Discovering the true character of leadership

06 Jun 2024

Learning to lead through actions and understanding the impact of making a positive difference are integral to the goals of Character & Leadership Week at Christ’s College.

For Head of Character & Leadership Hugo Helmore, it is an opportunity to bring the boys together to showcase the power of good character and leadership.

“Leadership is an important aspect of all facets of school life, whether it be in the classroom, in the boarding Houses or on the field,” he says. “Good character is the basis for bringing everyone from different backgrounds together to create an environment where each boy can be at his best.”

Hugo aspires to have all students reflect the strong, traditional virtues of Christ’s College.

“The cornerstones of character and leadership are humility, relationships, courage, and compassion, with service being at the heart of it all,” he believes. “It is crucial for all boys to strive to be servant leaders who are willing to not only take the initiative but also recognise the achievements of those around them.

“I believe that true leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that the impact lasts in your absence.”

A Character & Leadership Quiz – open to all year levels – has officially marked the start of the special week. The boys have also gathered in the Quad on a frosty morning to claim a hot chocolate in return for sharing their top three character strengths with students. And the winner of a poster competition, featuring New Zealand leaders, has been announced at Assembly, with Aaron Kwak taking the prize for his poster of Dame Cindy Kiro.

Among the highlights have been the leadership workshops for Year 12 students, led by well-known mentor Joel Bouzaid.

As student Tomas Coberger points out, “our leadership workshops aim to help us grow and develop as young leaders”.

“Joel Bouzaid has talked about integrity and the role that plays in successful leadership. In the moment of choice, it is the decisions you make,” Tomas says. “He has also outlined the ‘three circles’ – awareness, choices, and results. You have to be aware and conscious of what you want, and make the choices based on that, and from there you can get the results you seek. We have also done several exercises, including writing our most valued personality traits on boards, and reflecting on what they mean and look like to us.”

Fellow Year 12 student Hayden Douglass highlights that to get the best results “you have to make the right choices”.

“So, as Joel Bouzaid explains, with these choices, you can make them with integrity or not,” Hayden says. “He underlines the consequences and/or benefits of your choices. He also has pointed out that everything I do – my choices – matter to the younger students, too. It is so important to be a role model to those who look up to you for leadership.”