“Developing the Leaders Around You” by John C. Maxwell
My first concept is that leaders have two characteristics, these being that leaders are going somewhere and that they are able to persuade others to go with them. The first characteristic means that leaders have dreams and places they want to be, as well as goals to help them reach those places. The second means that leaders have the ability to “sell” their dreams to others and convince them that they should try to get there as well and help each other work towards those goals. This concept is important to me because I want to be able to think about and know where I want to go and what I want to achieve, as well as how I can get there. I also want to learn how to motivate others around me to work towards common goals, since not only is motivation an important tool to have, uniting a group strengthens its connections. This concept can apply to TALONS because when we are planning events or trips, all group members must have the same end goal that they work towards so that everyone is on the same page. If someone does have an idea for how to make the project better, they have to be able to share it clearly and in a way that convinces the group to add it to the final vision. Knowing what one wants in life or a specific situation and how to achieve that, as well as the ability to convince people to aid in your journey, are important skills to have to be successful, especially in TALONS, when we all have to work together.
The second concept I chose is “it is easier to teach what is right than to do what is right” (Maxwell & Giant Impact, 2014, 15), which means that only saying or explaining a concept is much easier than applying that concept to your own life and following it, which is fairly difficult. However, you can’t expect anyone you are teaching to listen and follow what you say when you don’t even follow it yourself. This concept is important to me because I want to become more aware of how well I am meeting the standards I set for others so I can be an effective leader and role model. Being aware of this will help me either learn to follow all the standards I set or adjust my standards to be what I can meet or am already meeting. This is a very important concept in TALONS because the grade tens have to teach and set a good example for the grade nines. When planning events and trips, instead of assigning tasks to the grade nines, we have to demonstrate how to do the tasks, and guide them through the process. We also have to ensure that we are doing our own tasks and participating in the planning alongside them to show that we apply the lessons to our own lives. Applying the lessons one teaches to others to their own life is a difficult but valuable demonstration of leadership, because it shows that they understand and believe in the content they are teaching, and in TALONS, it is important for being valuable role models.
The third concept I chose is shared in the book as “self-disclosure, the willingness to share parts of one’s own journey when appropriate and the willingness to be honest” (Maxwell & Giant Impact, 2014, 21), and is very important for the growth of everyone in TALONS. This concept means that when a mentor shares information about themselves, their mentee will feel more comfortable sharing, and this process encourages open communication. I chose this concept because I understand that it is important for mentees to feel comfortable since I have felt hesitant to share before and know how hard it can be. When I was struggling with this last year, I always found it very helpful when a grade ten would share an experience in which they struggled because it made me feel better about my journey and it let me know that I could look to that person for help. This concept is helpful for leadership specifically because the grade tens can share past mistakes with the grade nines so that they can learn from them and improve for this year, and if the grade nines feel comfortable sharing with the grade tens, they will be able to ask for help when they are struggling. Finally, this concept encourages open and honest communication between two parties, and communication and sharing of experiences are essential for building a community within TALONS, which is a very important part of leadership and this program. Self-disclosure strengthens connections and maintains comfort with sharing, which ties in with many of the fundamental goals of TALONS.
Maxwell, J. C., & Giant Impact. (2014). Developing the Leaders Around You. Giant Impact.
During my interview, I started to feel a lot more comfortable interviewing someone and afterwards the feedback I got was very helpful. Usually, I feel very nervous or uncomfortable when interviewing someone because my anxiety kicks in and it ends up being fairly awkward, with me feeling very unsure. However, during these practice interviews, I felt very confident with my answers and I thought that I created a good environment for my partner when asking my questions. This practice was helpful because now I am aware of the skills I have and those I need to work on, and I have gained a better idea of what interviewing someone is like.
I think some of my strengths during these interviews was my clarity and my eye contact. Throughout both interviews, I made sure to maintain constant eye contact so that I was always focused on my partner and what they were saying, and I was always nodding or agreeing with points my partner was making to show that I was listening. I also had a very clear voice during the interviews, keeping it at a steady volume that was acceptable in the environment we were in. I kept most hesitation out of my speech and I spoke with confidence in my answers and questions. I think these are good things for me to be able to do because it makes me seem confident and like
I know what I am doing, which adds to the quality of my interview.
