John C. Maxwell – Developing the Leaders Around You

Developing leaders around you


“It takes a leader to grow a leader”

As John C. Maxwell says, it is an often overlooked but essential thing that can affect the sustainability of your organization. The principle can be expanded to many different examples, as broad or as narrow as you would like. If we were to take a civilization and prevent them from passing down their information to future generations, would they succeed? Of course not. They would make almost no advancements ever. In fact, it is more likely that we simply wouldn’t advance at all. Human development would be at a standstill. You could be the head of the most successful company ever with the most capable people ever, yet it wouldn’t be sustainable without the ability to pass down knowledge. With no leaders to fill the shoes of another leader, you would be at a net loss. I mi

This idea spoke to me because it is so simple, yet it conveys so much meaning. It also perfectly exemplifies the TALONS program. With each batch of grade nines, there is always a grade ten there to teach them how to become leaders. The grade ten has gone through the exact same experience that the grade nine has gone through and guide them along the way be doing major projects with them i.e. adventure trips, cultural events, etc.) The grade ten leaders equip the grade nines to be leaders, and they are able to equip them because they were thought to be leaders by the now grade eleven leaders.

Some people might look at this and say, “Wouldn’t it be very boring for the grade tens because they are essentially redoing the same projects, so they aren’t learning anything?” This is wrong, because for many reasons. It is not boring for grade ten students and they learn a lot because people learn the best by teaching others. Teaching others allows the leader to step back and analyze if what he learnt still makes sense. Teaching others also allows for the leader to reinforce and refine his learnings. If you were to take a forty-year-old pianist who hasn’t played since she was twenty-five and ask her if she is as good as the day, she stopped playing piano, she would say no. She would say no because she hasn’t reinforced or refined her abilities for fifteen years. Refinement and reinforcement are the difference between having success and being successful. What separates a one-hit-wonder and an artist with countless chart-topping albums is that the one-hit-wonder has success while the artist is successful. Any opportunity to refine your abilities will help you in the long run. So the grade tens mentoring the grade nines actually teaches them to value refinement and encourages them to become life-long learners.

I am going to apply this knowledge to future talons adventure trips by giving the grade nines opportunities to grow because I know that the more leaders I grow, the more leaders will grow indirectly because the leaders I grow will grow other leaders, thus creating a ripple effect.



“Momentum makers – they say and do things that start momentum”

Everyone can either break, take, fake, or make momentum. So people who make momentum say and do things that start momentum. This principle basically means that whoever doesn’t help you, is using you. This is important because everyone in your organization should be building and supporting the momentum already there. Although I agree with John C. Maxwell because there certainly are momentum breakers, takers, fakers, and makers. I believe that there are also people who maintain momentum. All of the roles fall into two categories: momentum starter and momentum stopper. But I think there should be another category for momentum support because momentum can last a long time and if everyone is starting momentum, no one is supporting the already existing momentum.

Momentum starter Momentum stopper Momentum supporter
Momentum maker Momentum faker

Momentum breaker

Momentum taker

Momentum maintainer


I will keep this principle in mind when assembling a team as I will choose people who make momentum and people who maintain momentum while avoiding momentum fakers, momentum breakers, and momentum takers.



“The example of others has profoundly impacted me”

Everyone has been impacted by someone else at some time in their life. You might like pineapple on pizza, but you hear that your big brother doesn’t like it, so you stop eating pineapple pizza. Your dad might play baseball, so you play little league. Both of these are examples of influence, it can be as big as a career or as small as not using the oxford comma.

I believe that this principle spoke to me is because it applies to life as a whole. No matter the situation you are in, you can still be influenced by others. I play hockey because my dad plays hockey and I like the Canucks because it is my home city. Just as you should be concerned about how others affect you, you also need to be aware of the example that you are leaving behind.

This year I will try to set a good example for the nines and make sure to surround myself with good influences that will help me become a better person.



“Person being equipped starts to equip others”

The difference between a great business and a sustainably great business is the constant production of leaders. If you have only one generation of leaders, your company will be great when they are around, but as soon as they leave, your company will revert to what it was before. If you can get the leader to produce other leaders, your company will never revert when the first-generation leaves.

The reason I chose this principle is that just like the first principle, I believe it applies to TALONS. Every generation better equips the next generation. Ever since the first year of TALONS, all the projects have been refined and all of the teachers have become more experienced.

I am going to use this principle to best equip the incoming nines, so they can properly mentor their grade nines.