Leaders in The Community
Developing The Leaders Around You
The John Maxwell Co.
- Travel agents vs. the tour guides
John Maxwell said there are two types of leaders; the travel agent and the tour guide. The travel agent is the type of leader that points people in a direction without any concept or knowledge on how to get there. Tour guides on the other hand are leaders that give people directions while participating in the journey. Tour guides are great leaders because they have been to the destination before, and they don’t just give a “road map to the destination.” Instead, they are invested in the group and provide support along the way. In the Talons program, the grade 10s were able to act as tour guide leaders for the grade 9s, with their past experiences in the program. However, as grade 10 Talons learners this year, we can only teach the 9’s so much about planning overnight trips because all of our knowledge is based off day trips. In a normal grade 9 year we would’ve been mentored by the grade 10s on how to properly plan overnight trips, however, we weren’t allowed to do them. This means that the grade 9’s this year, will miss out on receiving the full grade 10 mentorship, as we will all be experiencing overnight TALONS trips for the first time.
- Leaders are reflective thinkers
John Maxwell said that all good leaders are reflective thinkers, as reflective thinking turns experience into insight. Reflective thinking helps you develop a questioning attitude, gain new perspectives, identify areas for change and improvement, and respond effectively to new challenges. The process of reflection also helps you increase your self-awareness, which is a key component of emotional intelligence, and in developing a better understanding of others. The Talons program is infamously known for its reflections. After every leadership trip, project, and event it is presumable that a reflection will follow. However, I think that reflecting on our work is a necessary step in our learning. Leaders need to be able to reflect on their work, as reflection helps develop skills and review their effectiveness, rather than continuing to do things the way they’ve always been done. It is about questioning, in a positive way, what you do and why you do it and then deciding whether there is a better or more efficient way of doing them. I remember writing my first big reflection for Talons after our fall day trips and thinking how tiresome and unnecessary the reflection seemed, however, I made some very interesting realizations while writing it. It made me think about the new skills I learned, the challenges our group encountered, and some of the aspects of the trip that I liked and disliked. In general, for leaders to grow and change, they need to be able to reflect.
- Pint = Gallon
In the third session, John Maxwell focused a lot on the concept “people do what people see.” In this concept he incorporated a very interesting idea: a pint of example is equal to a gallon of advice. Maxwell was trying to convey that showing, rather than telling, is much more powerful. The issue with telling people what to do, is that lots of information can be lost in translation. For example, you might be thinking of lots of crucial information, but you might forget to mention it, leaving people confused. When you lead by example, there is no confusion as to what is expected from others. Showing people what to do can also build a stronger connection between you and the people you lead. As grade 10 mentors we should always be striving to lead by example and show the grade 9s what to do, rather than tell them. However, this doesn’t mean that we should always be holding the grade 9s hands. At some point, they will need to learn some things on their own. All we can do as grade 10s this year is prepare them as best we can for next year when we won’t be there.
Maxwell, J. C. (2014). Developing the leaders around you, Participant Guide. The John Maxwell Company.