CBC commentator shares vision of leadership
By Georgia Black
St. John's, Newfoundland
Rex Murphy has some simple advice for students who want to
be leaders -- believe strongly in your ideas and communicate
that passion to other people's minds and hearts.
Murphy, a commentator and reporter for "The
National" and the host of CBC Radio's "Cross-Country
Checkup", was a keynote speaker at the Newfoundland
and Labrador Student Leadership Conference, held at Booth Memorial
High School, St. John's from October 22-24.
He commenced his speech by talking about a major leader here
in Newfoundland, Joseph R. Smallwood, the father of Confederation.
Smallwood did not become a political force until he decided to
start a campaign to make Newfoundland the tenth province of Canada
and save its people from the extreme hardship they'd endured
in the past. Once he had an idea, he became a leader.
CBC commentator Rex Murphy addresses a student
1 -"When an Idea..."
That's the fundamental basic principal of leadership, said
Murphy. All you need is have an idea, be passionate about it
and want to move people towards your idea. Murphy defined leadership
as "the transaction between human beings at the deepest
level of sheer emotion."
Murphy urged the students to see leadership as something that
is neither bad nor good -- but it is simply a capacity that can
veer in one direction or another.
"A strong human being has the ability to save a person
drowning in water but also has the same ability to throw someone
over a roof," said Murphy.
He pointed out that there has been more pain, more suffering,
more torture and more death in this century than ever before
and it's partly due to leaders like Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler.
Murphy noted that leadership does not happen only in the political
world. It is an everyday happening when a man or a woman becomes
a guide in human relations. These people help to reduce pain
and suffering and increase the sheer comfort level of others.
He then pointed out that we are all leaders amongst our friends
and family, which caused a low murmur around the hall.
Murphy believes that you must be familiar with your own history
and with the nature of the place in which you live to be able
to move forward.
"It is no good having an idea of what you want things
to be, unless you understand the context in which you already
live," he told the students.
Murphy stresses that leadership can happen
in everyday life
- "You don't have to concieve
He gave as an example the case of Martin Luther King, who educated
himself on the topic of civil rights and earned himself the attention
and respect of almost everyone who heard him speak.
Murphy places emphasis on
education in leadership
3 - "To lead it is necessary
A standing ovation at the conclusion
of Murphy's talk
But Murphy mentioned that a good leader must also be able
to separate him or herself from a crowd. To be a leader you must
have courage and an independent mind, a mind that thinks solely
"It's extremely easy to disagree with your enemies. The
ability to disagree with your friends requires a much greater
moral force," he noted.
Murphy ended his well-appreciated speech telling the students
that it all basically boiled down to them and their individual
characters, personalities and minds. He was recognized by a standing
ovation and a hall full of Newfoundland cheers.