7th Shuqun Secondary Council Investiture on 29 July 2015
I was reading a book by ex-Minister George Yeo, called on Bonsai, Banyan and the Tao. It is a good book.
In it, there is a chapter where he shares his thoughts on leadership, and the philosophy of the Singapore Foreign Ministry, where he served as Minister. It is well recognised that despite being a small country, Singapore punches above its weight in foreign affairs. Bigger countries than us including superpowers, do take what we say into consideration when they make decisions.
When asked how we were able to maintain this "leadership" on the international stage, Mr Yeo shared an approach which he asked all the officers in the Ministry to adopt. He said that to be an effective leader, our first priority is to not put ourselves forward as leaders in anything. Let me repeat that – to be a good leader, you should not hanker or yearn after leadership.
What does he mean?
What Mr Yeo is saying is that a good leader’s priority should be about helping other people, and not to get credit for yourself. All of us have the power to be leaders, by helping your friends, your family and the community in small ways every day. Think about what makes life better for others, work together in a team, and don't worry too much about who is the "leader".
Though the Student Councillors today have been given official positions as leaders, I hope you remember Mr Yeo’s lesson. Serve your fellow Shuqunites well, and help them live up to the expectations of the school. You represent the very best of Shuqun, and join an alumni of SCs who have gone on to do very well in studies and in their careers. For the SC EXCO that has been appointed today, represent your fellow schoolmates, and make their experience in Shuqun Secondary a better one. The rest of the students, especially the Sec 3s, support your peers whom you have elected, because they represent the 2016 batch of the student population.
Once again, congratulations to all the new Student Councillors and the SC EXCO. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the outgoing EXCO led by Sherlyn. It has been a pleasure to work with you on improving the school over the last year, in our monthly meetings, and I look forward to the school graduation dinner planned and organised by you. This batch of students have shown their leadership by taking on new roles, including planning and running the Sec 1 camp. It was an exhausting experience, but brought the SCs closer together and will help all of you prepare for challenges that you will face ahead.
Let me end by sharing with you another favourite story of mine, about leadership. This one comes from Prince Caspian, the third book of the Narnia Chronicles, which was made into a movie. Prince Caspian, the hero of the book, is unlike his power-hungry uncle, and does not want to take over the kingdom despite being the rightful heir. At the end of the movie, when he is asked to do so, he says “I do not think I am ready". But Aslan, the lion, tells him a powerful line, "It is precisely for this reason that I know you are."
For all the SCs who are invested today, you will often worry if you are ready for this heavy responsibility of leadership. You might think that you cannot live up to the higher expectations that the teachers and your friends have of you. You might not start by aspiring to be a leader, and you are humble enough to accept that you are not yet ready and will always need to keep learning from your teachers and your seniors. It is this attitude that will make you become an effective and good leader.
Youth Celebrate! Jubilee Cup Zonals
On 26th May, three members of the Shuqun Ultimate Frisbee Team participated in the Youth Celebrate! Jubilee Cup Zonals organised by PESEB to celebrate our nation's 50th birthday. The students had to play as a team with Secondary 3 students from other schools in the W1 cluster such as Nanhua High School, Tanglin Secondary School, Clementi Woods, NUS High School. The W1 cluster team then had to play against other teams in the West cluster.
Mason, Radin, and Afiqah, from class 3A, represented our school in this event. The team emerged Third in the zonal event and received a limited edition Frisbee along with the medals. Through this event, the students learnt to work in teams and spent a terrific time with their new found teammates.
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