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On Monday, 7th March, Headmistress Dr Felicia Kirk gave a presentation to all the pupils in Chapel about leadership and leadership styles, before announcing the newly elected Head Girl and Deputy Head Girls for 2022-2023.

Dr Kirk emphasised that the roles of the Head Girl and her team are a real opportunity to make a difference through good leadership and considered the different forms of leadership and types of leader which might come to mind, such as the Queen, the Prime Minister, Captains of sports teams, and CEOs. Dr Kirk then explored some of the common themes and styles which emerge when looking at types of leadership, as well as the pros and cons of each:

Autocratic or authoritarian style leadership – defined by a ‘top-down’ decision-making approach. While this approach can be efficient and effective it can also ‘stifle creativity, collaboration, and innovation’ (Source: Torch).
Charismatic leadership – many admired leaders display this, and such a leader can be inspirational and motivating, however, they can also become ‘more focused on themselves than their people’ and start to look shallow and self-serving.
Bureaucratic style of leadership – often associated with government and other large organisations. This style can provide a sense of stability and clear roles, responsibilities, and expectations. However, it can be inefficient due to the chain of command and discourage creativity, innovation, or free thinking.

Dr Kirk went on to speak about some of the leadership styles which appeal personally to her, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each style:

Coaching leadership’ – which encourages two-way communication and collaboration, involves giving lots of constructive feedback and generally helps people to develop personally and professionally. While this style can be particularly suited to a school environment, it does require a lot of time and energy and takes time to reap the rewards.
Democratic (or ‘participative’) style – encouraging collaboration and welcoming different opinions and ways of thinking. This is not always the most efficient style and there is scope for complexity and confusion amongst the varying views.
Collaborative leadership – which seeks to get people working across an organisation, breaking down barriers. This approach can encourage creativity, innovation and a greater sense of purpose and direction, although it can also prove complex.

In summary, Dr Kirk emphasised the importance of being aware of all the different leadership styles, and their pros and cons, as a successful leader needs to be able to adapt and potentially use a variety of approaches and a style which is consistent with their purpose and goals.

Dr Kirk encouraged the new Head Girl’s Team to think about how they can show good leadership in their new roles, and, after thanking the outcoming Head Girl’s Team for their hard work and dedication, announced the newly elected Head Girl and her two Deputies for 2022-2023:

Head Girl – Sienna
Deputies – Anna and Hannah

Many congratulations to the girls on their new leadership roles.