Category Archives: Leadership

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,


Facing the Challenges

Hello everyone, its Christopher here to answer the questions put forth by today’s 360 learner session.
Challenge 1: The way I deal best with tension in a stressful situation is to have multiple ways to deal with stress in the same area, like lines of defence. Line one: think about something else for a moment, and then get back to work. Line two: stop your thought posses entirely for a moment, and then get back to work. Line three: have something like a stress ball or squishy mouse pad you can squeeze your stress into while you work. Line four (only do these lines if all else did not work): Stop what you are doing and do something else. This doesn’t mean stop working, just work on something else. For example, if one aspect of your homework is stressing you out, do your homework on another subject, then get back to it.
Challenge 2: While working on the lectures steps on how to deal with an ineffective boss, try and make up for your bosses weak points in the meantime, without offending him/her. Offending him/her would send you back to square zero.
Challenge 3: There are only a few hats I currently wear.
The learning hat: for school and homework.
The thinking cap: for problems, studying, and tests.
The hat of authority: for looking after my sister.
The hat of submission: for looking after my cats.
The fun hat: for anything not included above.
Challenge 4: Personally, I tend to focus more on production. I am always that guy that is second fiddle or behind the scenes. I dream big, but many bodies make the best results, so I give my idea and melt into the crowd of potential leaders.
Challenge 5: Being out front has its advantages: recognition, full support, and people under you to do the nitty gritty. But it also has its disadvantages: everyone is looking at you, so you have to look after them and take the brunt or blame if anything goes wrong.
Challenge 6: I would prefer to help others find their plan come together. I prefer this because then I get the good feeling of hard work, the happiness of completion, and the joy of helping a friend reaching their dream.
Challenge 7: One of the biggest ways I have faced the influence challenge is that I had a leader with a good idea, and I had an idea to make it great. It took me awhile to gather the courage to approach my leader with this change, and he totally ignored me. When I expressed this to my coworkers, one of them explained that he didn’t listen because of my rank, he only listened to words from people one level below him or higher. It was so ridiculous I thought I was in a Dilbert comic. Then the summer ended and I went back to school, and the improvement was forgotten.
That’s all for now! See you next time,

Answering the Mythical Leadership Questions

Hello everyone, here’s the answers to the questions about the myths in class today.
Myth 1: The unique skills that I could pass to others could be that I am great at remembering facts and could teach my ways to remember certain things. Not all people can perform that skill that well though, so I can also teach reading skills to people of all ages that need them.
Myth 2: I often take the lead on projects when needed. I always help and chip in ideas, but I only take the lead if no one else does. You can’t stand out from your peers if you only do what you are supposed to do. People who go above and beyond usually get noticed, and the people who go below get fired.
Myth 3: What usually prompts me to follow someone else is if they have an idea and conviction to work towards and the ability to follow up on their plans and ideas that I agree with.
Myth 4: What I think makes a leader valuable to an organization is the ability to set direction. A whole team of workers might accomplish nothing if no one tells them what to work towards.
Myth 5: Yes. If you go up the chain the colder it is, the harder it is to climb, and the more the other links rely on you. If you break, everyone below you falls.
Myth 6: I am capable of achieving an education, a great job, and a respectable life. A major in law would get me a great lawyer job and get me enough income to lead a life that everyone can respect.
Myth 7: The prospects for getting to the top are the illusion of control. People think they have unnatural power over things that cannot be controlled, and people listen to them out of fear for their jobs. My motivation for such a job would be to try and dispel those rumors and illusions. (If you read Dilbert, I also want to become a CEO so I can jump ship with a golden parachute.)
That’s all for now! See you next time,