On the evening of November 10, Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff met with High School Student Council representatives to deliver a module entitled "Leadership as Service."
Mr. Nikoloff articulated a number of the key leadership lessons espoused in Laozi’s Tao Te Ching, Jim Collins’ Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't, and Barry Posner’s The Leadership Challenge and asked the young leaders to ponder a number of questions, including the following:
- How can we have even more kindness and civility on campus?
- In leadership, we usually see strong, willful exertions of power portrayed, but would it not be more effective to identify the power that already exists and find ways to harness it?
- The best leaders have no separation between themselves and their subjects. How does a leader achieve true selflessness?
- Why do students run for Student Council? Is it for personal gain or because they want to serve their fellow students and make life at school better for everyone?
- The best leaders make it seem as though their followers accomplished something on their own. How is this achieved?
- Great leaders serve the communal good and follow the will of the people, but what happens when the will of the people is wrong-headed?
The meeting with the Student Council marks a step forward in one of Mr. Nikoloff’s goals for the 2021–2022 academic year: to seek out new leadership training opportunities for TASIS students. “I wish that when I entered leadership someone had exposed me to these ideas,” said the fifth-year headmaster, who also spends a great deal of time with students in the classroom. "I hope to share more modules on leadership with students in the future."