Leadership is a skill and attitude we are keen to promote in our students. To do so we provide numerous opportunities for this and a variety of formal Leadership Positions. Even so it is worth asking what does it mean to be a leader and how can we provide every student with the experience of leadership.
There is much debate about the nature of leadership and the character attributes that make an effective leader. Some feel strongly that leadership is an innate quality and that some people have it and others don't. This form of Natural Leadership is not common and while schools can encourage the growth and positive application of these characteristics this approach offers little to those who are not natural leaders. The other side of the coin is that leadership is a set of behaviours, attitudes and knowledge that can be learned. If this is so then schools can make a real impact in developing leaders.
The second question is how can we provide every child with leadership experiences? Even if we subscribe to the Natural Leader model we may never see this side of a student unless we provide the right experiences. The video below provides an answer to this by viewing Leadership not as the actions of the great and mighty but as the little actions we can all take that change a life. Drew Dudley relates Everyday Leadership to Lollipop Moments based on a story of how he came to realise the potential he had to change lives. This is a TED Talk worth sharing and discussing with your students.