The topic of leadership has permeated my thoughts much of this past week. I believe that it all started because of an article I read in The Globe and Mail last week by Joe Friesen about the Idle No More Movement. In it he commented on what he identifies as the most intriguing aspect of the movement: that “it has been led and organized almost entirely by young, university-educated women.” In many ways I was not surprised to read this, as we believe that our girls, too, have the capacity to make a difference because of their intellectual capacity, courage and passion.
I was also preparing for a presentation to our Grade 11 Ethical Leadership class over the weekend and was asked by the girls’ teacher to comment on a number of areas, including my values, my mentors and role models and how they influenced these values and how my values affect my vision. Finally, I was asked what advice I would give to potential leaders.
In preparing for the class, I reflected a tremendous amount upon my experiences and the people who have contributed to my being who I am, rather than where I am at this stage in my life. To an even greater extent, I thought about what message I would want our girls to leave the session with.
As a result of my reflections, I entitled the presentation “Leadership for Life.” At St. Clement’s we have many leadership ‘roles’ for our girls, but this is not how we want leadership to be understood. What I hoped our girls would leave the class with was an appreciation that each and every person has the capacity to be a leader in her own right. It is the process of going through experiences, both positive and negative, of learning from those around us, and of identifying what we value and believe that affects one’s ability to lead.
At St. Clement’s, our girls are provided with a unique and exceptional educational experience that sets them apart from others. This educational experience in a small, spirited Grade 1-12 community goes beyond the classroom into their involvement in sports, arts activities and clubs that feed and nurture their individual passions. It is the combination of education and passion that sets our Clementines up to be leaders for life.