Durban High School has produced some fine leaders in the past and here the following come to mind immediately: Gavyn Arthur (Mayor of London), John Oxley (SA Ambassador to Australia), Major Edwin Swales (Military), Chris Seabrooke (Business) and Hashim Amla (SA Test Cricket Captain), etc to name a few. There are many, many more and in an internet article a few years ago we were ranked number one in SA in terms of producing leaders.
I have no doubt that with what I have seen here at DHS in my time, this legacy will continue.
This week we announced the Cultural Captains but we also have the Prefects, the RCL, Captains of Sport teams and Class Captains. Last week our Grade 8s attended the first of our Outdoor Leadership programmes at Spirit of Adventure. The opportunities are there and all we need is for boys to step up and grab these opportunities.
Two definitions of leadership that I have mentioned before and that I have come across are;
- “The action of leading a group of people or an organization, or the ability to do this.”
- “The process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.”
The key elements mentioned are “leading a group”, “ability” and “support of others.” There are a number of groups or teams that are ably led by our boys. Sometimes boys do have the ability to lead but they do not make themselves available or they are never given the opportunity to lead.
Very important is whether a leader can inspire others to follow him or her. We all know about the three leadership styles namely; authoritarian, democratic and laissez–faire. A good leader must have the ability to use all three of these styles. As a school it is our challenge to identify, guide, nurture and create opportunities for boys to develop leadership skills. The onus is also on our boys to show what they are capable of and to use the opportunities on offer at the school. Mistakes they will make and hopefully they will learn from these mistakes. It is also important that these leaders are prepared to serve. They are not there for the glory or material rewards.
Our Rugby boys are in Port Elizabeth where they will play two matches with the last one being the main game on Monday against the hosts Grey High School. I want to wish them well for both their matches.
14th Head Master