Many of you will have noticed that Mr McMullen is currently enjoying three weeks of well-earned Long Service Leave. In his absence, I thought it would be good to hear about leadership from the perspective of our two school captains, Adelaide Baker and Nathan Pavey.
Personally, I have seen that Adelaide and Nathan carry their school leadership responsibilities conscientiously and well. It is not easy to be “on show” as representatives of the school’s Christian values, or to serve consistently as an advocate for your peers and the concerns that directly affect them.
Here are their reflections on leadership, in their own words:
Mathew 20:28 says “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
This verse has been a great encouragement and reminder for me during my time spent serving on the SLC because to me, to lead is to serve, and to serve is to emulate Christ. It outlines in this verse Christ the Son of God, the God of the universe and of all creation, chose to come and live a life of service, a life not lived for himself. This speaks volumes about what leadership should look like, it should be servant leadership.
To me servant leadership doesn’t mean simply being kind when it’s convenient, or showing others love in a way that costs us nothing. Servant leadership is sacrificial. To serve is to put the needs of others before our own, even if this is hard. To serve others is to sacrifice our time, our energy, our resources, and our own wants. This doesn’t mean we are called, as leaders, to live a life or hardship, but rather of great joy. We are called to find great joy in serving others. God has given each and every one of us gifts, talents and passions, and we are to use these to serve others. Service isn’t denying ourselves all joy, all free time, all happiness, and leisure. Servant leadership is about using the strengths God has given us to benefit and love others, rather than ourselves.
Even if you’re not a Christian, I still think that servant leadership is important. Leaders we admire and look up to aren’t the ones that fit leadership into their spare time. No, we admire those who we know show care and love and put energy into leading. Leading isn’t all about standing up front and acting like we know what we’re doing. Leadership is the honest and genuine act of caring and loving others during times it’s needed (which in my opinion is probably all the time).
The SLC program has been a vital point of growth in my life and has taught me a number of valuable lessons on how to lead the people around me.
One of the most important lessons I have learned during my time in the SLC program, and through my participation as a School Captain, is the idea of servant leadership, and we can see the importance of this through what we read about Jesus in the Bible. While Jesus was a leader for all, he did not neglect his responsibility and purpose in serving the people he led. We only have to look to his ultimate sacrifice in laying down his life in service to his people. While cannot possibly sacrifice to this extent, we can still spend our time and effort to ensure that what we are doing is for the service of others.
Another valuable lesson I have learned is the value of integrity, to remain true to your values despite the context you are set in. In the school environment, we are thrown into many different contexts surrounded by people with different values, but the way we treat them shouldn’t change. The way we treat the people we lead should be the same as we treat the people that lead us. We should remain honest, righteous, and fair, and encourage others to do the same. Without integrity, how can we ever hope to be trusted and respected?
One of the hardest lessons to learn is to understand that no matter the hardship, there is always someone to turn to. As a person, you face hardship, it is not different from anyone else, but as a leader, you can build this feeling that you have no one to turn to, which is far from the truth. No matter your position in life, you can always turn to someone, including God.
Learning the importance of leadership in life is something that I have learned during my time as Carey throughout my journey here and is a lesson that I won’t ever forget.
I find great encouragement in these insights from Adelaide and Nathan, and they offer valuable lessons for aspiring leaders and those currently in leadership. They remind us that leadership is not about power or authority but about selfless service, integrity, and working together to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Mr Michael Nightingale
Acting Principal (Director of Teaching and Learning)