November 23, 2020

Choose to be a trendsetter

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Young trendsetters - and leaders of the future

“Choose to be a trendsetter” was the theme of the recent youth Leadership Training Workshop at the Marriott Beach Resort, put on by the Youth Services Unit and the National Youth Commission of the Cayman Islands.

More than a hundred students from Cayman’s schools, many of whom are already involved in leadership, came to the day-long workshop which featured topics such as:

“Take a Lead in Everyday Leadership,” “Leadership Styles,” and “Visioning.” Director of Youth Services Unit Katherine Whittaker was the first to address the students during the morning’s introductory session.

“Everyone sitting in this room has potential for leadership. By the end of this day you should all understand what leadership is and what it is not,” she said.

Minister of Youth, Mark Scotland said:  “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. As you are about to embark on today’s workshop I want you to consider this simple yet very powerful phrase.

“Your rudder and your compass are your ethics and your values. These are not easily defined, but this workshop will help you to establish your own set of values.”

Keynote speaker, Ormond Williams, CEO of Cayman National Bank, added: “Far too many of us complain about negative peer pressure – I prefer to concentrate on positive peer pressure.”

He went on to describe the path in life that leads to character: “Out of struggle, integrity and a sense of purpose is born,” he said.

“Let no one deceive you- it is OK to be different,” Mr. Williams continued, “We must engage ourselves when life provides an opportunity to make a difference – you cannot wait for someone else to lead the way.”

Mr. Williams said that he didn’t understand the idea of drifting through life without direction:  “Even at this young age you must have a plan. This plan can evolve with time, but you must have a plan,” he said.

Mr. Williams went on to express his concern that too many people were prepared to settle for compromise: “You must have a passion to settle for nothing less than excellence in all areas of your life,” he said.

“It really doesn’t matter how young or old you are, what is needed is to lead a life of good example.

“Who you are is more important that what you are (your title) and what you have,” he said.

Quoting from Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, Mr. Williams said: “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible.”

Attention to detail was always important, Mr Williams said.  “Do ‘sweat the small stuff,’ – be stewards of fine detail.”

During the concluding remarks of his address, Mr. Williams said:  “When success comes, you should be gracious and humble.  The last two words I leave with you are: Choose wisely.”

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