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7 Habits Author, Stephen R. Covey, Continues to Expand Reach with Polycom Telepresence


Author Relies on Telepresence to Engage with Leaders of Tomorrow at North Carolina’s Acclaimed A.B. Combs Elementary School

RALEIGH, N.C., and PLEASANTON, Calif. - Last Thursday, leadership expert and best-selling author, Dr. Stephen R. Covey, sat down with a group of elementary school students at a school in Raleigh, N.C., and shared with them the tenets of the leadership program that has brought their school nationwide acclaim. And the visit occurred while Stephen Covey was in Omaha, Nebraska – nearly 1,200 miles away.

Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Vice Chairman of FranklinCovey Co. (NYSE: FC), continues to extend his reach with the help of telepresence solutions from Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in telepresence, video and voice communication solutions.

Stephen Covey’s latest telepresence address took place last week during “Leadership Day,” a gathering of 175 educators and business leaders at Raleigh’s A.B. Combs Leadership Magnet Elementary School. The event is designed to showcase the school’s success in applying a leadership model, The Leader in Me, which is based on principles developed by Stephen Covey. Once the lowest performing school in its district, A.B. Combs now is known for successfully arming students with the skills and self-confidence to succeed as leaders in the 21st century.

Using a Polycom telepresence system installed at The Durham Museum in Omaha, Stephen Covey interacted with students and educators during a segment spotlighting what it’s like to be a student at A.B. Combs. In Raleigh, A.B. Combs administrators took advantage of Stephen Covey’s appearance to christen a new room-based telepresence system presented to the school by Polycom.

“How appropriate that the first prominent use of our new Polycom telepresence system will be interacting with Dr. Stephen Covey, whose leadership principles have helped us transform our school and the lives of our students,” said Muriel Thomas Summers, principal of A.B. Combs. “Polycom telepresence will not only benefit the 810 students we serve, but every child in every state and country that we touch. Our students and teachers will now be able to interact with people of other cultures and with recognized leaders, and learn from them in real time. This will help us nurture the global citizens of tomorrow. That is the gift of telepresence. It brings the world to our students.”

Telepresence will also help the school expand its decade-old Leader of the Week program, which brings high-achieving individuals from business and government into the school to speak with students. “This will really open up the program, because now we don’t have to worry about where the speaker is located. Instead, we can find the very best person to talk to their area of expertise,” said Summers. “We have students from 64 countries speaking 27 different languages. So it’s important for students to interact with leaders who look like them, and Polycom has suddenly made that so much easier for us.”

The school also plans to use its telepresence system to take advantage of a host of Polycom-sponsored resources, including:

* A free searchable database of more than 1,900 educational programs from schools, zoos, museums and more.
* A global network of educators who regularly collaborate on projects over video conference.
* Special events that can connect A.B. Combs students live with renowned authors, experts in fascinating fields, and famous locations, and other opportunities to access free rich content to enhance studies.

The A.B. Combs event is the latest use of Polycom telepresence to improve access to Stephen Covey and other FranklinCovey thought leaders for conferences and events. Through Interactive Forums powered by Polycom telepresence, Stephen Covey and FranklinCovey save a significant amount of time and travel costs, thereby delivering a more cost-effective model for the organization and its customers.

Stephen Covey said, “With Polycom telepresence, I can carry on a genuine, face-to-face conversation with people located thousands of miles away, which creates an environment where we can be authentic, real and honest. That kind of intimacy is essential when interacting with these students about the core principles of leadership that are shaping their lives every day at A.B. Combs.”

Polycom telepresence delivers a very natural and interactive visual communication experience that allows Stephen Covey to interact with people in other locations in a very collaborative and intimate manner.

About Dr. Stephen R. Covey
Dr. Stephen R. Covey ( is an internationally respected leadership authority, teacher, writer, organizational consultant and co-founder and vice chairman of FranklinCovey Co. He is author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which Chief Executive magazine has called the most influential business book of the last 100 years. The book has sold nearly 20 million copies, and after 20 years still holds a place on most best-seller lists. He is also a co-author with Bob Whitman, CEO of FranklinCovey, of Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times and will release his newest book, Great Work, Great Career mid-December, 2009.

Stephen Covey earned an MBA from Harvard and a doctorate from BYU, where he was a professor of organizational behavior. For more than 40 years he has taught millions of people—including presidents of nations and corporations—the transforming power of the principles that govern individual and organizational effectiveness. He and his wife live in the Rocky Mountains of Utah.

About FranklinCovey
FranklinCovey Co. (NYSE: FC) (, is a global provider of training and consulting services in the areas of leadership, productivity, strategy execution, customer loyalty, trust, sales performance, government, education and individual effectiveness. Clients include 90 percent of the Fortune 100, more than 75 percent of the Fortune 500, thousands of small- and mid-sized businesses, as well as numerous government entities and educational institutions. FranklinCovey Co. has 40 direct and licensee offices providing professional services in 147 countries.

About Polycom
Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) is the global leader in telepresence, video, and voice solutions and a visionary in communications that empower people to connect and collaborate everywhere. Visit for more information and follow us on Twitter @AllAboutPolycom.


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