Sir Graham Henry challenge

The day before we returned to School at the beginning of the year, the staff and prefects had the pleasure of listening to and engaging with former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry. Sir Graham has an incredible amount of experience working with high-performance teams, and his words on legacy and teamwork certainly sparked a sense of motivation in both staff and prefects to create a culture within Brighton Grammar that will allow every boy to thrive.

The five prefects of 2018 were presented a unique opportunity to have a discussion with Sir Graham about the type of culture we are trying to create this year. We presented our ‘As One’ project. Sir Graham suggested that the project does not need to be limited to being a better man today than the man I was yesterday, but rather it could be extended to trying to be BGS men who are going to change the world. It is not often we think that we have the ability to make a difference, but the words of Sir Graham certainly convinced me that with the right balance between improving individually and working to be a part of a team, any Brighton Grammar boy can leave this school with the confidence to go into the world and create change.

One of the focuses of our discussion was motivation; firstly, how to instil motivation in team members, but more importantly how to ensure this motivation is sustained over a period of time. Sir Graham spoke about his obsession with improving the culture of the All Blacks to ensure that they became a winning team. His obsession links directly to one of the core values of BGS: passion. Within any high-performance team, the passion and desire to achieve a certain goal comes before anything or anybody else. Sir Graham challenged we prefects to create this obsession within every Brighton Grammar boy – to come to School to be a better man. I believe that through our chantology and rituals – similar to the All Blacks’ Haka – we will rise to Sir Graham’s challenge.

Finally, Sir Graham spoke about how the role of a leader is to develop their teammates, not to tell them what to do. This message questioned the stereotypical idea of leadership. This year, the Year 12s will create a culture that will allow any boy of any age in the Junior or Secondary school to develop into a passionate, respectful and accountable man who will not be judged or criticised for trying to create a positive difference. Sir Graham stressed the importance of everyone developing individually to ensure the success of the School, and I hope that by the end of this year, we will be a collection of men bought together by our desire to make a difference ‘As One’.

Brad Marais
School Captain 2018