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John C. Maxwell Reflection

In this assignment, I chose three nuggets of wisdom from John C. Maxwell’s book “Developing the Leaders Around You”. I chose the three that stood out the most to me whether it was because it’s something that I relate to or something that I must work on as a leader.

The first nugget of wisdom that was mentioned in the book which stood out to me was “The Law of the Chain”. Essentially, the law of the chain means that the strength of a team is directly related to the strength of the team’s weakest member. This means that a leader shouldn’t focus on making two people on the team good, they should try and divide their focus between everyone.
Once the whole team starts working together if one person isn’t operating at the same level it can completely ruin the momentum of the group and provide a worse outcome or a longer time to get a result. I’ve experienced this firsthand mainly in group projects at school, sometimes there will be one person who doesn’t care about the project or doesn’t want to help. Often, they will end up distracting everyone else and making other people go off task whereas if they were focused and on task that could be one more person on task and contributing to the efficiency of the group. For the adventure trips, this is important in both the planning of the trip as well as in the trip itself. If the same amount of attention is given to everyone in the planning of the trips, then the group can work together effectively and efficiently as opposed to two people doing all the planning. The same idea applies while we are on the trip whether we are solving a problem or trying to set up camp, etc…

Here is a website if you are interested in learning more about the law of the chain:  https://experienceleadership.com/blog/2019/3/28/the-law-of-the-chain

The second nugget of wisdom I want to focus on is “Leaders are big picture thinkers”, they see before others see and leaders see more than others see. Big picture thinking means that the leader can keep the result in mind. They can see further ahead than most people and even be able to see more details than most people can. This trait is valuable because it means the leader can be more calculated and more precise with their plans which gives less space for small things to go wrong which many other people would miss. This skill is important as missing small details could result in money loss in a workplace or even injury or harm in some situations. This statement is important for me because big picture thinking is something that I should try and work on. Often, I like to just get a vague idea of the end goal then jump into the deep end and try and make it work out. I often do the thinking as I am going instead of planning every little detail out beforehand. In TALONS on the other hand, we are very much a big picture thinking group. For the adventure trips, we plan out every single detail far beforehand, make changes when necessary, and follow the plan almost exactly when we are on the trips. Because of this, nothing goes wrong often which is well worth the extra time it takes to plan the trips.

Finally, I will talk about “The law of explosive growth”. What this law means is that if you are training followers, you will ad to the growth of your organization but if you train leaders, you will multiply the growth of the organization. This is the case because if you train the people of your organization to be leaders, they will help each other to grow and help new people to grow as well. On the other hand, if you train people to be followers and to do as you tell them, sure they’ll be valuable, but everyone will still be dependant on you at the end of the day instead of each other. This was something I learned at Taekwondo; the goal was to teach the students, so they were able to teach each other. There were only so many instructors, so it made it much easier if you taught the higher belts to teach the lower belts instead of taking on twenty kids with three instructors. This is also a prominent law in TALONS because we are taught to help and teach each other. For example, while planning the adventure trips the grade 10’s will be showing the grade 9’s how to plan so they can do the same next year and so on. This is also something we learn from the Autonomous Learner Model where we can take charge of ourselves and be able to help each other instead of following exactly what a teacher says.

In conclusion, I chose to look at the rule of the chain and the law of explosive growth as I found I could relate to both of them. I also looked at big picture thinking which is something I would like to work on in the near future. Those were the three nuggets of wisdom I found which stood out the most to me in the book. Finally, here is a quote that I feel is fitting with the book, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” -Jack Welch.

Citations:

  • Cox, D., & Hoover, J. (2019, April 23). The law of the chain. Business Coaching & Leadership Training Minneapolis MN. Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://experienceleadership.com/blog/2019/3/28/the-law-of-the-chain.
  • Maxwell, J. C. (2014) Developing the Leaders Around You. The John Maxwell Company.
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