Leadership plays a key role in all our lives; however, some people, myself included, believe it’s a position rather than a mindset. After watching John Maxwell’s, The 360 degree Leader, my opinion changed and I believe after practicing the principles I’ve been taught I can become a better leader in TALONS and in general.
The biggest principle I learned from the lectures we watched is to lead yourself exceptionally well. I’ve always known leading starts from within, but I never realized how critical it is to lead yourself before others. I’m a people pleaser and I want to appeal to all, so I take on most tasks people ask me to do. This results in overwhelming stress and me getting derailed. Through this principle, I’ve learned that I have to self-manage before anything because if I can’t manage myself, how am I going to manage others. This will benefit me greatly in TALONS because it makes sure I’m in check, so I can help the leader and lead a group of my peers towards success. This principle relates to model the behavior you desire. If I am derailed and frazzled, then the people I am leading will take that as an example and the entire team will derail. However, if the leader is to model calm cool and collected, the team will most likely follow. This principle is especially useful during the April May June season. Especially during the adventure trip planning time, everyone was stressed and on edge, but because our team leaders were always calm and focused, we had an organized and great backpacking trip!
One principle that I know I struggle with is knowing the balance between knowing when to push and back off. I am a strong opinion person and I tend to get caught in the moment and push too fast without acknowledging the group. Through TALONS I have improved on this greatly, but I still need to work on it. I believe that one can become their greatest self when they can both follow and be followed. This brings out both sides of a person and TALONS works on both through committee work and delegating tasks. Being able to adapt to this principle also builds up to the principle of developing each team member as a person. Once we can establish the balance between pushing and backing off, we start to develop rather than equip ourselves as a person. As a grade 10 this year, I am going to use this principle a lot. I want to help develop the nines this year, so they can teach the nines next year. This way it benefits both them and the program. In my eyes, these two principles are large building blocks of TALONS.
The next two principles are what I believe to be the most important ones. The first being understanding the leadership loop. The leadership loop proves that leadership is more than telling people to do things. It shows that leadership is a two-way street, and both ends have to respect each other. TALONS demonstrates this really well because we always give credit where credit is deserved. Everyone has creative ideas that adds value and we all influence one another. The one part that we could work on is verbalizing. Sometimes in the rush of things, messages get muffled and communication is lost. TALONS foundation runs off the leadership loop and keeps everything in line; however, the most important principle in my eyes is to be a friend. Be approachable and someone that people want to work with. This all goes back to the golden rule, treat others the way you want to be treated. This makes the process is easier, the achievement is greater, and the celebration is more eventful when it’s done with friends.
TALONS gives us a multitude of leadership opportunities that most people our age can’t get. With these six principles in mind, TALONS can move forward towards a common goal and success.