Eminent Learning Centre – King Bhumibol

Good evening dear friends,

My sincerest wishes that all is well for you this wonderful night.

For this eminence-filled occasion, I have created a book, titled About Me, that I welcome you to read.

Please find it here:

Additionally, below is a podcast that a Grade 10 student named Anita recorded, in response to an interview she obtained with a Thai. Her opinions are very thoughtful and I am deeply humbled that she should chose to do this.

Enjoy,

Bhumibol Adulyadej

Developing the Leaders Around You

Featured Image Source

Letter from Anita

Over this past week, our class has been learning about developing the leaders around us through a training course by John C. Maxwell. Please find below three nuggets of wisdom that I leaned from this valuable course that I chose to write about!

Your friend,

Anita

#1: Be an Unselfish Thinker

In session two, John Maxwell went over the ten kinds of ‘thinkers’ leaders are. I resonated with many of the points that were brought up in this part of the training, and the one that resonated with me the most was the tenth one: leaders are unselfish thinkers. The quote by Jack Balousek that accompanies this statement rang a bell for me: “Learn—Earn—Return. These are the three phases of life.”  It means that one must not think only for oneself—in the beginning, a leader learns, then they earn recognition or they ‘reap the rewards,’ and finally the leader must pass their knowledge and experiences on and help those around them to develop into even better leaders. This is important to me because in the past/for a period in middle school, I struggled with understanding the ‘why’ or ‘the point’ of continuing anything. My parents helped me grapple with this question of why I should keep going and the answer I have learned is to help and give to others. In other words, I was thinking only about myself and my existence—I was being selfish—and until then, I had not realized that I was missing out on helping others and being unselfish. Therefore, when John Maxwell talked about this, I decided that being an unselfish thinker as a leader is important to me; I must continue working on thinking about others rather than just myself. Accordingly, I will apply this idea/nugget of being an unselfish thinker to my leadership during upcoming leadership project/trip planning by prioritizing the needs and wants of others/my team over my own. For example, while I am picking a place to stop on the trip I am leading/planning, I may ask my team what they think is important and what they value and take that into account over what I myself want. Without a doubt, being an unselfish thinker is one of the most important and most door-opening actions one can implement with their leadership and their life to understand why they are doing what they are doing and to develop those around them.

#2: Be a Momentum Maker (not a Momentum Breaker, Taker, or Faker)

The second nugget of wisdom I learned that I chose to discuss in this blog post is that there are four types of people who affect momentum. The first type is Momentum Breakers, people who stop momentum; the second is Momentum Takers, people who sap/slowly drain momentum; the third is Momentum Fakers, who stage momentum even though there is not any; and finally, there are Momentum Makers, who start momentum. The first three types of people are unpleasant to have on the team. For instance, I knew people in middle school especially who were not momentum makers, and it was extremely frustrating and unpleasant to work with them on projects. This means they might not be potential leaders, or that at least they would have to work on this aspect of their leadership. Similarly, I too need to watch out that I am not a momentum breaker, taker, or faker either and ensure that I say and take actions that start momentum. Therefore, as a leader, I must ensure I am a Momentum Maker and remain aware of this while developing the leaders around me. I can do this during leadership project/trip planning by watching what I say and do all the time to reflect only an attitude of starting momentum with the team. For example, while planning leadership projects, I might start momentum by starting a discussion of asking everybody for their ideas. In short, I want to be a Momentum Maker because that is a way to be a great leader and I can model this to the team members and other leaders around me.

#3: Say and Do the Same

The final nugget of wisdom I chose is to live what I teach/say. The reason one should do what is right in addition to teaching what is right while modeling is that “when what I do and say is the same, the result is clarity” (Maxwell, 2014, p.15). On the other hand, “when what I do and what I say is different, the result is confusion” (Maxwell, 2014, p.15). Thus, it is very important that, as a leader and role model, I only teach or talk about what I have done before, that I be a Tour Guide (and take people to my destination) rather than a Travel Agent (who sends people to places where they have never been themselves). Thus, it is very important that, as a leader and role model, I only teach or talk about what I have done before, that I be a Tour Guide (and take people to my destination) rather than a Travel Agent (who sends people to destinations where they have never been themselves) as much as possible. This applies to me especially since I am thinking of becoming a leader with the role of a teacher/other similar role in my future. Additionally, I can apply this nugget while planning leadership projects/trips by telling others about activities I have done before. However, if I am talking about an action that I have not done before, I will point out that I have not done it before and stress that the idea requires further research. For example, while planning a trip destination, I may have ideas of how camping works (because of how my family travelled in National Parks in North America) that I choose to share. That would be an instance of ‘teaching’ what I have done. On the other hand, if I want to share an idea for the trip destination, I might draw my ideas from experiences that are not mine and I would have to point out the fact that I have not been to those places before. Ultimately, it is important to remember that a leader will lose credibility, leadership, connection, and respect if what they say and do is different.

