Reflection for John Maxwell’s Leadership Lessons

THE INFLUENCE CHALLENGE

You cannot antagonize and influence at the same time.

John Knox

Many people believe in their abilities to work efficiently and lead, knowing that it would benefit the team and its goals, but they do not often get others to follow. The simple reason is that people don’t have to listen! Leadership is all about influence. As we are trying to take on the responsibilities of a leader and trying to gain supporters, we need to keep in mind that we need to have either position or influence to lead. Also, since we can hardly be bestowed a superior status (if we have any in TALONS) without first proving our abilities to manage, we should change our mindset of “I want a position that will make people follow me” to “I want to become a person whom others would want to follow”. The only solution to this challenge is to become someone others would trust to lead.

*In the second semester, we have one of the most significant projects that TALONS’ students will undertake: the adventure trips. I will also have my cultural event planning and maybe in-depth. It will undoubtedly be beneficial to keep in mind the ways that Maxwell suggested to overcome the Influence Challenge:

  • Care. Get to know others.

This means that I should be familiar with all of my team members, and they should be with me. I want to help them get to know what they are doing and do it better with tips from someone who has a bit more experience.

  • Build trust and be dependable.

I will need to do what I promised to do, whether it is bringing a brochure to the meeting or actually attending the meeting. To develop and exhibit the character I want, I can look at the attributes that leaders I admire possess, and try to change myself starting from now on.

  • Do my job well. 

Mainly, I need to hand in my share of work early enough so others would have time to critique it. I need to make sure that I put in all my efforts into my product, which will not just benefit myself, but the overall goal of the whole team.

  • Be consistently approachable.

I always need to be willing to talk to others, whether I am in a gloomy mood or not. It is like a hat that I need to put on, gloominess is not something that would benefit the team, and I shouldn’t let that interfere.

  • Be wholeheartedly committed to the goal myself.

Poor leaders demand respect. Competent leaders command respect.

John C. Maxwell

*for clarity purposes, I separated the sections (I personally hate long paragraphs because I can’t understand them). It is still under the word limit.

ZIP Post 2

At this point in my project, I have realized that my initial plan is way too ambitious. I could still complete it, but it would require a lot of effort during the break, which I prefer to spend relaxing. I made a new calendar, attached in image below.zip

Changes: I am going to scratch the compare and contrast essay for a couple of mind maps/infographics. There should be one pre-reading guess, two after reading comparisons, and one master comparison. I could do compare and contrast notes still, but no specific notes for each one. I am also going to change the second novel vs. film comparison to maybe a short story vs. short film comparison (I still need to find it, recommendations accepted).

ZIP Doc of Learning #1

The biographical novel sets out to document this truth, for character is plot, character development is action, and character fulfillment is resolution.

Irving Stone

Last Friday was a ZIP work block and a not so productive one at that. I knew my inquiry question, and I was starting to read my first book. However, I couldn’t concentrate amid all the noises that crept up during the block. After 20 or so minutes and only finishing the prologue, I gave up and started to do some research. It might be bad luck, it might be just research skills, but I couldn’t find a website that has comprehensive information about PEE (PQS) or character building (list of key points to a successful character). Having no extensive knowledge, I spent the rest of the block, a short chunk of time, brainstorming what makes a good character.

The moral of this story is that we shouldn’t expect to find everything online. Something that is easy enough to do on our own should really be done on pen and paper. This way, we also have a more thorough understanding of the information.

For my next ZIP focus block, I will try to use different strategies such as going to a quieter corner/ library, listening to music (immerse myself in my own world), or doing things that don’t require as much focus (taking notes or brainstorming some more, perhaps). One goal to set might be to finish the first third of the book, or in case that is not working,  finalize a list of character traits and create an outline where I can fill out book and movie analysis.

ZIP Proposal

The area that I want to focus on for this ZIP project is character development and characterization in different medias. Characters are at the heart of any story (without them nothing will be happening!), and they have the power to move readers through connections. The effective characterization of characters is something that may indicate a good story, whether conveyed through books or other mediums. It raises the question, then, of:

What are the criterias for a successful character in stories, and how does different media (film, book) differ in their ability to develop successful characters?

I hope to get out of this project a thorough understanding of the elements in creating an intriguing story through vivid characters, as well as the knowledge of how written and visual works differ in their ability affect the audience and convey meaning. I will also have acquired more analytical skill in literature. I plan on reading at least 2-3 titles.

