Are some people born leaders? Arguably, the answer is no. Some people may have a particularly charismatic personality that draws people’s attention, but unless they project a special vision that appeals to other people, that attention is likely to be short lived. Leadership is a privilege that is bestowed on the leader by a group of followers. The authority of leadership comes from the fidelity of the followers.
Our leadership potential is largely determined by our personality and habits. We all have the capacity to lead, but we might need to adjust or temper some of our more challenging characteristics.
Leadership is about the art of motivating, influencing and directing people so that they work together to achieve the goals of a team or broader organisation. It’s important for students to experience leadership opportunities during their schooling, to learn the art of building relationships within teams, defining identities and achieving tasks effectively. It also provides an opportunity to learn to identify and display effective communication and interpersonal skills.
Our 2018 student leaders enjoyed a two-day leadership camp on Friday, 17 November and Saturday, 18 November commencing with a short pilgrimage from St Mary’s Cathedral to St Joseph’s Church in Subiaco. Students then journeyed to the Catholic Education Centre in Leederville where Dr Tony Curry, Director, School Improvement, shared five essential ingredients of good leadership:
- Sound relationships based on qualities such as mutual trust, respect, sensitivity, a sense of humour, truth and, most importantly, humility.
- Know the people you work with – this means knowing and using people’s names and being interested (but not nosey) about their lives outside of school.
- Leadership is based on service – the old adage, “Do not ask anyone to do something that you’re not willing to do yourself”, remains as relevant today as it ever was.
- Leaders need to be risk takers – the message, “If you don’t make a mistake, you don’t make anything”, is true.
- Leaders need to work with people. That is, be collaborative, honest and loyal.
Students returned to school and participated in a number of practical activities to build a sense of team. The Student Executive Leaders stayed overnight in the Lyon Building enjoying a night of hospitality and camaraderie.
On Saturday morning, GRIP Leadership, an independent organisation which is focused on developing student leadership, delivered a practical and interactive training session for the Student Executive Leaders. Mr Ronan McGinniss, GRIP Managing Director (Marketing), highlighted four elements of the ‘Compass of a Leadership Team’:
- Structure and roles;
- Standards and Expectations;
- Schedule of Activities; and
- Statement of Success.
It was a great experience with a lot to ponder in the coming weeks. We are grateful to Mr Ryan Shelton, Ms Kelly Bond and Mrs Carla Pastorelli for giving up their time to to facilitate a most enjoyable and rewarding experience.