What can we learn about leadership from a piece of string? The question I posed to the prefects-elect at their Institution Service. Basically it is easier to pull a string than it is to push it. That is, leadership which seeks to lead by example, drawing people forward will be more successful than leadership which seeks to ‘expect rather than do’. Leadership, I shared with them, is hard, it requires sacrifice, it requires time and energy, it requires stepping up to the plate when you risk popularity and friendship.
Leaders who model themselves on the life of Christ will be leaders who pull the string and don’t push it. Christ taught us that we must be concerned about those who others are not concerned, to help those who cannot help themselves, to stand up for those who have no one to advocate for them, to be prepared to serve rather than be served.
New and continuing prefects were challenged to think about the kind of leadership style they would express. Would they be a leader who leads by example or one who leads by force. After which the newly elected prefects stood before their peers, friends, family, and school community and pledged to exercise their office with honesty and integrity. It was particulalry good to be a part of this service when one of the gentlemen was a fellow who I have worked with alongside through his role as Sacristan.