LETTER FROM THE CAMPUS HEAD

Dear St George’s Family

I have recently started reading Ken Blachard’s book, ‘Leading at a Higher Level’.  I was particularly curious when I read the following:

“What is leadership? For years we defined leadership as an influence process. We believed that any time you tried to influence the thoughts and actions of others towards a goal accomplishment in either your personal or professional life you were engaging in leadership. In recent years we have taken emphasis away from goal accomplishment and a defined leadership as the capacity to influence others by unleashing the power and potential to impact the greater good. Why did we do that? Because when the definition of leadership focuses on goal accomplishment one can think that leadership is only about results.  Yet when we talk about leading at a high-level, just focusing on goal accomplishments it is not enough.  The key phrase in a new definition is the “greater good”- what is best for all involved? Leadership is a high calling. It should not be done purely for personal gain or goal accomplishment: it should have a much higher purpose than that.”

I do not speak of leadership here in terms of a Headmaster or business leader but, as always, as a parent and even for children.  I often think children display authentic levels in leadership as they often do strive for the greater good. At the annual Grade 7 market day yesterday morning, a young Grade 4 boy offered me his hamburger, as I ordered one only to be told by our budding entrepreneurs that they no longer had stock.  The young Grade 4 lad understood “the greater good”, in his mind, and was prepared to part with something to that end. Great things lie ahead for that boy! I clearly declined the offer and settled for a Boerie Roll, which to be honest was as good!

Is education also not a similar process where we need to focus on that “greater good” and not get bogged down with only goal accomplishments?  I do not, for one minute, diminish the notion that goal setting is critical in education, otherwise we would move into a space of chaos.  That is why we follow curriculums.  One must learn to spell in order to write, to count before attempting algebra etc.  There does, however, seem to be an obsession, at national and international levels of focusing primarily on goals achieved in education through rigorous assessment regimes and a seemingly lesser focus on the process of learning.  As they say, if we keep weighing the pig it will never have time to fatten!

I recently watched a very good clip by Simon Sinek on his views on education, click here to watch. He speaks of education as an infinite game and learning as life-long learning.  This is not a new concept and many speak to it,

yet we still seem to deal with education as a finite game with (in our local context) the final matric result as the end goal.  Whilst watching the World Cup Rugby, it has been fascinating to watch and listen to the commentary of many of the coaches both pre and post games.  Many of them speak of focusing on the next game and