Hands-on leadership style | Daily News


Hands-on leadership style

Science College, Mount Lavinia
Head Boy of Science College, Mount Lavinia, Lehan Randitha. Pictures by Ruwan de Silva
Head Boy of Science College, Mount Lavinia, Lehan Randitha. Pictures by Ruwan de Silva

Temperament is a strong attribute of leadership and Head Boy of Science College, Mount Lavinia, Lehan Randitha’s energy rises when interacting with others. Perfect Prefects features Randitha, whose leadership style is hands-on with lots of contact with the student body and staff.

Randitha points out that people all over the world, now live in knowledge-based societies. This refers to the type of society that is needed to compete and succeed in the changing economic and political dynamics of the modern world. Information technology plays a vital role. Without being knowledgeable and proficient about the changes that information technology creates, no society or individual can move forwards and progress.

‘Everybody’s got the potential for great good and great wrong in them, but it’s the choices we make that define who we really are’ - Charles de Lint

Unethical Internet

“I feel that technology has the potential for good. But it can also be used for the wrong reasons. Take child pornography on the internet and terrorist propaganda - terrorist groups and individuals have increasingly used social media to further their goals, recruit members, and spread their message. This is all wrong. Even hacking on the internet is unethical. So, I think we all need to decide to use technology for the right reasons,” explained Randitha.

Randitha feels that a leader needs to be able to lead. And you cannot learn this from a book. You need hands-on experience. He says you need to lead by example. You can be a leader at any point in your life. Just because you didn’t lead at school does not mean that you cannot do it after leaving school. If your subordinates do not see you in the thick of it, they will not take directions from you. You also need to be able to finish the job in style.

Rising through the echelons of Science College Mount Lavinia from the grassroots level has enabled Randitha to lead effectively, as he certainly has the ideal temperament that befits a leader. He knows how his subordinates behave because he has been there at that level. He has been through it all. He has insight into what men want. In addition to this, Randitha has the backing of his Principal and teachers and the backing of his Board of Prefects. Science College is known for being fiercely competitive and his sterling qualities and the backing of the staff has enabled him to rise to the highest position that a student at Science College can aspire to.

“When I think of pressure in life and the challenges that come with it, I think my temperament has a direct impact. I have experience as a scout and as a football player. In addition to this, I also have to balance my school work and duties as a Head Boy, so I have an extremely competitive temperament. However, I have the utmost respect for those who are more experienced than me. I seek their advice if the problem is particularly difficult. I do not disregard the opinions of those below me in rank. If they have something useful to bring to the table, I respect that,” said Randitha.

Orderly leader

Becoming the Head Prefect for Randitha was a childhood dream. And he has been preparing for it from the time he was a stripling. Randitha has worked hard leading a team of Prefects that plays a vital role in the smooth functioning of the school. That has required him to cultivate the traits of an orderly leader. The duties he needs to fulfil are many and he does not make excuses and he shares the credit with his team.

“If you want to be a winner then you need to start overcoming challenges. You can only grow as a person if you overcome challenges. The experience you gain will help you in overcoming challenges that lie in wait for you. This will give you confidence. I remember once we handled a certain project a school. We badly needed finances and somehow as a group, we managed to gather enough funds. The moral of the story is that united we stand, divided we fall. Right throughout our principal was there, believing in us. When someone believes in you, it spurs you on. This is the leadership that he gave me and in turn, I led the boys,” added Randitha.

“Everywhere you look, you can see how information technology is taking over our lives. If we are not knowledgeable it is going to be exceedingly difficult living our lives. You have to keep up with the changes happening all around you. Otherwise, you will be left behind,” explained Randitha.

Randitha has been a scout. He has acquired skills that have benefited him. He has learnt to be independent and he has learnt to survive by controlling his anxiety. As a schoolboy, he has gained skills that will help him stand on his own two legs once he leaves school. The experience he has gained has allowed him to be a person with self- control, someone who has a fighting chance in life- the biggest battle.

Paper qualification

“Science College is one of the leading schools in Colombo and what I have received from my school, I find difficult to express in words. I just love my school. Being the Head Prefect brings me great happiness and what I have received is beyond a badge or a paper qualification. Leading a student body at such a young age is a tremendous opportunity. Learning from others is such a valuable opportunity,” said Randitha.

His message to the youth is to do what they can do and do it with great energy. Also, do it ethically. Do not try and ruin someone’s life for personal gain. Do what you know and do it to the maximum and also it must be done in a way that is not immoral or unethical.

“Finally, I want to thank my parents for their love and support. They have been with me, every step of the way. My mother and father have been pillars of strength to me. I also would like to mention Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India. I admire him. How many times did he win matches for India snatching victory from the jaws of defeat? And sometimes he did this with tail-enders. He was a finisher, never losing his cool. He always held his nerve. I also play football and I have developed the quality of endurance. I remember that once we lost a football match and our captain was very upset. But the teacher in charge spoke to us as a team and told us that we should face defeat with grace and composure and also, we need to have that trait of endurance. That day we all learnt a valuable lesson. To accept defeat with grace,” pointed out Randitha.

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