The organization’s growth potential is directly related to its personnel potential.
The Law of Explosive Growth
To add growth, lead followers. To multiply growth, lead leaders.
Any group, team, government, or organization is always both built on and built by its team members. As such, the most important direction for any organization to work towards is growing its personnel potential.
The Law of Explosive Growth explains that if a leader only attempts to lead followers, then he can only recruit the people attracted to him, and can only gain one follower at a time. However, if the leader trains his followers into fellow leaders, then they can each lead their own followers, which increases the growth speed of the organization by an exponential scale.
I chose the Law of Explosive Growth, as I think it is the most important law taught in this session. When I was learning about this law, I compared an organization to a spear. If the leader only trains followers, he can only ever be the tip of the spear. Effective if sharp, but once he fades away the entire group collapses. If he trains other leaders, he can still act as the tip of the spear, but if someone else is more capable than him, he can also choose to become the blade or even the transition, still ready to step up if necessary, but not carrying the entire group.
The law defines the importance of developing fellow leaders as opposed to simply attracting followers, and is the ideal situation for the TALONS community to be in. I will apply this rule to future leadership projects by developing my mentorees into leaders and encouraging them to develop their mentorees into leaders as well.
The Leadership Challenge
Leaders are hard to find.
Leaders are hard to gather.
Leaders are hard to unite.
Leaders are hard to keep.
The biggest challenge with leading leaders is that they also want to lead rather than follow. First, you have to be able to spot a leader. Then, you have to be able to persuade them to join you. After they have joined, you still have to make sure they cooperate with the rest of the group, and if they don’t, it’s hard to keep them in your organization.
I chose this law since I often experience these challenges. In the TALONS program, everyone is meant to work together, and we do, so this isn’t much of a problem. But outside of the school environment, this becomes a challenge. Even if I can identify another leader, why should they join me? Why should they work with me? Why should they work for me? Through the TALONS experience, I found that the best way to lead another leader is by establishing a personal connection with them. If you only lead by position, they do not need to follow you or obey you. However, if you lead through permission they may willingly follow you and be interested in what you have to say.
As stated above, this challenge usually doesn’t apply to the TALONS community, but it still occasionally occurs and so it is important to understand and know how to deal with it.
Five Levels of Leadership
The Five Levels of Leadership states that leaders lead through different kinds of power. The worst kind of leader leads through positional power, as they are only able to lead because someone else told them they could. The next type leads through permission power, as in the followers willingly follow the leader. The third type leads through productional power, as people follow them for what they have done. The fourth type leads through people’s development, as people follow them because of what they have done for them. The highest tier of leader leads through personhood, as in people follow them for who they are.
I picked this law since I think this is a good guideline for what leaders should strive to be.
This applies to the TALONS program, as climbing this pyramid should be a common goal for all of us. We are already unintentionally advancing up the pyramid, but if we begin to intentionally do it the process will be more efficient.
On the first day of grade 9, nobody knew anyone else, and so we were working together because of the position. We were all classmates, so we have to work together. Soon after we reached the permission phase, where we respect each other and so we willingly listen to each other’s comments and suggestions. Some people have already reached the production phase, I haven’t, so that is what I am working towards. Two things I can do to achieve this is to increase momentum and be more willing to express myself. I can increase momentum by relating previous problems with current ones to find a solution, and I can express my self by communicating with my group members more.
Levels of Leadership
Levels of Leadership explains what each level of leadership should look like. Entry-level leaders know where they should be going but have never gone there. Credible leaders know where they should be going and have gone there before. Accepted leaders can take their followers there with them, and the highest level of leaders should be able to take other leaders there with them.
I chose this topic since it accurately describes the journey of a leader. When I first joined the TALONS program I had no idea what a leader was supposed to do. Gradually, by watching the teachers and grade 10s I developed a sense of what a leader should look like, and started working towards that goal. By the end of the year I have achieved my goal, and this year I am trying to take others there with me.
My plan for this year is to be able to take my mentorees there with me, and from that point, I will try to work towards the highest level and take other leaders there with me.