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Please enjoy Mr Irwin's Thought for the Term

Posted on: 04/11/2022

Leadership is a characteristic which is often talked about in the media and our view of what it means to be a leader can be shaped by the flurry of messages that we receive - some subtle and others less so. In an era of fractured Political debate and growing polarisation of opinion both at home and around the world, I believe it is important to take the opportunity provided by the start of a new term to recognise for ourselves what leadership means to us and how it plays a role in our daily lives.

The American author Simon Sinek describes leadership as the act of “not being responsible for the results, but being responsible for the people who get the results”. In other words, leadership in his view is about being in the service of others and our community – recognising that there is far more that joins us together as communities than separates us, and that helping, supporting, inspiring, motivating, and encouraging everyone to be the best versions of themselves is something that will benefit the entire community.

Sinek goes on to reflect that, in his view, the most important trait of a successful leader is courage. Courage to resist the external pressures of the ‘urgent’ over the ‘important’ and to do the ‘right thing’ and put others first. That sense of service leadership comes from individuals having the courage to engage with areas of life that they are passionate about for the benefit of the wider community. It is one of the facets of working within the Ridgeway Education Trust that I so enjoy - that our students seek out and are supported to engage with a wealth of opportunities to develop their service leadership as Ethos Leaders, House Leaders, Sports Captains, Wellbeing Leaders, and Climate Leaders to name but a few. That we have a student body so willing to engage with matters that are important to them is inspiring and something that helps fan my sense of hope and optimism about the future, because as Margaret Mead the American Cultural Anthropologist put it: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Mr G Irwin
Deputy Headteacher – Raising Standards Leader St Birinus School

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