Leaders Stepping Up

When I was a young man going through Primary School, I honestly didn’t have too much of an idea of this thing called “leadership.” As far as I was concerned, leaders were the bosses – their¬†job was to tell me what to do and my job was to do what the leaders had asked. With this limited understanding of leadership, I tended to steer away from leadership positions like School Captain and SRC when the opportunities came around.

It wasn’t until I was in Year 11 when I finally started to get it. I had been training at a karate dojo in Bathurst for a few years and was getting pretty close to my brown belt. With students coming and going over the years, I had become one of the oldest in the class by this point. My sensei (black belt karate teacher) was teaching a class and needed help running groups. I stepped up and started helping to teach a few drills here and there. Quite quickly, I got invested in leading groups and, after a few months, started volunteering as an assistant leader for the junior classes. While I have to admit I didn’t mind telling people what to do, what I truly enjoyed was knowing that, by serving in these classes, I was helping to ease the burden on my sensei and help others to learn new skills. As a matter of fact, this was one of the things that inspired me to become a teacher.

At Parkes Christian School, it has been amazing to see this idea of leadership being taken so seriously by students in primary and high school. In Luke 22:26, Jesus says “The greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.” This is a value that I see acted out daily with our High School SRC regularly giving up their time and putting their effort into preparing, hosting and helping out at events to benefit our school community. I also see it in our Primary SRC meetings, where representatives give up their lunchtimes to discuss important issues in the school and discuss ways to support students across the school. I have seen this with our school captains, vice captains and house captains attending the recent GRIP conference where they networked with other school leaders and learnt how to maximise their leadership skills and I have seen it through our newly appointed Shire Library Ambassadors with their enthusiasm in helping out wherever they can.

It’s important to remember that you don’t need a special badge to lead as we all get opportunities to lead and demonstrate a servant heart. Recently, my Year 5 class completed a STEM lesson where they needed to work with other students to design the most complicated (and functioning) gearset that they could. The other students were from our Year 1 class. This was an opportunity, like I had so many years ago, for people to step up and lead. It was wonderful watching Year 5 rise to this opportunity by mentoring, guiding and eventually handing the reins over to this young group of people as they put together their gears with the support of some pretty good leaders.

As you’re reading this, I hope you take the opportunity to reflect on the opportunities within your own life where you can display leadership. Have a wonderful week.

Matt

(P.S. I did eventually get the brown belt but sadly never made it all the way to black.)

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