The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland
Molding Future Leaders

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."


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