It’s time to build Leadership

At this week’s Senior School assembly, Principal Mrs Maryanne Davis announced Danebank’s 2018 student leadership selection process by exploring what leadership is and what good leadership looks like.


2017 leaders

Our theme this year has been, “it’s time to build”, and today we are looking at building leadership skills in each and every one of you. Why do we need leaders? 

It is a question you should be able to answer if you consider standing for a leadership position: whether it is prefect or choir captain or netball captain or member of the SRC.
Lead and follow
Since their early childhood, every person has led at some time and, no matter who you are or what your title is, everyone also has to be a follower. Our positions don’t make us leaders. Our positions are simply the context in which we exist … the place where we can lead wisely or foolishly.
Laying bricks
In his book “Lead with Wisdom”, Mark Strom says leadership is a lot like laying bricks. Every day you handle bricks … these are the substantial things that have to be done, delivered, checked and signed off.
We know completing the tasks associated with your position as a leader will show that you are reliable and well organised, but that is only part of being a leader. 
In addition to performing all of their duties, leaders seek thoughtful, human ways to meet the challenges for which there are no easy answers.
What holds it all together?
Strom says if all the tasks you have to do in a leadership position are the bricks, what is it that holds the bricks together? What is the mortar that cements the tasks of leadership together and allows for leadership to be built? 
At Danebank, the mortar would be the countless (invisible) small things: the words you use, the way you greet people, whether you volunteer when cleaning up needs to be done, your helping of a new student, and doing something that no one else has to do; it is how you listen to others, it is not being a bystander in the playground when someone else is hurting. 
The strength of the wall is in the mortar, in these things … it is not the bricks. 
What is good leadership?
Good leadership that will have an impact and lead to positive change and improvement requires both bricks and mortar.
A leader seeks thoughtful, human ways to meet the challenges for which there are no easy answers … this is the mortar that makes a leader. Leadership is grounded in substance and character. 
A good leader seeks wisdom. This wisdom is required every day as you face the unpredictable. You need more than the standard answers, often you need new questions: how do you find the great question, how do you craft a compelling argument for moving forward, how do you craft this so people come with you as active authors rather than passive readers, how do you help them find their brilliance? 
Mrs Maryanne Davis, Principal

What makes up the mortar that holds the bricks together?

The mortar that holds the bricks together can be grouped as follows:

  • Be a servant leader-guide and fellow traveller: leadership is ALWAYS on behalf of others. A servant leader is both a guide and a fellow traveller.
  • Serve the school community
  •  Be innovative and committed
  •  Be present and visible
  •  Mentor younger leaders
  •  Be a role model
  •  Support our school and staff


Find out more about how to enrol, school tours, scholarships and our Life Skills program.

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