I cannot say that I am a seasoned reader and movie critic, but I love reading and know how to use various strategies to aid in my reading. I also have access to a lot of movies, since we have many subscriptions to various services, so it will be easier for me to find movie adaptations. I may need the librarian to recommend to me good books, focusing on character, with film adaptations.

I am not exactly sure right now, but I think I will demonstrate my learning by doing a presentation (more likely), or by writing a compare and contrast essay. I probably have to write something during the course of the project, but I don’t want to make that my final, simply because I will probably have to do another ZIP on essay writing.

Below is a rough draft of my plan: (subject to change)

  1. Dec 8-13: background research, select the first book and finish reading. Write character notes, analysis
  2. Dec 13-15: watch film/others and collect notes (compare/contrast)
  3. Dec 16-18: select second book and finish reading
  4. Dec 19: watch film, notes
  5. Dec 20-22: presentation/final project

All About VALUE INVESTING/BENJAMIN GRAHAM

HELLO,

In this post, I will go over some of the books/ websites that I found very useful in my research about Ben Graham (and value investing of course). I hope they will help you in your works too, just like how they had helped me. Continue reading “All About VALUE INVESTING/BENJAMIN GRAHAM”

Doc of Learning, and all my struggles [Reflection]

There are quite a few things that I want to talk about in this post, first and foremost my process of writing my speech. I will then go on to say a bit about my research and learning centre planning.


The highly technical aspects of my eminent person, Ben Graham, meant that my speech would have to center on his core contribution to the world, a stock investing principle. I had quite a bit of trouble deciding what I wanted to direct my focus. I knew that an informative speech is not what the audience came to hear, and I knew that because Graham is such an inspirational and compassionate person in sharing his ideas; I wanted my speech to inspire the audience. Ben Graham hoped to every day do

“something foolish, something creative, and something generous,”

and that is the attitude that I wanted to focus upon.

The final theme of the speech that I decided on was that value investing is the key to success both in the stock market and in life. Indeed, many things are interconnected and similar in many ways, and time-tested principles can often serve as an allusion to something else. I completed my speech, but the more that I practiced, the clearer I understood Graham’s perspective. I ended up rewriting a new copy a couple of days before NotN. My peers did not find any mistakes to fix, but again, as I read the speech over and over I discovered better ways to phrase some paragraph. I only wish I started sooner so I can incorporate those changes and have time to practice still. You can find both versions of my speech here.


This year, I was not able to secure an interview. I sent out around 10 emails, and around 3 replied with a “no”. The rest were stones thrown in the ocean, never to be heard of again. The two versions of my request email are featured here, as well as a record of who I sent out an email to.

I think that this year’s unsatisfactory results are due to my emails being too concentrated in a few organizations. I chose to focus on Columbia Business School because it is the school that Graham taught at, and is now a value investing centre. There is even an option on their website to filter professors who specialize in value investing. Most of my emails there went unanswered, suggesting that maybe that period is a stressful time for them. Besides that, I found two organizations that focus on value investing. One of them is a mutual funds group, and the other an educational research institution. I sent the rest of my emails to their staff.

If another opportunity like this comes up, I will try to find people in more diverse locations and institutions, to increase my chances of finding someone who is available and willing to help. Like the saying in the investment community and elsewhere,

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”


 

My initial ideas for my learning centre is to make it like an office space. I knew that when Graham was young, he used to work posting stock and bonds prices on the walls of the trading centres. From that, I had the idea of posting stock prices and asking visitors what they would want to buy. I tried to use foam boards and push pins to resemble posting prices on blackboards, and put up multiple frames to make the space look more “professional”. Here is a video of the final result, versus the plan.


Overall, I would say that this year’s Eminent is not much different from last year and that all the differences are positive changes! It is hard work for all of us, from the students to the teachers, and it looks like we all did the best we could to produce such a spectacular night. Ciao to Eminent, and good luck to the nines for next year.

Tip:

  • Remember to make a list of supplies needed, and write everything down. I forgot to bring something and didn’t have time to put up other things.
  • Keep in mind that people WILL come and try to use their lockers when you just finished putting up paper on the walls.
  • try to actually compare the wall length and width to your design, and don’t change your design on the day of. Go scout the locations a day before and imagine the placing of everything [Use this doc, it has all the dimensions of locker bays]