Lessons in leadership

02 Jul 2020

Some boys are ready to step up, while others are more reticent, but – as they consider taking on leadership roles in their final year at school – all Year 12 students have been given the opportunity to learn more about leadership. And with building balloon towers and board breaking in the mix, the Year 12 leadership day was as much about teamwork and empowerment as it was about understanding what it takes to be a leader.

The overarching theme of “Leading with Integrity” was explored in three separate but complementary interactive workshops led by speaker & trainer Joel Bouzaid, Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education John Quinn, and teacher and Housemaster Matt Cortesi.

Joel talked about leadership as creating possibilities, linking College’s mission of Each boy at his best with the idea of self-responsibility – that each boy every day can chose to be at his best and, by doing so, be open to opportunities. He got the boys to share their ideas about leadership and integrity, and encouraged them to think about how – by drawing on their core values – they can develop the clarity of vision and motivation to lead with confidence. At the end of the session Joel used a board breaking exercise to elucidate his leadership philosophy – if you know what you are trying to achieve and have clarity of purpose, you can do it.

Matt focused his session on leadership theories and styles, using the seemingly simple exercise of building a balloon tower to demonstrate how they might work in practice. As the boys blew up the dozens of colourful balloons the room took on a festive air, but with secret disruptors in each group, it quickly became clear some leadership styles were more conducive to getting the job done than others. Matt then asked the boys to think about how they could use their skills as leaders and mentors in their Houses.

As part of the Year 12 MANifesto programme, John looked at leadership through the lens of wellbeing, character strengths, mindsets and mindfulness, reminding the boys that people who have a stronger understanding of and live by their core values tend to have a greater sense of meaning in their lives.