Developing the Leaders Around You

This post will be discussing topics from John C Maxwell’s Developing the Leaders Around You.

Session 1 – “the Law of Explosive Growth”

For this concept, he states “to add growth, lead followers… to multiply, lead leaders”. He is talking about how if you want to grow an organization, the quickest way to do so would be to get leaders or to grow them. If you think about it logically this statement makes sense. The more leaders you have, the more people they can lead and the more tasks the organization as a whole can take on. You can think about it as one giant team of one hundred. If you only have one leader leading all one hundred people it will be a lot of stress on the leader and it will take a lot longer to get everyone’s tasks assigned and overall it wouldn’t be very efficient. Now if you think about the same one hundred people with ten leaders. It would go a lot faster since the leaders would only have to assign work to ten people and they would be able to get work done quicker and if they needed support it would be easier to get support making the whole operation work faster. I chose this topic because I think it reflects what we are working on in the TALONS program. We are all being developed into leaders. We are all taught how to be leaders so during projects we all know how to properly lead. I will apply this to future leadership events by assisting the nines to help them grow into leaders like our past grade tens did for us.


Session 2 – “Leaders have the ability to make things happen”


For this concept, John talks about momentum. He states that there are four types of people who affect momentum. These four types are momentum breakers, momentum takers, momentum fakers and momentum makers. The key one that we want to focus on is the momentum makers. These are the kinds of people who can get the ball rolling and start getting things done. He states that momentum makers say and do things that start momentum. When you think of a good leader this is usually one of the traits you hope they have. If they have the ability to start momentum it will allow them to effectively lead by example and this will help motivate the people around them to do the same. These kinds of leaders don’t need motivation from external sources, such as reminders from leaders in higher positions, they simply use their own internal motivation to see what needs to be done and they do it. I chose this topic because I feel this is a very important trait to have whilst in a leadership position. Even though I think most of the time I am good at this, last year I sometimes found myself waiting for constantly waiting for instructions from the tens who were mentoring me. If I focus on using this skill effectively then I will able to be self-sufficient while working on leadership projects and I can get more done rather than constantly having to pause to wait for instruction. I also think some of the nines I have worked with also find themselves in the same situation I was last year so going forward I will remember to show the grade nines how to effectively harness this trait and how to properly use it.


Session 3 –  “Questions I Ask Myself Before I Ask Others”


For this concept, he goes over four questions you should always ask yourself before you ask others. He states four questions and what results if you answer yes to that question.

The questions and results are

  • Have I done what I am about to ask others to do – if the answer is yes this gives me credibility
  • Am I doing what I am about to ask others to do – if the answer is yes this gives me leadership
  • Am I willing to do again, what I am about to ask others to do – if the answer is yes this gives me connection
  • Can I do well what I am asking others to do – if the answer is yes this gives me respect

John states that if you can answer yes to all four questions this gives your team motivation. Often leaders overlook this aspect of task delegation and just assign the tasks off that they don’t want to do themselves. I chose this concept for myself because I also often overlook these question. While this year it is quite difficult to use question one since we are expanding into activities we have never tried before, the other three I could improve on. Often I give my group mates an option of which tasks they want to do sometimes I let them take tasks I am not good at myself. I am going to work on trying to improve on these tasks I may not be familiar with before I ask others to take the job.


Session 4 – Two questions for the mentor/apprentice/apprentice and mentor


For this concept, John goes over two questions each person in a mentor/apprentice relationship should be going over before the participants decide to pursue this relationship. The first two questions are questions to ask the apprentice. These questions are capacity-can they do what is required and commitment-will they do what is required. These questions both make sense in this context. Mentors shouldn’t waste their time trying to work with an apprentice that can’t or won’t do what is asked of them. If they don’t follow through with their tasks they just become a burden and it is no longer a mutually beneficial relationship. The next two questions are questions to ask the mentor. These questions are experience-have they had proper experience and excellence-have they modelled excellence. These questions are also two valuable questions for an apprentice to consider. If they are pursuing mentoring to improve they should be assured they are working with someone that can adequately teach them. If you chose a mentor that don’t meet these criteria you might end up not learning as much as you wanted to. The final two questions are for both mentor and apprentice. Compatible-are they compatible and respect-is there mutual respect. In any situation where you are working with another person, both of these criteria should be met. I chose this concept because TALONS works on mentoring relationships. We get to experience both being an apprentice in grade nine and during in-depth and we get to mentor when we move to grade ten. Experience isn’t quite possible since as I mentioned previously we are doing activities this year that we haven’t done before but the tens do have experience doing the tasks to make these new trips happen. As the year progresses we will all improve in the excellence category since it comes with experience and I will actively work on bettering my mentorship so the nines can gain as much as possible from our teachings.