TG Escapes Blog
Lessons in leadership from the Inspiring Leadership Conference 2016
“If the highest aim of the captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.”
If you saw our blog a few weeks back, or indeed you attended the event, you will know that we have recently exhibited at the Inspiring Leadership Conference. The team took advantage of their presence and attended a number of the speeches, all of which were inspiring, none more so than the keynote talk given by William Hague. He gave seven invaluable tips for leaders in an uncertain and ever changing world: the demanding modern world in which all educators and their leaders must operate.
He probably (along with most of the population and the Government) had no idea how prophetic his last piece of advice would be. He warned people to prepare for a volatile world in which it is increasingly difficult to predict the next crisis. And here we are, in a chaotic post Brexit furore, with no idea as to who will be leading either our Government or our opposition, and not even the faintest glimmer of what the exit plan might be.
Anyway, we are not writing about our views concerning the current uncertainty of our country’s leadership and future, which would be both arrogant and futile. Instead, we thought we would share a little more with you what William Hague and other great thinkers and leaders, blessed with a wealth of wisdom and erudition, have to say about the art of leading with a clear vision, a calm approach and a compassionate heart. Let the markets move, the pundits pontificate and the politicians punch it out while you keep calm and get inspired.
As a leader in education, whether it be as a head of school, department or year or a grassroots teacher, leading your students to a happy and productive future, this is what Sir William Hague (and others) would say to you.
- Be conscious of your style: use it to its best advantage but always be on the alert for situations that demand you correct and adjust it.
“I am very conscious of not wanting to impose a consistent style on subject matter not necessarily suited to that style. I try to re-invent my own eye every time I tackle a new subject.”
- You are the HR department: at all times be aware of the diversity of those around you and be sure to diversify your advice accordingly.
“The spirit of democracy is not a mechanical thing. Adjustment requires a change of heart.”
- Make time for quiet reflection and contemplation, in good times and in bad.
“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
- Know yourself and what optimises your own strength, in mind and in body.
To keep the body in good health is a duty….otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”
- Ensure that your goals are realistic and obtainable, and once you are confident that your course is set fair, hold it steady.
“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”
- That said, vary the means by which you achieve your goals and change your methods when necessary.
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything,”
George Bernard Shaw
- Pay attention to the shifting strengths of institutions: form alliances and make full use of modern networks to allow yourself and your institution to grow.
“In the long history of humankind (and animal kind too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”
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