References

Maxwell, J. C. (2014). Developing the leaders around you: Participant guide. The John Maxwell Company.

Poll:

Please click here to vote in a poll that I created and feel free to comment below if you have any other thoughts on this post.

Thank you for reading!

Partner Interview Reflection

Introduction

From doing practice partner interviews, I learned that my strengths include being very friendly and appreciative, good listening, and connecting to answers, while my stretches are to move a bit quicker, connect questions more/give questions a bit more flow, and to be more in-depth with each question topic. This information is great and insightful because I could not have come up with it on my own, as it is not possible to observe myself while practicing.

Stretches

I will take the information my observer gave me into my “real” interview by working on my stretches.

Stretch #1

Firstly, I will change from moving slowly with questions to moving a bit quicker. During the practice interview, I could tell that I was a bit on the slow side, making the interviewee slightly bored. If I were to speed up my rate of talking, asking questions, and responding, it would make for a much more engaging interview.

Stretch #2

Secondly, I will change from jumping to different question topics to exploring more in-depth in each question topic. This needs to be done so I may “squeeze more juice” out of each question, so to say. I agree with my observer’s comment about this stretch of mine because although I did ask some follow-up questions to expand topics, I could have done so more.

Stretch #3

Finally, I need to work on giving questions a bit more flow/connecting them more. The list of questions I had made was comprehensive, but I needed to connect each question to each other. In other words, in the “real” interview, I will ask questions in an order that makes them connected to each other. I could do this by saying, “Speaking of _____, I am wondering ______?” or something along similar lines.

Strengths

As for my strengths, I am glad my observer put those down because I daresay I agree. I am glad that my observer thinks I acted in a friendly and appreciative manner, because that is an aspect of being truly professional. It will be important to continue to do so in my “real” interview, even if my interviewee is an old Thai friend, because it indicates respect and will build our positive relationship even more. I am also flattered to know that I possess good listening skills. I agree that attentive listening is crucial to a good interview because the purpose of the “real” interview will be to gain information from my interviewee, and the only way to do that is by listening! Finally, my observer thinks I do a good job of connecting to answers. I think what my observer means by this is that I related my own experiences to the answers my interviewee gave and showed this in my interviewing.

Conclusion

In summary, there are three points about my interviewing that I will work on for my “real” interview. First, I will speed up a bit. Second, I will go a bit more in-depth with each topic. Finally, I will connect questions to each other. I believe doing all three of these points should make for a fantastic interview!

Reading Eminent Introductory Blog Posts – Reflection

Reading my group’s eminent person introductory blog posts turned out to be a very enjoyable and educational activity! I think this was a nice ‘assignment’ because often we post to our blogs, but nobody really reads the posts other than the occasionally curious and the teacher. Therefore, it is nice to know my blog post will have an audience, and it is nice to explore others’ blogs. Additionally, I am curious about who everybody’s eminent people are, so this was a nice taste of five of my peers’ choices. This activity has benefited me because I now have a wider bank of names of eminent people in my head, therefore deepening my knowledge of the world to some degree. This is especially the case since all my group members’ eminent people’s fields of study were topics I had not specifically investigated before. For example, both Saihaj and Pavel both had eminent people in the field of science, which is not a subject I claim to be one of my interests. Nevertheless, all the posts were interesting to read. Finally, this activity is going to help me moving forward because I have read my peers’ posts, helping me acknowledge that I am not alone in doing this project—there are 54 others, each with different eminent people, doing this with me. In summary, I have learned more about Eminent from this activity and can use this info to do a better job on my project.

Eminent Person Introductory Blog Post

“Thailand was built on compassion.”

Bhumibol Adulyadej (Adulyadej, n.d.)

To have my chosen person be the former king of Thailand may seem very random at first. However, I personally experienced this king’s reign when my family and I visited Thailand during our travels. We stayed there for months and made great Thai friends. I distinctly recall the compassion and kind nature of all Thai people, including our friends; I believe King Bhumibol is a role model of their compassion. One friend has specifically emailed me about the topic of the king, curious of my views as a foreigner, telling me how he and all Thais love the great King Bhumibol. Therefore, I am drawn to my chosen person specifically because there is a deeper connection to me than the other people I researched.

