Return of the In-Depth

It is that time of year again, time to crank up the imagination and pick a project to spend many months working on for the glory of finding a mentor and presenting your learning in some way to everyone else. If you remember, last year I did sushi making. It had a good final product, but I could have worked on it more. This is why I plan to top last year with my new topic: five-string banjo! I choose this not just because I was inspired by a Pete Seeger performance, but also because I wanted to do an instrument which no one have done yet so that it could be different. I also thought the banjo would have a more interesting history than the guitar or ukulele. So far in perpetration for the project I have been researching places that may be able to rent be a banjo and give me a mentor (I do have a family member that plays the banjo, but he lives in Victoria and would not be able to do much face-to-face mentoring). After some research and help from Jordan, I have found one place that should answer both of my problems: Long and Mcquades. They have a very nice banjo that they are renting out at the Port Coquitlam branch for a reasonable price, and I have emailed the front desk about a mentor (expecting a reply on Monday). All in all I think this year will be very exciting, and I can’t wait to write it all in these blog posts. See you in week 4,
(P.S. this would have been published earlier but the server crash kept me out)

Leader Interview Synthesis


This post is for my Leadership 11 project “Leader in my Community.” For the project I was required to choose a leader in my community and eventually set up a face to face interview. I choose my Venture Adviser Mark Wilson. I choose him over various other candidates because I felt he would have better knowledge of person to person leadership, which I was more interested in developing than person to community leadership (which he has extensive knowledge on, too). It took a while to coordinate our schedules, and that is why my post is late.  Before I interviewed him, we were supposed to do online research, but I already knew him somewhat (for example. he is a VP of engineering), so I did not do that part. I did the interview with Hamilton Shrimpton from the grade nines (Hamilton’s Blog).

I had chosen to interview Mark because he is such a great leader not only within the scouting community, but also in the local area as well, helping with community events and church gatherings, as well as encouraging others to do the same. He embodies many aspects of leadership that I hope to gain and/or develop, such as not making being led feel like a chore, and projecting the aura of someone you can talk to about anything, no matter what. I also had a lot of past experience with him, and knew him to qualify quite easily to the ‘leader’ model.

Once we were both available, I sat down for an interview with him on the second of January from about 3:00 to 3:30. This is a brief synopsis.

Hamilton: “What do you think makes a good leader?”

Mark: “A willingness to help, an interest in others, being active (not passive), just being involved in general and not sitting back while others work hard.”

Me: “Do you think you have all these qualities?”

Mark: “I have some aspects of them, which I try to develop. I wouldn’t say i’m perfect, but it important to me, so I try to work on them.”

Me: “What can we do to encourage new leaders?”

Mark: “We can encourage future leaders by providing more chances to lead others. Give them a turn, so to speak. One of the greatest things a leader can do is ensure that there are leaders after him/her. The greatest leadership legacy is what the leaders after you do.”

Me: “Do YOU consider yourself to be a leader within the community?”

Mark: “Yes, because very few people are involved in the community and it falls to the leaders to be actually involved. I’m not as involved as some other people are, but we all do our part.”

Me: “Do you think we need leaders?”

Mark: “Yes, we do, because if a community is just a bunch of individuals, each doing their own thing in their own way, it’s not much of a community. Leadership doesn’t mean control, it mean encouraging people to get out and get involved. . . If we didn’t have  people getting involved, then it wouldn’t be much of a community. It would just be a bunch of people who live here and don’t really do anything and go somewhere else to live their life.”

Hamilton: “Are there any drawbacks to being a scout leader?”

Mark: “It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of time, and effort, but the good things in life usually do. Sitting back is easy, but it takes leadership to get up and be active in the group and that takes time and energy.”

Me: “Who were your leadership role models growing up?”

Mark: “Well, my parents, for one. I was involved in a church youth group, so the leaders there. As a young adult I learned things from the leaders from the various groups I was in at UBC. We see leadership from our families, but its getting out and meeting other people where you see the true aspects of leadership.”

In conclusion, I think the interview went very well, and I learned a lot about what it means to be a leader,  and gave me some views as to what I would wish to do in the future in terms of leadership roles.

See you next time,