Today marks a most significant day in our College calendar – the Induction of our Seniors as Leaders of our College. It was lovely to see so many parents in attendance. Understandably many could not make it and as such, I would like to offer you an excerpt of my speech.
Leadership is defined as the art of motivating, directing and influencing people so that they work together willingly to achieve the goals of the team, or the College to which the team belongs. Authentic leadership is developed through values and relationships, transformation, sustainability and servanthood.
Values are the underlying fundamental beliefs, principles, standards and qualities that one considers to be worthwhile, right and proper. These innermost beliefs should be the context for, and the justification of, all actions and relationships, and be the base of all decision-making.
Leadership should be underpinned by the following four principles. These define the underlying considerations for the evaluation of genuine and effective leadership:
Leadership for real should be underpinned by a commitment to the truth. Our individual actions must have genuineness and integrity – honesty in our relationships with others and, just as importantly, being true to our self. We must be inspired by and match our values as best we can to achieve this difficult challenge. Authentic leaders acknowledge truth that is based on self-knowledge and authenticity, and that is reflected in a personal leadership style, and a life of integrity and honour.
Leadership for change should bring about necessary change in people’s lives, moving them from a position that enables them to meet their current needs and the needs of their College’s culture, to one where they can adapt to the future needs and the changing context of their community. This means ensuring that being future-oriented is integral to their perspectives, as well as a respect for the honourable and successful traditions of their past. Transformational leaders enable change because they know the challenges of modern leadership, can understand and manage change, appreciate complexity and provide simplicity, and are courageous and strong.
Leadership for life should bring about change that enables the people within an organisation to continue to grow. This requires principles, policies and processes that specifically aim to pursue change at a rate and level of resources that the organisational team can manage. Sustainable leadership nurtures teams and cultivates resources through earned respect, knowledge of the difference between leadership and power, building a learning organisation, and encouraging teamwork – collective service.
Service Oriented Leadership
Leadership for others should acknowledge the necessity for serving the needs of others before your own needs. This connects the leader to their team and the tasks which it must achieve, and helps them to articulate a genuine culture of servanthood. Servant leaders place others first by serving and caring for people, building trust and demonstrating humility.
The formation of an effective leader comes from much self-reflection, experience, study, the development of specific skills and personal discipline. Leadership, like education, is not a destination, but rather a journey of contemplation and self-development.
The formation of leadership stems from the following three questions:
Today we, as a community, provide you with the opportunity to make your pledge to us, a pledge to exemplify the College motto of ‘Excellence, Care and Commitment’ at all times; a pledge in which you will promise to strive to achieve the goals of the College by unifying the student body, by giving your unconditional service to this community and by having a caring approach to all whom they meet.
You will make a promise to create unity and harmony, to encourage and support others, and to foster a sense of College spirit in all you do; and you will promise to honour and promote the finest aspects of our Australian culture and the heritage upon which this College was founded.
If you can answer these questions you are well placed in your leadership journey.
Year 12s - I trust that while you have read the pledge, that you have taken the time to understand the promise you are about to make. Your pledge is one that is offered to this entire community. It is one of great significance and cannot be taken as being tokenistic or merely words on a page. It is one that we will hold you to.
In saying that, I would also like to add that by inducting these young men and women here today, each of us also pledge our support to them. Leaders cannot lead without support, our Senior Leaders cannot fulfil their pledge to us without the support of students, staff and parents; and so by attending this event, we represent the entire community of A.B. Paterson College in offering our support to you.
Seniors, today is not a destination, but I hope the commencement of a wonderful new journey for you as you start to realise the leadership potential you have inside you; and I trust that you will honour your pledge and will seek our help in doing so.
I know that under the leadership of Rachel and Adrian, you have the potential to achieve wonderful things as a group but you will only leave a lasting legacy if you can start to find your answer to these questions.