Lead by example

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Leadership is a wonderful privilege. Built on the foundations of compassion, interconnectivity, transformative action, generous love and mercy, and a faithfulness to god’s mission to support future life and growth, leadership skills lie in all of us. They can be activated and improved through selfless acts and empowering others, and through a commitment to enhancing human life and keeping hope alive in today’s world.

For Year 13’s heading into their last term of school, now is a wonderful opportunity to not only refine your leadership skills as you embark on a new chapter, but to consider what leadership wisdom you can impart on the leaders of 2018 – the up and coming Year 13’s who will look to you for guidance and inspiration.

Mercy Values provide inspiring guidance around how to be a strong leader. In honour of these values, here are some examples of great leadership acts that will not only enrich your life, but make a powerful and lasting impression on the leaders of tomorrow.

Hospitality: generosity of spirit goes hand-in-hand with hospitality, and there are many great hospitable acts that demonstrate leadership. We have all experienced what it is like to be new to an environment, and whether it is welcoming new children at your school, or families into the neighbourhood, greeting new people with an open heart and mind is a hallmark of a natural leader. Equally, spearheading a fundraising campaign like donating food or money to a worthy cause, such as St Vincent de Paul or Caritas, inspires the community of people around you to take heed of this generous act and emulate the same behaviour.

Service: an endearing leadership quality involves service – offering your time, skills, energy and support without the expectation of receiving something in return. Service is just as important at school as it is at home. Show your peers how good it feels to contribute to their community by helping their younger peers navigate new challenges, or by showing initiative with small jobs that need doing around the school like picking up rubbish and helping to keep classrooms tidy. Showing gratitude towards teachers, coaching sport, or tutoring students are all virtuous acts and show great leadership.

Compassion: this beautiful quality is one of the most inspiring to discover in others – it represents sensitivity, empathy, love, tolerance and humanity. You can be a compassionate leader every day at school – from forgiving those who have hurt you, through to caring for others who are struggling with friendships or study. The ultimate act of great leadership is helping justice to be served in situations where someone has been wronged – sticking up for those who are finding it hard to stick up for themselves will have a lasting impression on that person and those who bear witness to the act.

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