The Law of Explosive Growth: To Multiply Growth, Lead Leaders
Whenever you are leading a group of people you want there to be growth. This growth might show itself through work getting finished, ideas being created, or almost anything productive that grows the team. Adding growth is great, but multiplying growth is even better, and that’s a big idea; “To Multiply Growth, Lead Leaders”. In TALONS we’re given a unique opportunity to work closely with other leaders. This might mean stepping up into an even bigger leadership role, yet it also creates opportunities to be led. Since we have so many leaders, we ourselves can lead those leaders around us, and multiply growth. This is crucial because as leaders we always want to find the best solutions and work together as a team, and in a team, with lots of leaders, we can use all our abilities together and multiply growth instead of just adding growth like any followers. Take our trips for example. We have job leaders, committee leaders, and overall leaders. The overall leaders are leading the other leaders. So instead of that first leader having to guide everything and simply add growth to our trips, now we have the other leaders stepping in as well and leading their smaller groups. This goes on and on to the point where we can maximize our efficiency as a group. Normally people can’t plan a trip in a few hours yet year after year TALONS does exactly that. That’s why multiplying growth is so crucial, and we do that by leading other leaders, or by having leaders lead us. It’s all a cycle.
Leaders: Think Differently
Leaders are different than everyone else. If everyone was the same there would be no such thing as a leader. However, there are leaders and what separates them from other people is the way they think. Leaders think differently. There are many ways that leaders think differently, and in some way or other leaders utilize all of them when they lead. For example, leaders see the big picture, or maybe they’re creative and strategic thinkers, or maybe it’s the way they think unselfishly and shared, or realistically and reflecting, but no matter what they do leaders think differently. There are many ways of thinking, and if I want to become a better leader, I need to get better at all these different ways of thinking. Right now, I’m mainly a realistic, strategic, and big picture thinker. These are the ways I think differently as a leader. However, If I want to grow, even more, I need to strengthen other ways of thinking like focused, creative, and unselfish thinking, all three of which I struggle with. Being a leader is about growing as a leader and to grow as a leader thinking differently is key. When I plan a cultural event with other people you always need to think differently. This year more than ever with new events, we had to solve problems and work together. Unselfish thinking (Three cohorts working together on one event), big picture thinking (making sure everything is ready the night of movie night), and shared thinking (keeping everyone on the same page with meetings, etc.) were all a big part of our success as a collective, and each of those was a way we as individual leaders had to think differently.
Thought About Modeling: Work on Yourself More Than You Work on Others
Nobody is perfect. As a leader, you do your best to run your team smoothly. This takes communication and building those around you, so you can get the best out of your team. Since you work a lot on your team, you also need to make sure you work on yourself. If you can’t model it then why should you be telling others to do it? Leaders need to constantly grow as well, and you do that by putting work into yourself. That’s why you need to work on yourself more than you work on others. You can’t expect someone to listen to you and let you lead them unless you model what you want them to do. In TALONS we’re all leaders, but we’re nowhere near perfect. The TALONS model uses the Grade 10’s to help teach the Grade 9’s. That’s because the 10’s have the experience to lead. They worked on themselves the previous year and now can properly model what needs to be done. Your Grade 9 year is where you can really work on yourself as a leader. You learn how to work together, how to communicate, and how to get work done. Then in Grade 10 you know what you’re doing and can model for the Grade 9’s what was modelled to you last year. In Grade 10 we have lots of the skills we need to lead, but we continue working on ourselves as well. This whole “Developing Leaders Around You” is proof of that. We’re not perfect, and we always need to be growing as leaders.
Compassion: The Ability to Hear What Another is Attempting to Put Into Words Without Judging
Compassion is something every leader needs. A huge part of leadership is understanding those you work with. If you don’t act compassionately towards those you work with you can never be a good leader. It’s one thing to have someone follow you due to your authority, but it’s better when they follow you because they respect you. Compassion allows a leader to connect with those around them. When a leader connects with their followers they can work together better and have the team run smoothly. That’s why compassion is so critical for a leader. For me, this comes up a lot in soccer. You have to understand each other and their ideas to work together well. If you don’t connect, you can never be good teammates. On and off the field compassion allows the team to bond, and helps us work together. This can also be applied to TALONS teams. When we’re planning leadership events, everyone has different ideas. As a leader, if you aren’t compassionate, you’ll never be able to understand what your team members are trying to say without judging them. However, if you are compassionate you can truly understand them and their ideas. Maybe they even have an idea that would turn out amazingly, but you never would’ve known that without compassion. That’s why compassion is so important in leadership. You need to be able to listen to what others are trying to say without judging because that allows your team to work well together.