Grand Designs on Leadership and Resilience
During the Lower Sixth Induction Day at the beginning of term, the students enjoyed an inspirational talk by Royal Marines veteran Jon White. This inspirational and motivational presentation on leadership and resilience demonstrated how attitude can transform what is possible.
Jon joined the military at the age of 19 and was flourishing in his dream career as a Mountain Leader specialist in the Royal Marines Corps. This all changed whilst on patrol in Afghanistan in 2010 when Jon stepped on a Pressure Plate Improvised Explosive Device, resulting in him losing three limbs.
Since then, Jon has been on the road to recovery, continually seeking new challenges, and proving that a strong-will and sharp mind can overcome any obstacle. One such challenge was the Devizes to Westminster Kayak Race which Jon completed in 2012. Jon and his colleague, Colour Sergeant Lee Waters Royal Marines, completed the race in just over 28 hours, and were awarded the Gluckstein Trophy for their endeavour.
Jon has since embarked on further challenges, building his own family home being a rather different one which tested his ability to lead and succeed in a domain where he had no prior knowledge. Channel 4 documented his self-build project in ‘Grand Designs’ during which the presenter Kevin McCloud was inspired by Jon’s determination and ingenuity to overcome his disability to create a bespoke family home.
Jon said: “I am an ordinary person who has been through some extraordinary events, and I simply use my story to inspire belief in what is possible, when humans resolve to overcome obstacles to achieve their goals. Through sharing my own experience, I hope to communicate and encourage lessons in leadership, motivation and resilience. I very much enjoyed presenting to this group of young, developing leaders, just starting on their own journeys.”
Head of Sixth Form, Mark Evetts, added: “Our thanks to Jon for his impactful presentation to our students. Through the story of his own experiences and the challenges he has faced and overcome, Jon bestowed the inspirational and empowering message, that attitude can change everything.”
Find out more about Jon, his journey and challenges here.