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Brigadier Parsons’ tips for success

From being on the run from police dogs and helicopters in freezing cold conditions with a tin of beef to share between five to the quiet room of Sancta Maria College’s library, Deputy Chief of the New Zealand Army Chris Parsons has journeyed to every corner of the world, with his travels finally bringing him to our College to talk to our student leaders and aspiring army men and women.

Telling stories from his adventures in both New Zealand and far off lands, Brigadier Parsons explained how his actions and experiences in combat shaped him into the leader he is today.

During the talk, Brigadier Parsons taught the students invaluable lessons about leadership. He taught them about the significant aspects of an effective leader, such as being trustworthy, able, believable, connected and dependable. Furthermore, he expressed the importance of balancing accomplishing the task at hand with working with the team and yourself (as the leader).

Brigadier Parsons was able to demonstrate the difference between ‘personal power’ and ‘positional power’ and what qualities these kinds of leaders obtain. A leader that uses personal power uses control and dominance over their subjects, whereas a leader that uses personal power is able to inspire and influence their companions. He was able to demonstrate that we, as leaders, should aspire to lead with personal, rather than positional power.

Brigadier Parsons will now make his way to London to fulfill a more diplomatic role for three years. We wish him all the best.

Martina Kleis, Manvis Wong and Angelika Bilbao