I vote therefore I am

Elmhurst School for Boys

11th April 2013

I'm a sucker for elections. The US Presidential election has kept me reading newspapers and blogs, and watching endless debates and speeches. Not that I have an allegiance for either Obama or Romney. I am just fascinated by the process of elections.

Why this fascination? First of all, it's the prospect of change, new ideas, a fresh injection of reforming energy - and that's just as much for the incumbent as a new candidate. For a president or prime minister to face election, he or she must redefine their vision, find new ways to promote the direction in which they wish to direct the country. I like the fact that democratic leaders must always promote their values to the people, not just impose them.

Secondly, and perhaps the greatest source of my fascination, I am intrigued and inspired by the emergence of new leaders. Why does one individual command the respect and dedication of so many people, rather than another? What is the X Factor in these leaders?

Almost always, the underlying factor is a passionate belief and a great ability to convey this belief. Great leaders can persuade and inspire, can draw others to follow and to build their new vision. Great leaders are almost always great orators: their words and their passion inspire others.

In this world of technologies which encourage our children to sit separately at computers, or send text rather than have a conversation, it's worth remembering that what brings about real change, real improvement in our world is the ability to communicate passionately and directly with individuals, to convince them the world can be better, and encourage them to join in the challenge of the future.

I hope very much that some of our Elmhurst boys will be such leaders of the future.

9th November 2012

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