Developing Leaders Around You

In this blog post, I will share three quotes from John C. Maxwell’s “Developing Leaders Around You” courses. These quotes stick out to me personally, and I will be explaining how they can be applied to my experience in the TALONS program.


First quote

“So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”

– Peter Drucker

Firstly, what does this quote even mean? It may seem like an odd quote, but it is very true once you begin to look into it. Management is pushing people so that they can be productive and efficient, which is difficult if you compare it to simple work which is not managed much. By pushing people to do their best and put in a lot of effort, it may be difficult and tiring, but the fatigue you feel that day is what contributed to your future success. Thus, management is simply making it difficult for people to work, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

This quote stood out to me (and I think it would stick out to other TALONS students as well) because being a TALONS student is definitely not an easy walk-in-the-park. In TALONS, not only are there trips that you plan and go on every once in a while, but there are also leadership classes after school and accelerated non-elective classes. As you may be able to tell from my light description, TALONS is certainly not easy, which ties back into this quote. Since TALONS is a difficult program to be in, it requires students in the program to perform as best as they can so that they can succeed. This is also why we learn about leadership in TALONS: So that we may become great leaders and manage others later in our lives, so that they can succeed, and thus is a cycle from which one truly enjoys the fruits of their labour.


Second quote

“Learn-Earn-Return. These are the three phases of life.”

– Jack Balousek

This is not so much of a difficult quote to interpret as the previous one, as its definition is within the quote itself. Learn-Earn-Return. This is a cycle in which someone aspires to obtain something. For example, money. First, that person must learn how to make money and what they will do to do so. Then, they must act with their new knowledge. Once they have put in a sufficient amount of work, they will start seeing returns. This cycle is applicable to virtually anything in life, whether it is growing muscle, earning money as mentioned, working on a school project, and others.

Now, why did this quote stand out to me? This quote stood out to me because, as a TALONS student, we plan many trips to go in which involve a lengthy planning process. This process follows the “phases” of this quote closely, as we first learn about the trip and what we must do to plan for it. Then we must act with our new knowledge in the planning process by making itineraries, planning the location of the event, planning equipment needed, and more. Finally, after we have finished planning the trip, we go on to the most fun part of the process: Going on the actual trip. Going on the actual trip is the most fun part of the cycle, as it is why we have been planning it in the first place: To have fun.


Third quote

“Nothing is more confusing than people who give good advice and set bad examples.”

– Norman Vincent Peale

This quote connects with the previous in the sense that they both involve teaching/learning in the process. In this quote, it states that the wonderful job of teaching that someone may do can be completely useless if they do not back it up with good examples. This quote also somewhat involves the expression “show, don’t tell” in the sense that actions explain more than words. I agree with this statement, and I will give an example to show why. When I am programming a script, there will be a time where I get confused and need to look up my problem. However, a lot of the time when I do this, there are a lot of words but not many actions. This is why I prefer to have someone next to me walk me through it and answer my specific questions, rather than some frequently asked ones.

In TALONS, there is a lot of teaching from both the instructors and the students. When the instructors teach, there is often an example of that teaching in our trips. However, when students teach leadership lessons, they may be particularly good lessons, but if they are not followed up with a good example in the field, it may confuse the learners. I think that I may fall victim to this when teaching my friends how to solve equations, as I may not provide them with the best example. Of course, I tell them how I solve the question, but I often have trouble coming up with good examples that applies my lesson. This is where I could improve.



I have gained a lot of useful knowledge from this course. This course taught me that being a leader is very important as leaders drive their workers to power through their work. Without a leader, a group cannot achieve much before they find themselves in a difficult situation, like not knowing what to do. I have a question for you, the reader: How do you find yourself leading others in your life? With that being said, that was three quotes that stood out to me from John C. Maxwell’s “Developing Leaders Around You” course.



Maxwell, J. C. (2014). Developing The Leaders Around You. The John Maxwell Company.