John C. Maxwell Reflection

My first nugget of wisdom that I took away from John C. Maxwell is how “every organization has four types of people who affect momentum. Momentum breakers, who say and do things that stop momentum, momentum takers, who say and do things that sap momentum, momentum fakers, who say and do things that stage momentum, and momentum makers, who say and do things that start momentum” (Maxwell, 2014, pg. 8). This concept refers to the dynamics in an organization and how each person’s contributions to situations may affect the moral, or momentum. The statement shows the four different mindsets someone may take when inserting themselves into new scenarios. It is far more common to come across a momentum breaker or taker because that lifestyle is far easier, resulting in a lack of forward thinking. This follows suit with a failure in their own personal life. Because of this, I believe it is a leader’s responsibility to contribute starting momentum so that a group may be pushed into progression and not fall short due to someone taking or faking momentum. When planning TALONS trips, it is essential for all those involved to be putting as much genuine effort in as possible. To increase the levels of starting momentum, a small warmup activity to get everyone in the mood or a remind as to what we are working towards can allow for at least a positive momentum to form. To be as efficient as possible, the grade 10s carry the responsibility of introducing these topics to the grade 9s and allow them to grow into positions where it is second nature to lead with their own starting momentum.

My second nugget of wisdom is how “leaders are big picture thinkers. Leaders see before others see. Leaders see more than others see” (Maxwell, 2014, pg. 10). This quotation from John C. Maxwell describes how it is a leader’s responsibility to see the bigger picture when carrying out or even organizing specific events. Having the future in mind, leaders can plan ahead and possibly prevent tragic disasters from occurring while in the field. The gift of seeing into, and more importantly preparing for, the future can be crucial for their preparedness when entering land that they may not have any experience with. Seeing the big picture is important to me because it can really improve someone’s ability to prevent tragedy. Furthermore, it can be used in even more non-life-threatening situations where we may need to prepare additional supplies. It is essential for as many leaders as possible within our upcoming trip planning groups to be able to see ahead and plan for any avoidable mistakes that could lead to any form of disaster. Preparing enough food, for example, is an absolute necessity, and without planning for a few errors in calculations or appetite, we could end up with too little food resulting in twenty-seven hungry students. Without seeing what others may not see, there could be specific supplies, even the most obvious supplies, missed such as a first aid kit or some spare batteries. Anything that is left behind may hinder our trips in major ways, and if they are not seen prior to our excursion, we may have to turn around and change the itinerary.

My third, and final, nugget of wisdom I took away is how “[there are] two types of leaders. The travel agent sends people to their destination. The tour guide takes people to their destination” (Maxwell, 2014, pg. 15). These two separate leadership styles determine the leader’s dedication and passion to their craft. Leaders who tell someone about a destination, encouraging and inspiring them to go there having never been there themselves, creates a disconnect between the mentors and mentees. However, a leader who encourages and inspires others to travel to a destination and follows through by going on that expedition with them, removes that disconnect and allows for the mentors and mentees to build relationships that will hopefully last a lifetime. This is immensely important to me because of how crucial relationships are to me. The connections that I am currently making and have made in the past brought me to the place where I am today. Furthermore, having a leader demonstrate their knowledge hands on in the field, aids those who are learning to get a better understanding of what is being taught. During this upcoming year of planning trip groups, us grade 10s will have the responsibility of leading the grade 9s through their planning. Although it is mandatory to participate, we will need to demonstrate a genuine interest in the activities they will be planning to encourage the grade 9s to be just as passionate. Because we have done most of these trips in the past, we will be tasked with guiding the new TALONS learners to our destination.

To conclude, I took a lot of wisdom away from John C. Maxwell’s teachings that will likely stick with me for a while. His lessons are surprisingly memorable. However, for those reading, I do have a question for you: is the strength of a leader determined by their ability or the willingness of the followers to be lead? That question is one that I pondered while completing my workbook. In addition, I have linked John C. Maxwell’s “About” page if you would like to learn more about him, and his journey to influencing the next generation of leaders.

My Purpose



Maxwell, J. C. (2014). Developing Leaders Around You. The John Maxwell Company.

Developing the Leaders Around You

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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,


#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.


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


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Eminent Person Introductory

Glen, AJ Gordon

Humanities 10

Ms. Wasstrom

October 22, 2021

Desmond Doss

[Untitled portrait of Desmond Doss].

“Even though I said those things to him in regards to [not] carrying a rifle, that he would never be by my damn side at all unless he had a rifle. But then, in the long run, finding out that he was one of the bravest persons alive, and then to have him end up saving my life is the irony of the whole thing” (Gibson, Schenkkan, Knight, 2016, 2:09:52).

This year for my eminent person, I will be researching Desmond Doss. I chose him because of his heroic acts during the second World War and general selflessness post war. Moreover, his devotion to his faith and serving his country resulted in an overwhelming amount of verbal and physical abuse, yet he still would not give up. Although I was fortunate enough to not grow up in an abusive household, unlike him, we were, however, both raised in the Christian faith and went to Sunday services every weekend. In addition to our shared faith, Corporal Doss and I are both extremely passionate for our political beliefs and stick to them wholeheartedly. Furthermore, resourcefulness is another ability we have in common even though I have not needed it in this sort of a dire situation. In the TALONS program, one of the most important goals of mine is to be a leader and help others to the best of my ability and Desmond Doss is an exemplary figure of these objectives. Although he showed his leadership on the battlefield, he best represented his selflessness towards helping others by risking life and limb to bring as many soldiers as possible back down from the ridge after they were injured in battle. His sacrifice to save roughly 75 lives, even some from the opposing side, truly showed he was a thoughtfull, well-intentioned individual worthy of eminence. The only barriers that I could think of would be our personal beliefs. His understanding of faith is far more literal than mine, however, we do still both carry roughly the same values.

