Culture is maintained and becomes a natural way of behaving for everyone in the school.

Covey’s Model

In 1989, Stephen Covey wrote the highly influential book for corporations: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It was an instant success and influenced companies all over the world.

In 1999, an elementary Principal, Muriel Summers, from Durham, NC, attended a seminar and asked Dr. Covey if he thought the Habits would work for 5-year-olds. He replied that he didn’t see why not and let him know how it turned out. It turned out to be very successful and in 2008, Dr. Covey wrote about the results in the book “Leader in Me”.

The 7 Habits are:

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
  3. Putting First Things First
  4. Think Win-Win
  5. Seek to Understand before You Seek to be Understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw

These Habits or skills require the same elements as Gallup’s model:

  1. A common language
  2. Engagement
  3. Consistent modeling by everyone in the organization

Common Language

By learning the 7 Habits and using the appropriate vocabulary that conveys the principles, the Culture will be embed deeply into the school and the students. It is amazing how young students, even some pre-schoolers, can understand and use the Habits when speaking to each other and making decisions


Engagement begins when the experiences we are having are fun, and we find they can be helpful to us. The teachers use the 7 Habits in their lesson plans by showing the students how they apply to the stories. Then the students practice identifying and using the Habits in their lives. For example, a child can use the 3rd Habit, First Things First, by deciding to do homework before playing.

The more the student understands and practices the Habits the more valuable and applicable they become so engagement increases.

Consistent Modeling

It begins with the teachers and administration conscientiously teaching the students the timeless principles and helping the students to apply them. Each class and each grade can and must use the same vocabulary and watch for students who are comprehending and the few who are not. Often a mentor system is used because students often learn more effectively from each other.