Be a good leader

senator ifill encourages prefects to follow as well as lead

To be a good leader one must be a good follower and encourage others to do the same.

At the prefect’s installation ceremony for the St. Lawrence Primary School held at The Church of St. Lawrence in St. Lawrence Gap this morning students learnt life lessons on leadership.

President of the Senate Kerry-Ann Ifill, who was the featured speaker, told the congregation that being a good leader did not only mean that one was able to make decisions but that as a good leader one should have good followers.

“That means that the others have a responsibility to ensure that your prefects are the best that they can be. Being a good follower means being intelligent; intelligent enough to understand that when your leaders instruct you to do X or Y, to go here or there, to behave in this way, to be quiet, to do whatever that we know that there are telling you what is best to be done at the time. Being a good follower means cooperating, it means taking care of all the people within your group.

“When I was a little girl, one of the things I used to enjoy looking at before I could no longer see was watching birds fly home in the evening. The reason why I enjoyed watching the birds; birds didn’t rush, they didn’t push, they all knew where their place was whether it was the front or the back. They all stayed together because without one it meant that the flock was broken.

“That is why being a good leader means that you have the responsibility to follow them where they lead. It also means taking pride in your school, being willing to ensure everybody else that your school is the best school . . . your school is the best it can be because you are a part of the school,” she said.

Fifteen prefects and three monitors, including Head Boy, Shamar Ifill, and Head Girl, Liyee Su, were chosen to assist staff with the monitoring of the 245 students who attend the institution.

Ifill further told them that while in life they may sometimes feel overwhelmed by a particular task or role do not feel distressed. She advised them to always rely on God and others around them to ensure that they make the right decisions to lead whatever group they were a part of.

“We achieve these things by relying on those around us to guide us. First I rely on God, with Him we know all things are possible, with Him we know that we are guided in the right way, through Him we can learn what we have to do for the future. I rely on others who are older and often wiser than I could ever be; older not just because of their age but older because of the situation we may find ourselves.

“Never be too proud, never be too arrogant to ask others, ‘how should I respond to this situation?’, ‘how must I feel with this question?’ Always accept that you will not know everything but always understand you should know where to go to find out the answer. Always rely on the others not just the leaders . . . but the ones around you to inspire you.

“Today when you receive your prefect’s badge, wear it with pride, wear it with dignity but wear it with the understanding that you have been chosen, chosen not because you are smart, not because you are pretty but because others believe that you have the quality to lead others. Those of you who are not prefects it does not mean that you don’t have these qualities as well, everybody cannot be a leader, but it means that you can inspire the others around you to be the best they can be by being the best that you can be.” (KC)

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