Creative Leaders in the Making through The Leadership Face-Off 2014

Exercising creativity in leadership through Newspaper Dresses, Animal Onesies and Filmography

Leadership and entrepreneurship often comes alive when a context is given to it. Our Projects unit drives action-based initiatives that allow youths to practice of their leadership and entrepreneurship skills through a real-world context and applications to the community.
In this year’s “The Leadership Face Off”, we bring our youths through a journey to test their mettle through the application of Art. Read on to experience “The Leadership Face Off” through Haley, our intern then, who helped run this project.

On 2 June 2014, 20 teams from Singapore’s secondary schools embarked upon an adventure of a lifetime – The Leadership Face-Off (TLFO).

TLFO is a four-day event where teams of four students represent their schools in different tasks. It is the first leadership competition of its kind in Singapore.

Temasek Secondary School, Temasek Junior College and the Halogen Foundation sponsored this year’s 4th annual TLFO that was themed “art”.

Day One was kicked off with opening speeches by Sean Kong and Jason Wee. Sean Kong, CEO of Halogen, elicited the young audience to identify what holds them back. He dared them to try different things in the challenges they would face in the following days, and ultimately in their lives.

Jason Wee, an artist, writer, part-time lecturer and founder of Grey Projects, shared his journey towards art and encouraged students to pursue what they love.  He also gave tips about how to face failure, difficulty and negativity – “You’re going to fail a lot but don’t give up… if you think you love something, give yourself the space to explore”.

Their speeches set the tone for the remainder of the competition and really inspired students to think about leadership and its application to the arts. The remainder of the day consisted of eight preliminary challenges where the students drew images of world leaders and created the “8th Wonder of the World” and 70s outfits out of recycled materials.  In addition to exercising creative abilities, students also tested their communication skills through surveying members of the public, completing puzzles blindfolded with the assistance of other teammates and singing songs that their teammates had to recognise, among other things.  After a day of running around the city drawing, singing and creating, the 10 teams with the most points proceeded to the finals.

The Leadership Face-Off 2014

TLFO resumed for the finals on 12 June 2014 in a non-stop three days of activities that challenged participants to apply the principles introduced in the preliminary rounds to real-life situations.

The first task required students to create project proposals to fundraise money for the following local organisations devoted to the arts: The Red Pencil, The A Capella Society, Art Outreach, Drama Box, and Frontier Danceland.

Excited students stood confidently before the panel of adults to present their proposals that integrated the artistic mediums of music, dancing, skits and paintings.  They also produced innovative and fun ways to engage the public from creating signs and using balloons, to wearing animal onesie attires and pencil suits to raise money for the organisations.

At the end of each presentation, the panel selected the group that they wanted to represent their company.  After debriefing with the organisation representative, the groups hit the streets where students raised a total of $2,383.80 for the organisations — a testament of the students’ diligence and commitment to supporting the arts.

The Leadership Face-Off 2014 03

After a day of fundraising, students quickly jumped into the next and final task.  Now that they knew how to use leadership and art and apply them to organisations, it was time to apply them to organisations and put their skills and knowledge into practice.

With just an artistic concept and completely new teammates from other schools, students needed to create a video to represent the medium as a way to generate more awareness in Singapore. In their new teams, an additional element of accountability and incentive to produce was presented because students were graded individually. Each of their performances would contribute to their school’s overall score.

The videos encompassed many different themes including architecture, contemporary dance, film, photography, plays, busking, hip hop dancing, musicals, short stories and ethnic dancing.  Students presented the information using various methods including speed art, tutorials and original choreography and storylines.  Additionally, students prompted viewers to relate art to Singapore in terms of how culture could be represented in film, how photographs have the remarkable ability to capture memories that will last a lifetime, and to stop and appreciate the artistic things in life.

TLFO was a unique opportunity where students grew tremendously over the short course of a few days. Students built the confidence to try things that they may not had considered previously and developed connections with their teammates and leaders in the community. They exercised their creativity and influence, and exercised them for a good cause.

We are proud of another successful year of TLFO. Halogen would like to extend our thanks to Temasek Secondary School and Temasek Junior College for their partnerships, and congratulations for this year’s winners – CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent!

Article by Haley Alderete