St Joseph's School, Stanthorpe | Living Mercy since 1875

What Makes A Leader

My word of the week is “leadership”.

On Wednesday I asked the secondary students to put their hands up if they considered themselves a leader. After much encouragement from myself, six students put their hands up – our current captains and prefects. To me that was a big surprise. Only six out of 160 students considered themselves a student leader!

What is leadership? Leadership is a collective, not singular, activity – everyone acting together for the common good. Leadership is not one person directing others or doing something to others so they do what he or she wants them to do. Leadership is about doing influential acts of encouragement, empowerment, support, facilitation and service. At the heart of leadership is service of others. It is not about “I”, it is about “we”.

As the Dali Lama has said, “If you seek enlightenment for yourself simply to enhance yourself and your position, you miss the purpose; if you seek enlightenment for yourself to enable you to serve others, you are with purpose.”

Jesus is the ideal example of a servant leader.

In my view, all students are leaders. Every student in his or her own way IS a leader in our school community. Every student has a responsibility to their peers and, in particular, those younger than them. Every student has the responsibility to serve others.

As the year comes quickly to an end, I thank the Year 12s for their strong, caring and positive leadership throughout the year. I look forward to our Year 11s stepping up as our Senior Leaders and showing their true leadership potential in 2018. The school looks forward to their servant leadership.

This week we started the process to appoint our elected student leaders for 2018. A number of Year 11 students have nominated and been interviewed for the positions of  captain and prefect. Next week they will deliver a five-minute speech to the secondary school on what leadership means to them. The staff and students will then have the opportunity to vote on who they would prefer as their student leaders. I thank all those who have nominated for a position and those who are facilitating the process.

The key message, however, is that we encourage all students to be leaders across the school. Act together, support each other, serve those around you and your community.

Andrew Kendall

Acting Principal

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