College – Issue 39

LEADERSHIP Learning how to lead with integrity

When Covid-19 disrupted Christ’s College’s plans for hosting the annual Emerging Leaders conference an alternative event was planned. Instead of catering for up to 600 students from throughout Christchurch, as would normally be the case, it was decided to run an event purely for College’s own Year 12 boys. “As a replacement, we thought about what we could do for our own boys, and came up with the theme of “Leading with Integrity,” says Director of Boarding and Character & Leadership Darrell Thatcher. It was seen as a chance to introduce them to some fresh ideas, to open their eyes and minds to the possibility of leadership, and to acquaint them with the different styles of leadership which are effective in society. It was also going to be a chance for students to learn to recognise their own values and character strengths and to develop the confidence to grasp all kinds of opportunities and not consider them beyond their capabilities. Joel Bouzaid, the Director of Leadership at Scots College, Wellington who works with teams to resolve issues and help them redefine their culture, introduced the day with a video and a form which gave the boys the chance to reflect on their own leadership style.

“It was about acknowledging who you are, being who you are, and basing yourself on your values. It was about understanding your character strengths and living by them, not just about the next 18 months of leadership and experience at College, but life,” says Darrell. A second component of the day was the Year 12 MANifesto session by Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education John Quinn. He spoke about character strengths, mindsets, mindfulness and making good decisions and how they all link to leadership. The third component was on mentoring support, Matt Cortesi, Darrell Thatcher and the

Housemasters engaging the boys in some practical group activities which taught them about various leadership styles. “If you’re holding true to your beliefs and integrity, people will respect you and look up to you – so you are being a leader whether or not you have a title in the House or in the school, and that contributes to the culture of the House, too,” said Darrell. Liam Alexander from Somes House said the day was successful in his opinion because it gave him things to focus on to become a better leader. “I learned about my own character strengths and about what kind of

Christ’s College Canterbury


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