Youthful version of Stephen Covey's '7 Habits of Highly Effective People' shakes up schools

A school program built around the late self-help guru Stephen Covey's best-selling "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" is growing in popularity as the book approaches its 25th anniversary.

Called "The Leader in Me," the nearly 1,500 mostly elementary schools using the program teach principles from the book, including "think win-win" and "synergize."

Teachers weave the habits into lessons, asking students, for instance, how historical figures like George Washington used them. If a student gets into trouble, teachers and principals ask what habit could have helped him or her avoid the scrape.

For a typical 400-student school, adopting the Leader in Me program would cost between $45,000 and $60,000 over the first three years. The professional services company FranklinCovey acknowledges that the expense is one of the biggest challenges.