Next are some of my stretches. One of the points that the person overviewing my interview gave me to work on was going deeper with my questions. I believe this is in reference to how I could ask more follow-up questions so that I can receive a more thorough and in-depth answer from my interviewee. I think this is a good point for me to work on because for the most part I just stay on the surface and I am satisfied with simple answers. Instead, I should try to get more details in their answers so that I can learn more from the experience. I can start to do this by just asking more follow-up questions, and as I get better at that, I can start to improve them and make them even more helpful and insightful.
Another thing that I have set for myself to improve on is my improvisation. This actually ties in with my previous stretch, as working on my improv will make it easier to ask follow-up questions. I need to work on this because as of now I mainly stick to questions I have prepared, but limiting myself to this means that I don’t always get all the details or insight that I need. I would like to get better at going off-script and going with the flow when I can, asking questions that fill in any gaps in my information. This will help me be more comfortable in the interview since I won’t need my questions at all times, and it will help me get better at asking follow-up questions, another one of my stretches. My goal for this is to start by asking a couple questions in my interviews that I had not pre-planned, and once I am comfortable with that I can start doing it more often and more naturally.
Overall, I believe that what I am taking away from this experience is really going to help me in my future interviews, because I know what I’m good at and that can give me confidence, and I know what I need to improve on. This will help me know what to practice and I can become a better interviewer with this knowledge.
Through the process of reading and leaving comments on the blog posts of my peers, I have gained a better understanding of what makes a good post, which will help me as I progress through this project. As I read other posts, I got to see the different ways that people formatted their information, for instance as two paragraphs or a Q&A with the guiding questions. Because of this, I was able to see possible formatting options and formulate my own opinions on the organization and effectiveness of each. This was helpful because now I am considering how I might format my posts in the future, for example, if I were to redo this previous post, I would have split it into two paragraphs so that it was easier to read. I also saw what information they included and what info I found most important and valuable as I was reading, which will help me as I move forward as I try to decide what information to include in my posts and how. Reviewing others’ posts was a useful experience for me because I got the chance to see what was good and what I should work towards as well as what could have been improved and that I should try to avoid.
Hello, my name is Jordan and this is my introductory blog post about my eminent person, Kurt Cobain.
“With Kurt Cobain you felt you were connecting to the real person, not to a perception of who he was — you were not connecting to an image or a manufactured cut-out. You felt that between you and him there was nothing — it was heart-to-heart. There are very few people who have that ability.” – Lars Ulrich, Metallica (2004)
I am going to research Kurt Cobain as my eminent person for his contributions to the music world and because I have a strong connection to him and his music. Kurt Cobain was the lead singer, main songwriter, and guitarist of Nirvana, a rock and grunge band active from 1987 to 1994. Cobain heavily contributed to the formation and popularization of the “grunge” genre in music, an alternative rock genre that usually features angst-filled lyrics and music. He combined different genres and inspirations to create a new sound that was almost entirely his own and has inspired many musicians, especially in the grunge genre. His profound lyrics, interesting melodies and anti-establishment persona helped make him an icon of the grunge era and Generation X, and his music influenced and strongly connected with many people. He took risks in his lyrical content by tackling sensitive, important and current issues like rape, drug addiction, and women’s right in many of his songs, which also made them very meaningful and important additions to the genre and music world. His musical ability is very notable, as he sang and played guitar for Nirvana and wrote the lyrics and melodies for their songs, which is an impressive role for him to have had, and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 after he passed. He advocated for the rights of women, POC, and the LGBTQ+ community, for example, a performance he did at a benefit opposing the 1992 Oregon Ballot Measure 9, the purpose of which included promoting anti-homosexual ideals in schools. As an example of his views and how he expressed them, in the liner notes of one of his albums, Incesticide, he included, “If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different colour, or women, please do this one favour for us—leave us the fuck alone! Don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records” (Cobain, 1992). He became extremely notable despite a messy childhood, and a struggle with depression for most of his life, up until he committed suicide in 1994. He also struggled with his eminence and fame, because he was an introvert and didn’t like the attention, and it was very difficult for him to be in the spotlight like he was, especially when he “believed his message and artistic vision had been misinterpreted by the public” (“Kurt Cobain,” n.d.). I feel I have a very strong connection to Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, even since I was younger when my parents first introduced me to his music. I can also relate to him in many ways, which can give me a deeper understanding of him throughout my research. His songwriting was an integral part of his music and rise to fame, and my interest in poetry draws me to his writing. He obviously had a very strong interest in writing and music, and so do I, as well, both of us are very creative and in tune with our emotions, meaning we try to express our emotions in creative ways. I aspire to be like him in the sense that he took initiative in his life and followed his passion, working hard to develop his skills, which is something I aim to do, especially as I progress through TALONS. Although I am different from him in many ways as well, including our religious beliefs, upbringings, and gender, I feel that I can overcome these barriers by gaining an understanding of how he felt about these aspects of his life and therefore developing a deeper connection with who he was as a person. I see Kurt Cobain as a person of eminence because of his creative and musical ability, what his music contributed to the generation and genre he was a part of, as well as his mental and vocal stance on important issues like equality, and I think I have enough interest in and connection to him to work towards gaining a meaningful understanding of who he was through my research.
