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Shedding Light or Casting Shadows

On Friday, our Heads of Community, LINCWell, Eco Team and our Student Council Executive introduced our class representatives in assembly. Ms Macintosh began assembly by reminding us about the meaning and impact of leadership. She told us all that she had read once that “Good leaders shed light into dark places rather than intentionally fabricating shadows and smog.” Ms Macintosh’s quotation led me on the hunt for its author, and doing so I came across this article on leadership by Bob Rosen author of Grounded, and a trusted CEO advisor. The message is clear: everyone has an opportunity to either positively or negatively impact a community through their actions.

Later that same day, I experienced the truth of this statement first-hand.

At lunchtime, I had a meeting with Molly ’18, the Editor of our student newspaper The Clementimes, a superb platform for students to share their ideas and perspectives. Molly had requested the meeting to discuss an issue about which she was preparing to write. She articulated concerns some students had raised regarding messaging they had received from staff about uniform infractions. Molly indicated that she wanted to meet because she felt it important to ensure that she understood both sides of the story. She articulately explained the students’ perspectives, and then listened as I answered her questions. We had a wonderful conversation that, I believe, shed light for both of us on the intricacies of messaging, intent and impact.

Beyond discussing the issue at hand, Molly and I both agreed on the importance of articulating and listening to concerns with an ultimate goal of contributing to the ongoing growth and improvement of our SCS community. By having the courage and strength to discuss issues from all angles, and then moving forward in constructive way, we come out stronger. In other words, by shedding light on issues instead of casting shadows, we make our environment brighter, safer, and more open.

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