[Untitled image of Desmond Doss receiving the medal of honour].

Corporal Doss has made a significant impact on many lives during and after the war. The most prevalent thing he did was save roughly 75 injured American troops while behind enemy lines since the Japanese had taken back hacksaw ridge after a brutal battle. As a result of the movie made about Doss’ heroic actions, his legacy will hopefully be remembered for a long time. Although a good amount of time has passed, Doss will at least be remembered by the families he prolonged by saving their fathers or grandfathers which will at least last several generations. During Desmond’s rise to eminence, he faced most, if not all, commanding officers telling him to give up due to it not being worth going to war without a weapon on him. Moreover, the other privates would verbally and sometimes physically abuse Desmond into resigning. Although not carrying a weapon was seen as a conscientious objection to the war, he still strongly believed that “it isn’t right that [he] should be sitting at home safe. [He] needs to serve” (Desmond Doss, 1942). After being dragged through the courts for this objection to carrying a weapon, his father, a veteran of the first World War, helped him out of his situation and allowed for him to serve as a medic. Corporal Doss is worth remembering because of his heroic actions on the battlefield while remaining true to his values and beliefs, this is the reason I chose him over other veterans. Altering your values and beliefs or not being forthcoming about them has become quite normalized which is unfortunate for a democratic country to have these social pressures. This message is an important one that should be spread farther than just the TALONS program.

[Untitled image of Desmond Doss with a quote].

For the next phase of my research, I would like to investigate his actions after the war. Although I already know he did plenty of memorable deeds post World War Two, however, further research would improve my understanding of Doss as a person. In addition, I am hoping to contact the Desmond Doss Foundation and ask them some questions for my interview to hear more perspectives about his life and service for the United States Army.


Desmond Doss’ Biography. (Unknown). Desmond Doss.

Desmond Doss. (2021). Wikipedia.

Gibson, M. (Director), Schenkkan, R. (Writer), & Knight, A. (Writer). (2016). Hacksaw Ridge [Film]. Summit Entertainment.

[Untitled image of Desmond Doss receiving the medal of honour].

[Untitled image of Desmond Doss with a quote].

[Untitled portrait of Desmond Doss].

Digital Literacy: Remote Learning / Digital Project Reflection

  1. 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?

In my opinion, I quite enjoyed the hybrid learning model. I would prefer the hybrid learning model over learning groups format because although I could find myself distracted while at home, I also saw the complete flip side to that coin. More often than not, I was far more product at home than I would usually be in school. This was probably due to there being fewer social distractions rather than digital. I was also able to complete other chores around the house while during a lighter course which most likely helped me become more productive since it gave me more time to complete my assigned homework. A perfect example of my productivity increase is shown through my reflections TALONS learners had to complete in our Leadership course. Since this was an additional task that was far more independent, we were expected to work on them on our own time to eventually return it on a given date. I always received good grades on these reflections which was due to the abundance of time I received to complete them.

Three day trip reflection for TALONS 9 and 10


  1. How has technology benefitted you during the hybrid learning experience?

For obvious reasons, technology has benefitted me during the hybrid learning model since it was through applications, such as Teams, that we would receive our homework as well as our instructions for materials needed for in-person classes. Without such technology, it would have made my grade 9 learning experience far more challenging. Furthermore, my spelling really improved because of technology due to receiving far fewer written assignments, rather, I was fortunate to rely on autocorrect and other grammar-based tools. An example of how technology benefitted my learning is in both of my Humanities courses where we were expected to type far more than usual. Because of this, I was able to take full advantage of autocorrect so that I would receive no marks off for any grammar errors that are spread throughout my work. It also allowed for me to use more experimental words to better illustrate my thoughts.

Glen Gordon’s Poetry Project


  1. How has technology impeded you during the hybrid learning experience?

Although I was quite efficient in my learning during this past year, I did run into a few speed bumps relating to technology. The main one being the distractions I faced while becoming bored of an assignment. I would message my friends or look online for YouTube videos that interest me in order to take my mind off what I was working on. I knew that it did not always help me, however, I believe it helped me gain further focus when the time came where it was absolutely necessary to focus on my work. An example would be using Discord to message my friends or enter servers to look at a new funny meme to take my mind off the homework.


  1. 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?

In all honesty, I somewhat liked learning online and I hope that will have some influence when we return to school in a normal fashion. As stated plenty above, I found myself far more productive than I would usually be in class, and I also enjoyed it because I was able to work in my pyjamas while still in bed. Although that might not have helped me as much, it was still nice to have a choice when to wake up and get to work rather than there being a strict schedule on when you had to be at school and when you were finished. If that’s not possible, I would not mind there being far more online assignments and not have to go in school rather than more in person assignments where we are forced to attend. An example we could use to create a better educational system is by using a similar one to this year’s. We could have it so that half of our courses in the first semester would be online and the second half of our courses in the first semester would be in person, giving us the lunch hour to travel to and from.


  1. 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 the TALONS program this year, both my In-Depth project an Eminent project used plenty of digital technology in many different formats. For example, in my In-Depth project I was constantly using my camera to take my macro photos which was the skill that I was working towards improving. The use of my camera was completely necessary for my In-Depth project since I had no other way of taking macro photos. The camera that I used probably enhanced my project the most since it was a fairly good quality camera that I had bought the previous year. For my Eminent project, I also used my camera to videotape the final presentation which I also edited on my laptop using an application called Final Cut Pro X. In my opinion, the editing process enhanced my project the most since it was where I cut out a lot of the imperfections in my speech as well as put together all the other aspects to create my final product which I was extremely proud of at the time.

(One of my favourite macro images I took during my In-Depth project)