In the next steps of my research, my goal is to widen my scope of research. Throughout this beginning stage, I have used a very limited number of sources to find my information. While this makes it easier because it is all in one place, I think I should be broadening my search and utilizing other resources as well. I think this would benefit me because I could find new information and other perspectives if they are written subjectively, which could help enrich my learning further. It can also provide credibility if multiple websites have the same information. Because of this, I am going to set a goal of visiting at least 3 different websites when researching a new topic to help me practice using more sources.
· What are your thoughts on hybrid learning (in person and at home) compared to when you are in your learning groups (at school for all classes). Which format do you prefer, and why?
I think it really depends on the class that I’m in. For some classes, the hybrid method is hard for keeping up, such as drama, which primarily needs to be in person to work, but most are fairly suited for it. In terms of schedule and getting to and from school, the hybrid learning at the same time as a learning group is very difficult to maintain because it’s a lot of back and forth and it seems unnecessary to be in class for only two hours, so the mix of both is not great in my opinion. The learning groups are good because we’re constantly learning and it’s easier not to forget things in between, but it’s also important to take breaks between that to not get burnt out and lose focus. I really like the hybrid learning because we get the chance to work on assignments on our own time and in the comfort of our own home instead of being chained to a desk, and we also get breaks from in-class lessons, like mentioned above. For these reasons, for the most part I prefer the hybrid learning on its own.
· How has technology benefited you during the hybrid learning experience?
Technology has benefited me with hybrid learning because it allows me to very easily work on any digital assignment I have whenever I’m at home. I have a laptop, which means that it’s a lot easier to do most of my assignments because many of them involve lots of writing, which is difficult to complete on a phone or other small device. Having this technology also means that I can easily contact my teachers and peers to ask for information or help with work using multiple platforms, which has helped me get out of a few difficult spots.
· How has technology impeded you during the hybrid learning experience?
There were multiple times when I had an assignment that involved using specific aspects of technology, and I either couldn’t figure out the program, or it malfunctioned. For instance, there was a project that I was part way through, and my laptop crashed out of nowhere, meaning I lost all of my data. I had to restart the project from almost scratch and memory, which was stressful for me. Technology isn’t always perfect, so putting all of my faith in it was my downfall in certain situations.
· Is there anything that you hope remains a part of school that was new because of hybrid learning after the pandemic is over and school returns to normal?
I hope that teachers still use certain aspects of Teams as part of their learning materials, such as the Assignments tab. Not that the entire program needs to be as integral a piece of our learning as it has been, but I do appreciate that feature on Teams because it gives all the resources and information needed for that assignment, as well as the due date, which helps me because I sometimes forget due dates. It’s also very present on Teams, and it’s a very convenient way to hand in work, rather than hard copies in person or emails, so I would like if that was still a primary way of completing work in the future.
· Link to 2 Projects in school/TALONS that used digital technology, and explain how the use of that digital technology enhanced your project. Ideas include In-Depth, Eminent, Zip, individual class projects in Talons or other subjects…
In-Depth Learning Centre: My topic was ASL (American Sign Language), so it would have been very difficult for me to present my learning without signing. But, because of the deaf culture I can’t actually “teach” it. This would have been an issue, but since I was using a digital presentation, it was a lot easier to work around it. I chose to also show proof from an official dictionary alongside videos of my own signing, and this was very easy to do because using technology I could very easily place them side by side in a convenient fashion for the viewer.
Ella Fitzgerald Learning Centre (Eminent): Using technology to complete this project was beneficial because it allowed me to easily organize all of my information in a way that I could see clearly how I had laid it out. Also, in this project I used a timeline, and using a website to create it was much easier than it would have been to make it by hand, and it was also very clean and even, making it look really nice, and it was so easy to just move an image of this to my presentation. So, technology made the important part of this project really easy to complete.