Training Tomorrows Leaders Today
Lexden Leadership School aims to present to its participants the fundamental aspects of leadership with our motto of “Learn By Doing”. Our program is designed in such a way as to allow the participants to experience the pressures and pleasures of leadership.
The late Dr. Michael Stilwell Muir was a physicist by training, having worked for the South African Weather Bureau and for the University of Natal where he taught physics and did research into solar terrestrial phenomena. Dr. Muir’s interest in leadership and leadership training for young adults dates back to the 1960’s. He founded Lexden Leadership in 1989 which he planned and designed with the intention of making leadership training accessible to a greater percentage of our youth. In doing so Dr. Muir revolutionised the approach to youth leadership training from the conventional “physical” approach to a more mentally challenging approach making leadership training more accessible to a wider group of aspiring leaders.
The course incorporates the works of John Adair among others, in exploring some of the theories of leadership. Adair’s work points out that whenever matters concerning leadership are being examined, there are always three elements or variables present, namely the Leader, the Situation and the Group. This approach to understanding leadership has been called action-centered leadership, functional leadership, or the group-function theory of leadership. It is on this basis that Lexden Leadership aims to present to its participants the fundamental aspects of leadership. We believe that you “Learn by doing” and as a result, our programme is designed in such a way as to allow the participants to experience the pressures and pleasures of leadership.
Participants work in small groups of 8 and not more than 9 individuals, under the watchful eye of a group mentor. The programme includes, to a lesser degree, lectures and presentations that are highly essential to the course as they outline the various techniques and skills that form the foundation on which the learning experience is based.
The bulk of the programme consists of Group Leadership Tasks (GLT’s), which are designed to stretch the individual beyond their personal capacity. It is important to note that these group leadership tasks are highly pressurised and somewhat complex at first glance. The reason for this is that by allowing the participants to be exposed to this kind of pressure, quite similar to the pressures of “real life”, the individual learns of their strengths and weaknesses. It is a safe environment in which the participants are allowed to “fail”, and with the support and encouragement from their group, they can determine the reasons for their failures and also feel good about areas of achievement. This allows the participant, as John Maxwell puts it, to “fail forward”. Failures are not necessarily detrimental, if you can learn from them and move forward, but can be seen as the stepping-stones to success.
In July 2002 the late Dr Muir, the Founder of the course and the first Course Director stepped down and handed over the reins of the course to Gari dos Santos. Gari was a participant in July 1995. After being elected as Head Boy of Hillcrest High School later that year, Dr Muir invited him back as a Course Assistant in July 1996. It was then that Gari realised his passion to inspire others to develop the leadership abilities embedded deep within and to elicit these abilities from within others.
Gari returned to the course in 1997 as a Group Mentor. In the year 2000 and 2001, he was invited back as an Assistant Course Director. In 2002 he was appointed as Deputy Course Director, and is now the Course Director. Gari wasted no time in expanding Lexden’s services by offering customized leadership programmes as well as team-building excursions. Gari obtained a Bcompt degree through Unisa and gained significant experience in the corporate world before embarking on his own entrepreneurial endeavors.
Our mission is to equip aspiring leaders with the necessary skills, self-belief and emotional intelligence to live lives of significance.
We strive to see ALL young adults realise their full potential by eliciting the greatness that is already within them. We believe it is our duty to assist in the process of shaping young adults into the leaders of tomorrow. We strive to equip aspiring leaders with skills, strength, determination and motivation to dream the impossible dream and to have the courage to pursue those dreams. We strive to see generations of young people committed to their dreams, living positively and achieving more than they could ever comprehend of themselves. We aim to see every young adult and aspiring leader making a difference in the lives of others as they become part of something greater than themselves ultimately living a life of significance.