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eNews Archive.

– Be Connected. –

From The Principal 5 February 2021

As the first two weeks of the school year have flown by, I am reminded that we no longer have an “easing-in” phase as we used to have in the good old days. Speed and change are our new normal and these are skills that our young women of Glennie are very adept at.

As we have witnessed the induction of our Year 6 and Year 12 Leaders across the School, we are reminded that all of us are leaders at some point; in some moment when we look around and we are the only one who can step up to the plate and lead. So for the benefit of those who did not hear my words of wisdom to the Year 6 leaders, I will repeat them for the messages we can all reflect upon.

“This occasion - one steeped in tradition and significance - is a day we acknowledge and reflect upon Leadership.

Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves. 

In those rare moments when we have time to reflect upon ourselves - thinking about what rainbows we wish to chase; finding out who is our tribe; thinking about our spirituality - it is perfectly normal to look at role models for inspiration. Role models can take many forms and when it comes to leadership, one such person for me is Michelle Obama.

When President Barack Obama left the White House in January 2017, Michelle was more popular than her husband. She was much loved and admired and has stood out in history as one of the most passionate and accomplished First Ladies because of her charisma, compassion and powerful speech-making. 

She arrived at the White House as an accomplished lawyer, writer and community activist. Areas of interest to her during her eight years in Washington were racism, women’s rights and public health. This included launching the Let Girls Learn initiative which funded girls’ education projects, tackling everything from leadership to poverty.

She was also a risk-taker and stepped outside traditional first lady stereotypes. Given her achievement and clear leadership skills, many Democrats wanted Michelle to run for office after her husband’s presidency ended. Wouldn’t life have been different then? Imagine a world without Donald Trump!  

Let’s look at some of Michelle Obama’s greatest leadership qualities to see how they’ve shaped her legacy and inspired millions - because whether you are Michelle Obama or not, these qualities relate to all of us:

  1. Strong Character: To truly lead and inspire others means standing up for what you believe in and living by your values – regardless of opposing views or fear of rocking the “status quo” boat. This is what will inspire courage in others to do the same. Plus, you’ll build a sense of purpose by sticking by your convictions when the going gets tough.
  2. Compassionate: Being a successful leader is more than just having good business skills. You also need empathy and compassion in order to build healthy relationships within an organisation. Make no mistake: compassion is your ticket to people’s hearts. It will also help you earn the trust and respect of your employees – which is essential if you want to be an influential and inspiring leader.
  3. Self-Confidence: The great thing about confidence is that it can be improved once you make the decision to do so and start appreciating who you are and what unique qualities you have to offer. Yes, these efforts take time – but most worthwhile pursuits in life usually do. Everyone matters and everyone has a voice that can change the world. But remember, it all starts with one thing… your choice to believe in yourself. Once you do, your capacity as a leader will rise ten-fold.
  4. Perseverance: a strong commitment to one’s values can lead to tremendous change in the world. Stay committed to your goals regardless of what life throws at you. To sum it up, the art of perseverance sets great leaders – and great organisations – apart.
  5. Honesty:  authenticity was one of her most valued leadership traits. Michelle’s success can largely be attributed to her honesty as well as her dedication to show up each day and work towards her goals. So here’s a tip: if you want to be an inspiring leader – start off by being honest. Honesty is more than just telling the truth – it’s about creating a culture of transparency.
  6. Relatable to Others: your ability to inspire others to action is an important leadership quality. That’s why it’s important to speak from the heart and show vulnerability when expressing your hopes – and even your weaknesses. Effective leaders inspire others to see their vision – so when it comes to relating to others, remember to be genuine!
  7. Time Management: The fact of the matter is that there often aren’t enough hours in the day, so you need to define your non-negotiables and be realistic about what you can manage – and what you need to delegate or say no to.

The last word from Michelle Obama is: ”Every day, you have the power to choose a better history — by opening your hearts and minds, by speaking up for what you know is right."

"You cannot take your freedoms for granted. Just like generations who have come before you, you have to do your part to preserve and protect those freedoms... you need to be preparing yourself to add your voice to the national conversation."

And in those times when you are feeling doubt - and that happens to us all - when you ask yourself “Am I good enough? Can I do this job?” - think to yourselves, “Yes I am - I am a Glennie girl!”

To every leader at Glennie - which is all of us - I wish you all the very best and remember: Be Brave.

Ms Mary Anne Evans