Developing Leaders Around You – Three Nuggets of Wisdom

Why Leaders need to Reproduce Other Leaders – The organization’s growth potential is directly related to its personnel potential 

One of the most important roles of a Leader is to help support and create more leaders. If an organization has one person in a leadership role, and this person does not help reproduce other leaders, what will happen when this person leaves? If instead, the leader focuses on making those around them even better leaders than themselves, they ensure that the organization will continue to grow in their absence. This is important to me because I want to make sure that the grade nines now and in the future have the same great experience that I had in TALONS. I want to make sure that they learn and grow and have even more fun than I did in TALONS. If I can teach the grade nines now how to lead, participate and experience the best that they can, then they can teach those after them and so on. If on a TALONS trip, I can use this by sharing and dividing a leadership role with a grade nine. If one of my jobs is to lead a group on a trail with a map, I can partner with a grade nine and have them watch what I’m doing at the front while leading. Even better, I can have them do parts of the leading with the map or make decisions for the groups with little guidance from myself. This way, they can not only learn to lead by watching and hearing, but also by gaining experience themselves.  


Leaders are Big Picture Thinkers 

Leaders must be able to see the big picture when looking at a situation. If a leader is in a situation, they must be able to be calm and collected, be rational and see all the variables before making a decision. To have the ability to pick apart all the small unnecessary details to see to the main issue at hand is the skill of a good leader. This rings true to me because I want to be able to have a clear head when communicating and leading other people through tough and quick decisions. Often, I find myself focusing on a small detail that isn’t important when it comes to the grand scheme of the issue at hand. If I can see and keep the big idea in my head, I can be more productive, efficient and impactful as a leader. On a TALONS trip, I can implement this when making quick and effective decisions outside. Let’s say we were on a hiking trip, and we come to the fork in the trail, one leads a better viewpoint but harder trail, the other straight to our destination, and it is our decision to make. Before I might have started to think about how hard the trail and all the small meaningless details, but with the big picture in mind I can have a clearer vision in my head. I know that the point of the trip is to see the viewpoints with each other, I know that the physique of my group is strong and that we have lots of time. With my head clearer and more focused, I can make executive decision to go see the viewpoint (or make whichever decision fits the big picture the best).  


Work on Yourself Before you Work on Others, Leaders Go First! 

When leading a group, a leader must first have themselves in check. It isn’t healthy or right of someone to present themselves as a role model and preacher-of-good-leadership before they themselves are. It is unfair to yourself and others because you need to be a good leader and person yourself before you can even begin to know how to teach others. If one doesn’t even know themselves, how can they be truthful when teaching others? I personally resonate with this because I want to and try to work on myself not only for the good of myself but others. I want to be able to talk out loud in front of a group before encouraging someone to speak out, I want to have the confidence and communication skills to be able to make good decisions before telling someone to make a group decision. During a TALONS trip, I can use this by moderating the amount of work I share and do. If I am trying to mentor a grade nine student during a hiking trip, I can’t just throw all work towards them now that I have experience. I must be able to give them work to do, but also take opportunities myself to learn and be a leader. Making sure that I am always learning and educating myself no matter how much seniority I have is important no matter the situation. Finding that balance between letting others learn and allowing myself to learn is a good spot to be in.  


Maxwell, J. C. (1995). Developing the Leaders Around You. Thomas Nelson. 

How to be a Real Success

R – Relationships

Relationship rules are rules that basically rules to having good and healthy relationships with yourself and the people around you. When I first heard the term relationship rules, I thought that relationships didn’t need rules and that it was too restricting to have rules. However, as we learned more, I was surprised to realize that the rules were in fact not limiting at all and were actually some really good advice! One of the first things that surprised me about the relationship rules was that number one on the list was to love and accept yourself. I was kind of surprised because that last thing I expected on a relationship rules list was something about yourself! The rules stated that since the only relationship that will last forever is with yourself and that you have to be able to have a good relationship with yourself before having a healthy relationship with others. Which when I think about it makes complete sense. If I were to sum up the next few things on the list, I would say that you had to really put energy into knowing the other person and value them and your relationship. This seems really obvious at first glance, but to me, it actually gave me some really good pointers when having and maintaining relationships, something that I feel like I struggle with sometimes. A few good points that I want to remember are remembering someone’s name and focusing on the other persons interests.

