Palliser students continue leadership lessons

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Students from across Palliser Regional Schools got another chance to explore what it takes to be a leader and the importance of thinking “outside of the box.”

That opportunity was presented at the Greatness in Leadership event Feb. 23 at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge.  While the bulk of those attending the second annual event were business management-types from across southern Alberta, future leaders like Palliser’s “Blue Team” were also invited.

The “Blue Team” is a group of students who helped organize Palliser’s leadership conference in November. Bolstered by the addition of some younger students who will carry the torch forward in future years, the team is also working on details of the follow-up Celebration Day in April.

Headlining the management development day were astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Chris Hadfield.  A grandson of former Lethbridge mayor D.H. Elton, Chester Elton, however, set the tone of the event earlier.

A motivational expert now living in New Jersey, he provided practical solutions for leaders to get the most out of their team. Elton spoke of ways to have everyone buy into an organization’s culture and feel they can make a difference, as well as the importance of knowing what motivates every member of the team.

The Palliser students also heard Candace Carnahan’s accounting of the injury which changed her life and the need to speak up if workplace dangers surface. In addition to workplace safety, Carnahan warned against the dangers of drunk driving and texting while driving.

Colonel Hadfield served up tips on how to achieve the impossible. Canada’s first space walker and a commander of the International Space Station stressed that everything worthwhile comes with a risk. The key is to minimize those risks through preparation.

Hadfield also told attendees if they are to make a difference they need to challenge themselves with a goal they would design as impossible.

Aldrin captured the crowd’s attention with behind-the-scenes details of NASA’s initial moon landing mission in 1969. He spoke of the need for leaders to inspire team members to work together and urged everyone to join him on the “next impossible dream” – a manned space mission to Mars.