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:
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