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Canadian Military Journal

When I think of Royal Military College Saint-Jean

Chantal Beauvais
Colonel Maillet, Lieutenant-General Maisonneuve, distinguished guests, faculty members, family and friends, and graduates of Royal Military College Saint-Jean: It was with great pride and humility that I accepted General Maisonneuve’s invitation to speak to you today, on the occasion of your graduation from the College. First off, I have a deep admiration for the work that is done at the College. I had the opportunity to meet the people who work here and see their great commitment to the education that RMCSJ provides. I felt their pride in belonging to this noble institution and their desire to help you reach your full potential—not just as students, but also as men and women whose human potential is worth developing.
Abstract :

When I think about RMCSJ, the word ‘leadership’ immediately comes to mind. There probably exist thousands of definitions of the word ‘leadership.’ When I was in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets many years ago, we learned the definition provided by General Dextraze: “Leadership is the art of influencing others to do willingly what is required in order to achieve an aim or goal.” When I was a young cadet, aspiring to go up through the ranks, I naively thought that this was a very simple task. After all, all the leader has to do is explain what needs to be done and people will do it. However, as I was given to experience leadership roles over the years, I have come to the conclusion that leadership is anything but easy to implement! General Dextraze’s definition of leadership is certainly clear and evident. But, as Hegel the philosopher would say, this definition needs to be ‘unpacked’ to appreciate the full extent of to what it  actually refers.

For General Dextraze’s definition to work, a certain number of prerequisites must be present. Today, I would like to share with you three of those prerequisites—knowing, know-how and ‘soft skills’—which seem to me, at first glance, to be invisible in the definition. Paradoxically, however, they make it possible to fully understand the concept of leadership. Over the years, for me, these themes have become values that play an increasingly significant role in my personal and professional journey. Because of my position as rector of a post-secondary academic institution, they have also become matters of great concern.

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When I think of Royal Military College Saint-Jean

Date Deposited : 08 Apr 2015 10:15

Last Modified : 08 Apr 2015 10:32

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Volume 12, Number 1, - 2012

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