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The Value of Student Leadership

Written by Lenard Murray
Executive Head of Schools

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a modeler of consensus. 

Martin Luther King Jr

At SIS Semarang we have a strong Student Council made up of outgoing, reliable and positive thinking students. These students have proven to be responsible and never afraid to try new things. They initiate many new activities and try to involve themselves in as many school events as possible, with a focus towards enhancing the interest of  all students. They work side by side with teachers, marketing and administration to help make all school events a success. They volunteer hours and hours of hard work and are committed  to ensure that their initiatives succeed, all the while keeping up with their academics and other daily responsibilities.

Leadership positions are not for everybody, it does entail someone to have a certain mindset, though there are many different ways in which someone can lead, please read ahead on what it takes to be a leader and the benefits of becoming one.

A position of leadership can sometimes be a frightening thought. A lot of hard work and responsibility is attached to leadership roles and usually, if something goes wrong, the leader must then take on the problem directly. This is why not everyone wishes to step up and take the reins as leader. Despite being frightening, seeking and maintaining a leadership position in Secondary and Junior College could be one of the best things a student can do to gain personal, professional and academic growth. 

It might not always be an easy task but the extra effort will payoff, and here are some great  reasons why: 

Students get to give back and by having the opportunity to plan and decide themselves, they are able to raise money or awareness for an event or activity of their choice. They also get to be a voice on campus and hold a respected position, promoting initiatives they find worthy. As in every important role, certain challenges will arise and as leaders, they must find ways to articulate to others, so they can build strong teams and persevere.

Planning for events or activities is a great skill to learn, when others are counting on you, you must perform. Students must learn superb organizational, budgeting, marketing, logistics and time management skills  to ensure events run smoothly and effectively. It also opens up the opportunity to meet and work with an array of different people, including students from different grade levels, schools, teachers and their principal. 

Students also have the opportunity to fully understand how much work is involved in making an event a success, from blowing up balloons and decorating, to designing marketing posters and brochures on their computers. There are always tons of tasks to complete and deadlines to  meet. Leaders must do a lot more than merely lead others, they must build a community within the school, enhancing school spirit to help make all students proud of their school. This involves developing bonds with co-leaders and connecting with the general population . Making these connections and getting everyone on board, may be challenging but it can be rewarding and fun as well, especially when you succeed.  

Lastly, leaders get to enjoy an event that they created from start to finish. They can reflect upon the good memories and the difficult ones, enabling them to visualize how it all came together. Upon success, a sense of great pride can overwhelm them and they will find it to be one of the most rewarding experiences that they have ever been involved in. And if by chance they happen to fail,  they will learn even more for the next time around.

So let’s get out there and lead, grab the bull by the horns and go for it!