The reason I chose this little piece of information to write about was because it was something that I found really helpful. I found myself referring back to these rules and making sure that whoever I’m talking to, I’m giving my full attention. Something that I found really helpful was the rule that said to focus on their interests. Though it seems a little self-conceited, (and probably is) when I would talk to someone and the conversation would dwindle down, I would panic and start telling them about myself as it was the only thing that I knew that I knew a lot about. So, by having this rule of focusing on their interests, I’m able to remember to slow down and ask them a question instead.

The relationship rules will prove very helpful during my grade 9 year, and any year in that matter. I think that a very big part in school and TALONS in general is relationships. Whether that be making them or maintaining them. So as I’m starting to meet more of the grade 9’s in my class, I think that these points will help me become more confident in my skills in meeting new people as well as making the person that I’m talking to feel comfortable For example if I were to start talking to a grade 9 in Science that I haven’t met yet, I would remember to remember their name, ask them about themselves and their interests, and to really value them as a person and my relationship with them.


E – Equipping

One point that really stood out to me during the Equipping lesson was the actual equipping itself. The book explained equipping as preparing someone in a way to complete a task. I never really actually considered or I guess realized that equipping someone was really important to leadership. For the longest time I had thought that by doing all the work myself, I was helping the other person. So finding out that equipping others was important and that doing all the work myself didn’t actually help them was really interesting and cool to learn about. But since that is a really broad topic, I want to focus on the Why People Fail to Equip Others section and what I want to do to not do those things. To me, the purpose of this list was to show the reader what they were doing wrong. You can’t really fix your mistakes without knowing what to fix. A few things on the list included failing to equip others because you enjoy doing the tasks yourself, wanting to keep control and underestimating the general potential and leadership potential in the people around you.

I chose this as something that I wanted to focus on this year because it reminds me of what not to do. As I mentioned before, I didn’t really know about equipping others, so when I looked at this list, I got a clearer idea of what I should be doing instead. It kind of made me realize my mistakes in a way.

I think that I can apply this list to many things in my grade 9 year. I can use it to remind myself of what not to do when working with others so that the other people in my group learn something and I don’t end up stressing myself out with unnecessary work. For example, if I’m in a group project that involves research, typing out information and making a model, I can remind myself of the rule to not underestimate others and I could give someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience with making models a chance at doing it. I could also use the rule to not be in the habit in doing all the work and use that to remind myself to let everyone else do work as well and that everyone deserves an equal chance to do and learn something.


A – Attitude

One of the things that I remember from the A section is from the Attitude Inventory. It was the fourth question that asked “Do you foster a healthy attitude in yourself for your family, friends, co-workers?” When I saw this, it forced me to see how my attitude can affect others and their attitudes. You could reword it as “Do you have a positive attitude inside yourself and do you try and help others around you have a positive attitude as well.”

I chose this as a focus this year because it was something that actually caused me to stop and think. When I saw this question, it made me stop and wonder if I did cause the people around me to have a good attitude as well. It also reminded me that my attitude has an affect on others as well, as sometimes I can get caught up in my emotions that I forget that it can affect other people.

I can incorporate this into my grade 9 year in many different ways. I think that by reminding myself of this rule/question every so often, I will be able to be more aware of myself and my attitude with the knowledge that it can affect other people. This way I can have a better attitude myself and help other people around me develop a healthier and more positive point of view. For example, If I’m feeling more down than usual, I wouldn’t put that on others knowing that it will affect their attitude as well.


L – Leadership

The Law of the Process is something that stayed in my head a while after the lessons. This law was something that said that leaders take time to develop, and that it doesn’t just take a day to become a good leader. Or to put it into the books’ words “Leaders develop daily, not in a day” Something that John Maxwell said after this also stuck with me. He mentioned something along the lines that good leaders can be made and not just born. This stuck with me because I often hear that good leaders are born, and that can discourage me sometimes because I’ll often think that I wasn’t cut out to be a leader or I wasn’t born as someone who could be a leader. So it’s reassuring to know that you can still grow to be a good leader.

I chose this because, as I said before, I often don’t think I was “born” or made to be a leader. So This quote stuck with me because it reminded me that I can grow to become one and that it takes time and effort to accomplish it.

I can use this throughout my year and throughout the rest of my life. By knowing that leaders take time to develop, I can work towards becoming a great leader and put effort into reaching this goal. I think that it will also help me become less frustrated with myself when I make a mistake in a leadership position. For example, if I were to attend another leadership conference or info session, I will be able to retain the information that I was given and put it to use throughout the years to come. This way I won’t just forget or stop doing the information that was given to me just a day after.