Students in Years 7 to 11 have been participating in the Pillars Leadership Program, which encompasses our Dominican values, fosters a culture of leadership, and provides students with a strong foundation on which to develop their leadership skills and strive for excellence in all they do. The program is designed to equip students with the confidence and skills to pursue formal and informal leadership positions, both at the College and in the future. Staff and student led sessions focused on what it means to lead, collaboration and delegation, finding your voice, public speaking and speech writing.
After each session, students responded to questions as part of their reflection process. Below are some comments given:
The pillar that I resonate strongly with is Community. I have always subscribed to the notion that 'it takes a village' and I believe this applies to all facets of leadership. Connections and trust form the solid foundations for leadership, which are necessary when representing and speaking for a community. With support from each other, we can only become stronger.
Community resonates with me the most as I feel that this is the key purpose of leadership. Communities are stronger and able to create more change when they unite and work collaboratively.
I identify with the pillar of Service as helping others brings me so much joy. When working together with others for the good of other people, it is an experience that gives back in itself.
The key takeaway from this session was the link between a courageous leader and an authentic leader. When you lead with passion and stand up for your values, it gives you courage to have difficult conversations or lead by example.
Something that resonated with me on the topic of courageous leadership was the link back to vulnerability. Leading with an open heart and having the courage to step forward paves the way for authenticity, and it allows a leader to be passionate about the work that they do.
A practical strategy that I will take away from this session is the implementation of an 'interim deadline', so as to allow for buffer time when things do not happen as planned.
I like the idea of writing my speech in a formal structure, and the little techniques taught during the session to help me connect with my audience to the overall topic.
When writing my next speech, I will make sure to add a thread throughout and restate my key ideas multiple times. This will hopefully allow the audience to go home with a few takeaways and allow me to get my ideas across effectively.