School academic leadership comes with multiple benefits ranging from being close and to teachers, wearing a special uniform, and not queuing for services at school. In fact, this is why the election process has to rigorously ensure that only the most dedicated and impartial students are selected to lead students in the right direction, as well as offer support to staff and administration in school discipline and enforcement of rules and regulations. However, some students want to receive favour from these elected prefects by not respecting school rules in exchange for the votes they gave to the prefect. This gives prefects a very hard time while exerting their authority, especially if some of the students are their close friends. Some prefects even end up losing their friends in the course of carrying out their duties. You must do something to strike a balance between friendship and leadership.
The first thing to do is to network with the rest of the school prefect body, through communication, collaboration and delegation of duties, to ensure that all students adhere to the rules and regulations without favour or prejudice. Also, share these regulations with students, including your buddies, from time-to-time during assemblies and public gatherings in the school so that they understand the consequences whenever they break school rules. These rules may, for example, define the expected standards of clothing, timekeeping, social conduct, and work ethic. Emphasise that mutual respect between students and prefects is vital, and students who repeatedly break school rules will be punished. And if the offence carries with it a heavy penalty, then you should seek the advice of the discipline master first on how to deal with such a case.
Try as much to instil in students a sense of responsibility by using social conversations and public speaking skills to be a friendly leader who doesn’t favour or protect students who break the school rules because they are friends to the head prefect. Be sure to reaffirm that such will not be tolerated. The key is to be approachable to students, parents, or teachers and maintain a high level of decent communication and integrity while exercising your responsibilities. Be a role model by respecting school rules yourself, and always be there when students need you to serve them.
Try to evaluate your leadership skills and how you interact with students, and ensure that your conduct reflects your position in the school. Many prefects engage in behaviour that destroys their credibility and won’t listen to any instructions because they think they’re equals, hence, defiance to authority. If you are guilty of degrading behaviours like gossip, dodging classes or poor communication skills, something needs to be changed so that you behave in a manner that differentiates you from other students. Being too simple and overly friendly to students could potentially translate into a weakness, which will be used to manipulate you by these students. In fact, if you want to be a ‘people-pleaser’ for students to like you, they will use this against you and make your leadership hard. Remain strategic and strike a balance between your social life and responsibilities. Only then will you be a perfect leader.