King Bhumibol was born and brought up in the western world, as I am. Additionally, we both are of Asian descent and have Asian ties. He had significant ties to his country, being born into the royal family, and once the circumstances (death of his father and older brother) allowed him to ascend the throne, he had responsibilities. He fulfilled these with great compassion, touching and winning a place in the people’s hearts. Thus, we both were/are brought up in the western world with western views but have eastern responsibilities.

King Bhumibol’s coronation in 1950. Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhumibol_Adulyadej

King Bhumibol showed great creativity when he appropriately evaded political restrictions and traveled throughout his country to talk to and listen to his people. He then used his creativity to develop over 4,000 projects to solve some of Thailand’s problems, such as lack of water sources. Essentially, I aspire to emulate the quality of selflessness of my notable. He devoted his reign to develop Thailand for the people, not for himself. As such, the mindset of King Bhumibol can be represented by a quote of his:

“They say that a kingdom is like a pyramid: the king on top and the people below. But in this country, it’s upside down.” 

Bhumibol Adulyadej (Adulyadej, n.d.)
King Bhumibol’s travels. Image source: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2016/10/13/remembering-thailands-beloved-king-bhumibol

My goals in TALONS are to become a compassionate leader and help people with my creative views, to be responsible and calm whatever the situation, and to become known for good reasons. My notable exemplifies all these goals by helping his people with his creativity, staying truly responsible amidst political crises, and with the good deeds he did to his people.

King Bhumibol is from Thailand, where I am not from. I have no long-term connection to the country other than visiting as a foreigner and falling in love with the places we went. To address this, I will learn as much as I can about Thai thinking and ways of life from primary (such as Thai friends) and secondary sources, so I can understand how the King’s values work and better connect with him. Additionally, we are of different genders; I will address this by dressing up with an appropriate wig for the performance. Finally, King Bhumibol was born into the royal family and became king, while I am just a regular person, in a different society/part of the world too. I will be aware of this and learn as much as I can about the responsibilities and/or privileges that come with his position.

This person has contributed to their field in a tangible and positive way because he developed Thailand, helping his people to literally live better lives. He is also a role model of the kindness and caring all Thais possess. He will still be remembered ten, fifty, or one hundred years from now by his people as King Rama IX, one who helped them very much.

Thais mourning King Bhumibol’s death. Image source: https://qz.com/808425/thailands-king-bhumibol-adulyadej-the-worlds-longest-reigning-monarch-is-dead-at-88/

King Bhumibol was not born to succeed the throne. He only did so at age eighteen when his older brother was found dead (in his personal chambers of a mysterious gunshot wound). Therefore, the king’s first few years with renewed responsibilities must have been a challenge, especially with the grief. He dealt with this very responsibly, immediately switching education paths from science/technology to politics. From the beginning, he was a King who operated for his people, partly because Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, meaning the King acts as a symbol for his people. King Bhumibol continued to use his high position to be a good and helpful symbol for his people even into the later years of his (longest-in-the-world) reign when he began to develop health issues.

King Bhumibol. Image source: https://www.dw.com/en/thailands-king-bhumibol-a-life-in-pictures/g-36013395

King Bhumibol wants to lessen the hardship of his people and because of his travels throughout his country to listen to his them, he gained great respect and popularity among Thais. He is worth researching, remembering, and teaching about because he is an example of a good King. The wisdom we might take away from studying King Bhumibol is that love and compassion go a long way.

References

Bhumibol Adulyadej Quotes. (n.d.). In BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved from https://www.brainyquote.com/ quotes/bhumibol_adulyadej_782179

Bhumibol Adulyadej Quotes. (n.d.). In BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved from https://www.brainyquote.com/ quotes/bhumibol_adulyadej_782178

Sopranzetti, C. (2017, April 11). From Love to fear: The rise of King Vajiralongkorn. Human Rights | Al Jazeera. Retrieved October 22, 2021, from https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2017/4/11/fro m-love-to-fear-the-rise-of-king-vajiralongkorn

Projects initiated by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (1999). The Golden Jubilee Network. http://ka nchanapisek.or.th/projects/index.en.html

Royal Development Projects: Classifications of the Royal Development Projects. (n.d.). Office of the Royal Development Projects Board (ORDPB). http://www.rdpb.go.th/en/Projects/