John Maxwell Assignment

One concept I found interesting was the Leadership Loop (Maxwell, 2013), a helpful tool to keep in mind when attempting to lead across. It explains how becoming a true leader is a long process. It explained a mistake that many aspiring leaders make: attempting to gain influence too quickly. There are seven stages of the Leadership Loop: caring, learning, appreciating, contributing, verbalizing, leading, and winning. I picked this because a leader will not just be with the people they lead: they will likely encounter other leaders as well, such as other department leaders within your company. In my opinion, a good leader will not just know how to lead people under them, but also be able to work with and lead other leaders as well. Following and completing the Leadership Loop (Maxwell, 2013) would be very useful if you are not at the top of your organization or group, and are in the middle, where there are likely other people in the middle trying to lead as well. The Leadership Loop (Maxwell, 2013) relates to TALONS because you must lead yourself through your education, but also communicate with your peers. An example of where this would have been useful was the cultural event planning for my event, where everyone was split up into pairs that were responsible for different aspects of the event. Since we were all still planning for the same event, we had to communicate to each other about our progress and relevant information. This furthers my leadership skills because being at the very top of an organization is rare, and there are usually many leaders in the middle of the organization in different departments, and it is essential to be able to work with the other leaders in your organization for not only you to be successful as a leader, but for the organization to be successful as a whole.


Another concept I thought would be useful is seeing everyone as a “10” (Maxwell, 2013), a concept of “leading down” (Maxwell, 2013). This means seeing people as who they can be, not who they are now and believing in them. It also includes giving them second chances when they make a mistake, recognizing their strengths, and realizing that people have many different strengths, and that being a “10” can have many meanings. John Maxwell wrote that “A 360° leader gets more out of their people because they think more of their people. It means not judging your people by their flaws, but by their strengths, and recognizing their potential. If you believe in who they can be, then it is more likely they will realize their potential and try their best when working for you. This relates to TALONS because when working with your peers, you will realize that they all have different strengths. If you judge them based on their weaknesses, you will never successfully work with them, and only become frustrated. However, if you see them as a “10”, you can help develop their skills so they can become more productive, and they will respect you as a leader as well. Also, by recognizing their strengths, you can give them a task that they are suited for and create a better result for whatever event you are planning or whatever project you are creating. This furthers your leadership skills by teaching you to recognize your peoples’ strong suits, which you can use to your advantage; and also by teaching you to not judge people by their flaws, which will allow you to help develop their skills instead of becoming frustrated with them, and also being a more likable leader.


The third concept I have decided to write about is “lightening your leader’s load” (Maxwell, 2013), and is a part of “leading up” (Maxwell, 2013). It describes ways to help your leader with their responsibilities and gain their trust and respect, such as handling your own responsibilities first, providing solutions when reporting problems, telling your leader what they need to hear, not what they want to hear (Maxwell, 2013), standing up for your leader when possible, and asking your leader how you can help. This teaches you how to ease your leader’s burden so they will be more willing to help you, and so the organization thrives. When the leader of an organization thrives, the organization is more likely to prosper, as the person making the largest decisions for the organization, the leader, is not as stressed. This relates to TALONS by teaching you how to be responsible for yourself and how to help the leader of your group. This would help during group projects because instead of finishing your work and stopping there, you would continue to help the group by helping the leader and gaining their gratitude and establishing a relationship with them. This furthers your leadership skills by teaching you a way to establish a connection with your leader and helping the leader and your organization at the same time. Because of your relationship with your leader, you can more easily move up through the ranks and gain more experience leading.

Practice Interview Reflection

In my practice interview, my interviewee was Robert, and I was being assessed by Arik. The feedback I received was to maintain more frequent eye contact, start with niceties rather than abruptly start asking questions, use more body language so I don’t look bored, and try to be more casual. The compliments about my interviewing I received were: I had good follow ups, I reacted to answers (smiling and nodding, the occasional “uh-huh”), I made connections, and I was engaged and stayed on topic.


A stretch I should acknowledge is maintaining more frequent eye contact. I believe that eye contact is crucial to an interview, and very important in more conversations because it makes you appear engaged to the conversation. By appearing more engaged to what the interviewee is saying, I can make them feel more comfortable, and make them feel like the interview is worth it. I sometimes have trouble with this because I am introverted and feel less comfortable in conversations that the average person, but there are ways I can
counteract this, such as looking at the interviewee’s eyebrows, rather than looking into their eyes.
Another stretch I should acknowledge is being less uptight and trying to be more friendly to the interviewee; something that would let the interviewee possibly feel more comfortable, allowing them to share information that they wouldn’t have otherwise, such as a personal connection to my eminent person. Information such as that would be extremely valuable for my research, and would make my end projects much more interesting. For this to happen, I would need to start with a cordial greeting and introduction, followed by a few niceties, rather than asking questions right out of the gate. I should also increase body language to appear more engaged to the conversation.


Although I received many stretches, I also had some strengths I would like to explain. The first strength, having good follow ups, is a great way to keep the conversation flowing while gaining more details on the initial question. It also shows that you were listening enough to want to know more about what they are saying. The only downside is that you might lose time if the interviewee gets distracted and goes on a tangent. The second strength is that I reacted to answers, usually by nodding, which shows that you are actively listening, the third strength is that I made connections to the interviewee by telling them that I could relate to what they said. The last strength Arik noticed was how I was engaged and stayed on topic. This minimizes the downsides of a talkative interviewee, and helps keep them focused on the interview and your questions.





