The warmest of greetings at the beginning of another school year!
I take this opportunity to wish you all well as we begin another phase in our Edmund Rice mission. I hope that the break has been good to everyone and that you feel energised to face the challenges and blessings that will ensue in 2018.
A special welcome to those people taking up leadership roles for the first time in Edmund Rice Education Australia. Following our national induction process in a couple of weeks, we will send around a formal communication individually welcoming our new leaders to our national family.
Before we all get too busy, can I share some simple leadership advice from two very different sources?
It might sound strange, but one of my prized personal possessions are the reading glasses that I have owned for several years now. It is what these glasses represent for me that makes me value them so much. They are unremarkable, except for their utter simplicity. They are strong and robust, mainly because they have very few moving parts. They have stood the test of time.
I love watching Roger Federer play tennis. I marvel at his grace and fluidity. At a time when many of the other top players are plagued with injury, Roger, the oldest of the top players, has had so few injuries. I think it is because of the simplicity, the lack of moving parts, the fluidity and unhurried nature of his tennis game.
What do Roger’s tennis game and my reading glasses have in common and what do they say to me about leadership?
They are both enduring, uncomplicated, robust and represent beauty through simplicity.
Our lives as leaders in our schools and families can become so hurried, complex and there are so many balls to keep in the air. The number of moving parts can sometimes overwhelm us. Yes, we can say that this is just part of the deal, but surely, to be at our best and healthiest, we should strive to reclaim something of our innate natural grace, focus and simplicity. We make the best decisions and are most compassionate and present to people when we are calm, conscious and unhurried. Rediscover the practices and routines that best help you experience these gifts.
I hope that these musings make some sense to you.
Let's continue to pray for each other and I hope that we can catch up in person before too long.
We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Australia as the traditional owners and custodians of the land of our schools. We are inspired and nurtured by their wisdom, spirituality and experience. We commit ourselves to actively
work alongside them for reconciliation and justice. We pay our respects to the Elders; past, present and future. As we take our next step we remember the first footsteps taken on this sacred land.