After about a week of being inculcated with John Maxwell’s ideas of a 360° leader, I have chosen six principles that I will be focusing on this year in TALONS.
Principle 4: Do more than manage – lead!
Personally, I can relate to this. I tend to manage a lot more than I lead, focusing more on the tasks on hand rather than the members on my team who could solve that task. Leaders, on the other hand, think long term and are able to invest power in others. For TALONS this year, I plan to implement this principle by managing my relationships with my leadership event group members more carefully. I feel that having a positive and supporting relationship will allow me to delegate tasks to my team members, especially team members who might be younger or have less experience than me, without having to worry about it, essentially allowing me to lead rather than manage.
Principle 5: Invest in relational chemistry
By definition, this means connecting with my leader, which could be my teachers, but in broader terms, it could mean my peers in TALONS as well. Just by glancing over the questions on the leadership package, I realized that I knew little about my peers outside of TALONS. I didn’t know what they really cared about or what their outside interests were, so I would like to invest in relational chemistry to find out more about my peers. I believe that by knowing more and earning my peers’ trust, I will be able to work together with them effectively. Outside of TALONS, I want to invest in relational chemistry in cadets. As a section commander, it is my duty to give numbers, but I want to do more than what is required to make the life of my 2IC easier. By being as diligent as possible and by not lingering on past sentiments, I will be able to move on and allow my 2IC to be the best he is.
Principle #5: Expand your inner circle of acquaintances
I chose this principle as from my point of view, I do not think I have an extensive network or a large inner circle of acquaintances. No one can climb Everest alone, and for one to find success, they need to learn to depend on the people around them or their acquaintances. Expanding my inner circle will allow me to depend more on other people and work more efficiently by making up for others’ weaknesses and by having others make up for my weaknesses. I plan to apply this is TALONS through the leadership and cultural events where I will try to get to know people in both grade nine and ten. I can also accomplish this by choosing a mentor I do not know. While there could be a bit of a “getting-to-know” curve at the beginning since I don’t know the person, I will be able to expand my inner circle by fostering a relationship with my mentor.
Principle #2: Put completing fellow leaders ahead of competing with them
I chose this principle because of my tendency to compete with the people around me. While I won’t go out of my way to make people fail or put them behind to lower competition, I usually don’t go out of my way to complete others either. In TALONS this year, I plan to apply this principle by focusing more on the development of the team as whole rather than focusing all my efforts on the individual portion of the team which I am responsible for. I can do this by helping around my leadership event group, especially the nines, and focus on completing them by equipping them with the skills they need to excel at what they do and giving them lots of opportunities to apply their own decision-making skills. Simply put, I will try to hold back and give them more leadership and autonomy rather than just telling them what to do for my individual benefit.
Principle #2: See everyone as a “10”
I chose this principle because I tend to view people as they currently are instead of seeing them as who they can become. I think this is especially a problem when I am working with people who are younger than me or have a lower rank than me because I am unable to see what they will turn out to be. Due to my skeptical nature, I believe that this is a problem when I try to complete leaders as I cannot see them as a “10”, but only see them as a “2” or what they currently are. In TALONS this year, I want to implement this principle by giving my leadership group members, especially the grade nines, my trust. I will also see them for who they can become and recognizing their potential instead of seeing them for who they currently are.
Principle #3: Develop each committee member as a person
Although I tend to think long-term in my personal development, when it comes to developing other committee members, I tend to think short-term or the individual’s contribution to the group’s tasks in the next week or so. Due to this, I equip more than I develop, giving my committee members the tools necessary to complete the task at hand but contributing little to their personal long-term development. This year, I want to implement this principle by taking on a new long-term perspective on the development of my group members. Although there might be initial mistakes and complications at first, I believe that by not being too directive and giving my committee members space to make mistakes and learn from them, they will develop skills that will be transferable to other work and just their life in general.
By following these principles, I hope not to be a 90° leader nor a 180° leader, but a 360° leader.