Today I attended the National Young Leaders Day in Palmerston North along with 2500 others. We were treated to some short and punchy speeches from a variety of people, involved in a range of activities who each delivered their key points about what they've learned from their experiences- sometimes from a leadership perspective but mainly from a human perspective.
The main messages were not just for "young leaders" as an older leader at my school I took away a lot. The main reminder I got was about passion.
No matter what walk of life these speakers came from they were so passionate about what they're doing:
Billy Graham - Boxing - "Everyone's got talent, most people never go looking for it" 10% talent. 90% hard work.
James Back - Attitude - The easy thing to do isn't always right, and the right thing to do isn't always easy."
Brylee Mills - Dancer - Don't let challenges stand in your way. Everyone has challenges"
Johnny Wilson - Goodtime Music - You don't have to be the best, just try your best. Focus less on others and how good they're doing - focus on your own race."
So, important messages here for young and old. Back to passion. This was my takeaway.
I've forgotten about passion I think. I'm a passionate person I've come to realise. And in my role as Principal I may have fallen into the trap of being and behaving as I think I'm expected to. I've had to do a lot of stuff that takes me away from the things in education I really am passionate about. Have I got so busy in the day to day stuff that I've forgotten what I really think school is all about?
I love music and singing. Yet, how much of this happens in our school? Today there was a group of 2500 singing - it was moving. We watched stirring video clips, beautifully put together with moving music - you'd have to be a robot not to be effected on an emotional level.
I heard messages about problems that really need solving- environmental and war crisis situation. How involved am I in any cause? How often do I encourage others to be involved. When did I get too busy to care?
I saw beautiful dancing from Brylee Mills. I heard beautiful music from Avalanche City. I saw many students having a great time, swinging arms to the music and going crazy. Not all, but most. Caught in the moment. Having a great time. Who knows what messages they took away from the day. I'm looking forward to talking about it with the House Leaders I took today.
I have an opportunity, as I take up a new leadership position at a new school. I can be the passionate individual that I really am. Be the animated person that is the true me. My true self got interviewed and offered the job, so why not carry on being me. I want to ensure that students in any school I am part of have the opportunities to pursue their passion(s). Is this more easily done in a larger school where there are more staff to offer these?
What part does my leadership play in ensuring that learners can follow their passions? A huge part. My passion for education runs deep. I must ensure that "my" school is one where passions are encouraged whether it be sport, dance or saving the world.
I must reimagine myself again and take the opportunity presented to me.
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