How International Schools Cultivate Leadership Skills
Almost everyone dreams of being a leader. However, not many people have what it takes to be one. Some essential skills are required to rise above the rest and be king of the hill. However, international schools do not just seek to educate, they seek to raise up the leaders of tomorrow. Here’s how.
Organization & Management
To transform their vision into reality, leaders need to build an organized and effective system. This is achieved through meticulous attention to detail, realistic target-setting and precise scheduling. According to the Harvard Business Publishing Report on Leadership, good leaders possess a talent for systems thinking, viewing organizations and environments as complex, interdependent systems.
Effective leaders have the foresight to think strategically about long-term consequences rather than immediate gains. This includes the ability to delegate tasks efficiently and assign them to the most appropriate individuals based on their distinctive talents or skill-sets. In addition to understanding the strengths and weaknesses of others, leaders need to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, and optimize their team to complement their abilities.
International schools differ from traditional schools in that they actively seek to improve each individual student’s future employability . There is a large emphasis on imparting practical skills. Some schools have internship programmes that give students real world experience early on. Additionally, international schools are usually less rigid and ‘structured’ compared to traditional schools. However, this is a positive because it encourages students to be independent and disciplined. Students are given the responsibility to be accountable for their own academics. Hence, they quickly learn the importance of good management skills and organizational abilities.
Innovation & Flexibility
The real world is not set in black and white. A variety of unpredictable situations can and will occur. Some of these issues will not be solved through traditional means. Hence, a combination of critical, analytical and creative problem solving skills allows one to think outside the box. You need to be open to consistently learning new things, have the courage to embrace radical approaches and take the road less travelled, and adapt to changing trends. This is especially important in today’s fast-paced, ever-evolving world.
In fact, researchers at Harvard business school have found that embracing curiosity, makes individuals less likely to commit confirmation bias (the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories while ignoring evidence that opposes it), and stereotyping people. Thus, leaders who are open minded will be able to generate greater alternatives and make more rational decisions.
International Schools have a variety of art programmes including art, theater and music. Though many traditional schools consider these supplementary, international schools value the importance of cultivating creativity. Thus, these programmes are not just taught by regular teachers but experts in the field with years of experience. By giving students the tools and confidence to express their individuality and passion, international schools encourage inventive and original thinking.
A good leader is able to convey their message clearly and concisely. Many successful captains of industry such as Richard Branson and Warren Buffet credit their success to their communication skills. This goes beyond the words articulated and includes non-verbal cues, such as tone of voice and body language; and it is not just a one-way street. The communication process requires two or more people. This is where the act of fully concentrating and responding to what is being said – or active listening – is essential.
Receiving feedback and addressing criticisms help individuals and organizations grow stronger and better. In contrast, another survey found participants rating effective communication skills as the most important factor in making an executive “promotable,” more important than ambition, education, and capacity for hard work.
As mentioned above, many international schools have arts programmes including theater or performance arts. Other than nurturing creativity, these programmes allow students to develop effective communication skills. This also includes non-verbal communication skills. Hence, they are able to project and convey their message in the best means possible.There is also a large amount of collaboration and discussion in even normal academic courses.
Students are encouraged to actively work together to complete projects, presentations and assignments together. In addition, many international schools have intensive language programmes. Other than English, students will have the opportunity to learn a multitude of world languages such as French, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and so much more. More than that, international schools have a exceptionally diverse student body. Hence, international school students interact with peers from a variety of different cultures early and learn to adapt their communication style to each one.
Hence, we see how international schools are the best place to ensure your child does not just grow into an exceptional individual but a visionary of the future. So, go on ahead and take a look at our list of international schools today and turn your child into a leader of tomorrow!