On Wednesday we were privileged to welcome Monty Halls to come to speak to Years 6-12 about the importance of developing leadership skills in young people. Monty is a former marine who went on to do a Marine Biology degree and is best known for his three BBC2 series ‘Great Escapes’, where he lived on the west coast of Scotland and Ireland with his dog Reuben. He also presented the multi-award winning series ‘Great Barrier Reef’.
Monty spoke about his life and career, including working with Nelson Mandela for a year, sleeping in a scorpion filled cave and being attacked by a Tiger shark!
However, his main focus was on how important it is for all young people to received leadership training. He told the students how, in a survey of over 400 top business leaders, over 90% felt leadership should be formally developed at school. His key message was that everyone has the capacity to lead and he challenged the archetypal image of a leader as a dominant ‘alpha’ personality but instead asked students to think about how there are very different approaches to effective leadership.
At Woodbridge School we want all our students to leave feeling they have the capacity to lead so we are looking to pilot a leadership course, developed with Monty Halls and various other independent schools, to help develop this confidence.
Monty was effusive at the end of the day:
“It was my great pleasure to visit Woodbridge to speak to the students about the importance of their own leadership development. The school is showing real drive and initiative to make sure that leadership – such a crucial life skill – is introduced to all students. Woodbridge is very much at the vanguard of creating meaningful, progressive, accredited leadership training for every young person that attends the school, and I look forward very much to working with them (and indeed learning from them) in the future.”
Our pupils found this talk an enlightening experience:
“I found it extremely useful listening to someone who has taken the same career path that I am hoping to travel on”
“It was encouraging to discover that someone who had such little military experience was so successful in his field”
“Varied as our aims and goals were, he was a fascinating and personable man with words of wisdom for everyone”
“He is an inspiring man who definitely helped me realise that leadership can come in many forms and that our path of life is not set in stone”
“It was very interesting to hear about his experiences in his field because he talked to us as equals”
“I found it a truly enlightening experience. It was a great opportunity to learn not only more about leadership, but also what we can expect going into a life in the armed forces and general life after school- a very worthwhile experience!”
“I enjoyed talking to Monty and learning about his own life through the armed forces and university. It has definitely give me a good idea what to expect in the future”