Eminent Person Blog Posts Reflection

Looking at my peers’ blog posts was very enlightening on many less prevalent figures that subtly changed the course of history. Many of the eminent people’s stories showed me lessons that I would not have found in any other person. However different these people were, they all had something in common; leadership, perseverance, and courage. I noticed that these traits are the exact same traits TALONS tries to teach, and traits that I will need to succeed in life. Since my brief journey into the lives of these influential figures, I have decided to try my best to learn and exhibit these important attributes. I also noticed that the posts where the author emphasized their personal connections with their chosen person was more interesting to read, and the outpour of admiration was almost alluring. Since then, I have realized that your connections to your eminent person is a much more important piece to this project than I previously thought. In the future, I will place personal connections with my chosen person higher on my list of priorities. Also, the feedback I received was very useful, and my peers worded their comments in a way that not only informed my on potential improvements, but also did not discourage me. For example, I learned that it is more enjoyable for readers to read a couple broken-up paragraphs instead of one large clump of text. In summary, this was an effective way to prepare students for the next steps in this project because it allows students to see their peers’ work, receive feedback in a friendly environment, and even make some connections with their fellow students.

Eminent Person Blog Post

Barack Obama

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. – Barack Obama. These words sum up the values that drove him to make wise decisions, the changes he implemented, and the accomplishments he achieved. Aside from being the first non-white president of the United States, he has realized many feats of progress that will echo throughout the halls of history for hundreds of years. He steered his nation through a global financial catastrophe, He created the Affordable Care Act, forcing health insurance companies to pay for their customer’s ailments, whether they stemmed from a pre-existing condition or not. He ended the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp. He played an essential role in legalizing gay marriage.  All of this, he accomplished while dodging the Republican Party’s best attempts to halt the force of progress. Unsurprisingly, these achievements did not come without adversity, as a formidable republican majority would stop many of his attempts for change. Undaunted, Obama’s tenacity and resilience allowed him to fight on, finding loopholes and using executive decisions to implement the changes he promised to his voters. Of course, many of these accomplishments could not have been made without his integrity and sincere altruism — traits that have driven him to fight for equity in his country, traits that have drawn me to this person, and traits that I wish to emulate so they may unswervingly steer me to a life without regret. Despite my admiration for this man, we also have our differences, such as our nationalities; Obama is from the United States and considers himself an American, while I live in Canada and come from a Chinese family. We also have religious differences, as I consider myself to be an atheist, whereas Obama is a Christian. I will address these in my project and explain why these differences do not affect my respect for his decisions and actions. Despite these disparities, Obama does reflect some of my goals in TALONS, such as his leadership skills and resilience to setbacks, skills I will learn during my time in this program. Obama has many abilities that set him apart from other successful individuals in the field of politics. For instance, his masterful orating skills, combined with the candor and conviction with which he speaks and writes genuinely reflects the integrity that resides within his heart. It is something that allows him to truly resonate with the people he wishes to convince; no doubt something that has served him well throughout his political career, and a rare, valuable set of attributes to find in a politician. These remarkable abilities and extraordinary achievements may be what Obama is ultimately remembered for, but his integrity, honesty, and courage are what drove him to accomplish the ground-breaking triumphs he did, and what truly makes him worth remembering. This is why I am drawn to this man, and why he is truly deserving to be called ‘eminent’ in every sense of the word.

Obama’s Inauguration Speech


The white house scintillates with the colors of a rainbow to celebrate the legalization of gay marriage.


Obama and his wife.


Digital Footprint Assignment

1. How might your digital footprint affect your future opportunities? Give at least two examples.

If I do not be responsible on the internet or social media, it may portray a negative image of me. This may lower the opinion of important people in the future, such as job interviewers. However, if I use my devices responsibly, it may improve my reputation instead.

2. Describe at least three strategies that you can use to keep your digital footprint appropriate and safe.

I can only use my devices for appropriate purposes, only visit reputable and trustworthy websites that will not attempt to install viruses, and think before I post anything on social media.

3. If you could go back in time, is there anything that you would do differently online? Think of what advice you would pass on to your younger self or other students.

Fortunately, I did not have many social medias installed on my devices before, so I did not have any opportunities to share anything embarrassing online.

Training Post

You are now going to create your very first post. In a separate tab or browser window, go to your Dashboard on the left and go to  Posts -> Add New.

1) Title – Create a title for your blog post. Your title will be: Digital Footprint Assignment

2) Body – This is where you place your content of the post – text, videos, pictures, etc. Follow the instructions on the Digital Footprint Assignment page to see what questions you need to answer here.

3) Tool Bar – In your toolbar you can “Add Media” and “Add Documents” into your posts, this is the best way to create visual representations. You can also change fonts, hyperlink, etc.

4) Publish – Here is where you control what items are public and private. You can also control when they are published to your website.

5) Categories – Here is where you choose where you want your post to go. This is your digital binder with all of your subjects. Make sure to categorize each post with the relevant subject. E.g. Categories -> English

6) Tags –  Here is where you tag posts with one or two of the most readily applicable Core Competencies. These tags can help you find things quicker on your blog and help you stay organised. E.g. Tag -> creativethinking

7) Publish – When you are done, simply “Publish” it. If it has been edited, press “Republish” to update with the latest version of the content.