Thank you leaders

At the end of last term, Principal Mrs Maryanne Davis addressed the girls about leadership and had the following to say.

Today is “thank the leaders day”. Thank you to Amy Aroney and all of the Year 12 and Year 11 prefects. They have done a wonderful job this year and I thank you. But I also want to thank all girls who have served as peer support leaders, Ut Prosim leaders, and bond leaders. I want to thank every girl who has been a leader in SIC and Focus. I want to thank all girls who have served as leaders on the Student Representative Council. I want to thank everyone who has served as leaders in the other school like groups choir or debating. I want to thank every girl who has been the captain of a sporting team. I want to thank those who have been buddies to new students arriving in the School. I want to thank those who have taken school tours at open days. I want to thank all of you who have been a leader in some way this year.

Leadership lessons from geese

I want you to think again about what birds can teach us about leadership. To help you think about this, I want you to imagine a flock of geese which you may observe flying across the sky in a V formation. It is a beautiful sight to see them flying together in perfect V-shaped formation.

Here are some simple reasons why geese fly collectively in V formation and the lessons we can learn from their example as we develop effective leadership.

Lesson 1 – Fly Together

As each goose flaps its wings it creates “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.

When a group of people have a common focus and sense of purpose, they create trust and help each other achieve goals. They move forward on each other’s energy. Sharing ideas, they get where they want to go faster and easier. Teamwork is powerful. If you surround yourself with excellent people you are far more likely to succeed as a leader than if you attempt to go it alone.

Lesson 2 – Stay in Formation

People who share a shared vision and objectives, set of values, a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are travelling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.

A team that works together with shared knowledge and skill can expect outstanding performance. Be willing to accept help and give your expertise to others. Once you have established a good team, stay together and work together. Sure, you might sometimes become annoyed with each another. But one person working alone cannot create the tremendous power of synergy. Build, encourage, reward and recognize the sharing of resources and skills, knowledge and best practices throughout your team.

Lesson 3 – Share the leadership

While flying in V-shaped formation the lead bird eventually becomes tired and moves towards the back of the line. Another goose takes its place as it rests and recharges its batteries.

If we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go, we are willing to accept their help and give our help to others. Leadership is serving others and being served by them.

It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents or resources. Share your leadership by empowering other team members to take responsibility at their levels.

That is what this lesson tells us – you can only lead if you are looking to support others – being people whose eyes are set on supporting others not self.

Lesson 4 - Encourage one another

The geese flying in formation, honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. We need to make sure honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.

We should also have ways to communicate when something is not right. Always encourage, never blame

Lesson 5 – Serve others

When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, other geese let two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. They then launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.

Like these geese, we should stand by each other in difficult times. The best teams are made of people who genuinely care for each other and are willing to help whenever they can.

So as leaders, as followers and as friends let’s stay beside each other no matter what the differences of opinion we have. Always stand by and defend your team members and your friends  in difficult times as well as when we are strong. Never be a bystander – never do nothing when a friend is hurt or under attack. Stand beside them and help them

The Servant Song

All that I have said this morning about leadership is summarised in the song that we will all sing at speech night and I think that the words are ones that should be adopted by each one of us;

Sister let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you, pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on a journey, and companions on the road; we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load. I will hold the Christ-light for you in the night-time of your fear; I will hold my hand out to you, speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping; when you laugh I’ll laugh with you; I will share your joy and sorrow till we’ve seen this journey through.

For every one of us the servant song can help us to see how we should work together not only if we are leaders but as members of our school.

So as we announce our prefects for Year 12, 2018 let us remember both the words of the servant song and the V formation of the geese in flight which reminds us that to

Fly Together

Stay in Formation

Share the load

Encourage one another – never put others down

And, above all - serve others

Today is also “welcome the new leader’s day”

And now I would thank the current prefects and thank them for all that they have contributed to our school in 2016 and 2017.

Mrs Maryanne Davis, Principal



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