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Holderness News

Leadership is Not a Title

Phil Peck
Head of School Phil Peck delivers a leadership Chapel Talk:
Last Sunday I was in NYC to speak at a moving but sad event to honor the life of a dear friend, mentor, and former board member, Pearl Kane. Pearl also ran the Klingenstein Center at Columbia for almost 40 years, a position now held by former Holderness colleague Dr. Nicole Furlonge. One of the speakers reminded me of one of Pearl’s mantras, “Leadership is not a title or position but a behavior.”
That mantra is a very Holderness statement because we select our leaders based on four behaviors: initiative, dependability, fairness, and empathy. And congratulations tonight to those of you who were recognized for excelling in those behaviors.
But to all of us who are in positions of leadership or have been elected tonight we need to remember: “leadership is not a title or position; leadership is a behavior.” Leadership is not a gift or entitlement, but needs to be earned every day. We have all seen people with titles who aren’t really leaders.
And for those of you who did not get a leadership position tonight or who are ninth graders, or who are colleagues without titles, remember, “leadership is not a title or position, it is a behavior.” Some of the strongest leaders in this school, students and colleagues have no titles.
Leadership is not a title or position; leadership is a behavior, is an existential axiom. It should be a constant effort from all of us to daily behave honorably and with initiative, dependability, fairness, and empathy. If we all do that, and it is not easy, we will create a culture of leadership that is much greater than any of us.
Finally, I love that quotation because it aligns with our school’s definition of leadership:
Leadership is each individual’s journey to serve and empower others.
Our motto, "For God and Humankind," calls us to be other-centered. After our prayer, we will do our final dismissal, "let us go forth in peace to love and serve." Tonight, above all nights, let us view those lines as a sacred calling for all of us to go out to love others, to serve, to empower, and thus to lead.

List of 3 news stories.

  • Emerald Pool Study

    The Emerald Pool Opens at the Edwards Art Gallery

    Andrew Herring
    Albert Bierstadt, the German-American painter renowned for his landscapes of the American West, came to the White Mountains to capture its simple yet overwhelming beauty. What came to life through nearly a decade’s worth of work was The Emerald Pool, a massive oil-on-canvas monument to the natural majesty of a hidden swimming hole along the Peabody River in the Pinkham Notch.  Recounting The Emerald Pool, Bierstadt said, “I never had so difficult a picture to paint, as this White Mountain subject the Emerald Pool; my artist friends think it my best picture and so do I.” 
    Read More
  • Being On Mission: Convocation 2019

    Phil Peck
    At Holderness we deliberately build community through the people we bring in and programs we support. Today I want to share one story about people who showed us what it means to be a mission-centered community and talk about one unique program that is hitting a milestone. 
    Read More
  • The Bulls are Back in Town! Holderness School Welcomes New Class of Students

    Andrew Herring
    Kicking off its 141st year, Holderness School welcomed new students to campus on September 5th.  Under blue skies and surrounded by the cheers of joyful Senior Leaders, 114 new students eagerly joined the Holderness School community.  The day was filled with smiles as new students and families unpacked their cars and turned dorm rooms into a home away from home.
    Read More
Holderness School
33 Chapel Lane, Holderness NH, 03245
mail P.O Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264-1879
phone (603) 536-1257