Leadership Day 2

Challenge questions:

Question 1. “How do you deal best with tension in stressful situation?” When I get stressed I find it works to remind myself that if I don’t finish its okay. But at the same time I fortunately do not get stressed as much as others. I find unless I am getting buried under homework I can keep my stress level down.

Question 2. “What should you do when you find yourself following a leader who is ineffective? How do you continue to add value?” As stated in the book there are 5 super important steps to add value to gain ineffective leader:

  • develop a solid relationship
  • identify and improve on your leaders strengths,
  • commit yourself to adding value to your leader’s strengths,

It is important to thoroughly complete these first 3 steps before moving onto to step four

  • Get permission to develop a game plan to complement your leader’s weaknesses
  • Expose your leader to good leadership resources
  • Continue to add value to your leader

If you effectively complete these six steps as mentioned in the book the 360 degree leader you will hopefully be able to improve his or her leadership capabilities.

Question 3. “How can you determine what “hat” you need to wear in a given situation?” I think the first step is to analyse who you would be reporting to and who would be reporting to you. It is important as John said to see if you need to wear a hat of a leader or a follower. I think you needs to look at who is around you and look at who is going to take control of the situation. If nobody else is going to take the lead then you need to; on the flip side if there is a specific person that is a strong leader and has taken charge in the situation then you can follow.

Question 4. “What ideas, products, or services provided by your committee/ quad are so important that you would allow someone else to take credit for them even though you contributed?” I think the leader of a project should be the one to get most of the credit but it is important that if the leader takes the credit they give some credit to the people who got them there. If you help someone reach their goals it is still their goal you can’t take credit for them reaching their goal but you deserve some credit for helping them along the way.

Question 5. “List some of the advantages and disadvantages of being out front.” Something that can be both an advantage and a disadvantage is that you are the figure head of your group, if something goes terribly wrong you are the person that will have to answer for the failure. If something goes wonderfully you are still the figure head and you will be the one given most of the credit. Obviously the failure or success of your group is not entirely based on you, you cannot do it alone. There are other people who deserve some credit for the result but ultimately it is your decision making that changes the outcome of the group.

Question 6. “How can you clearly and positively communicate the vison of the organisation/trip to those around you?” You need to have close relationships with your team members to make sure that everyone’s ideas are carefully considered. As the leader you need to establish a vision and make sure that everyone on your team is working towards the same vison. This will be vital to working efficiently and getting the best final product possible.

Question 7. “In what ways have I experienced the influence challenge?”

As a student there have been times where I wasn’t sure if I could lead students that were older than me and certainly not adults. For the reason that, I don’t think that they will take me seriously. I think that the biggest hurdle for being a successful leader as a student. While you can lead people who are younger or even the same age, believing in your ability to communicate with and to effectively lead people who are in higher positons is vital. To be that leader you need to be trustworthy, consistent, you need to be respected, and you need to care. I think caring is the biggest one on that list because if you have a personal connection to what you are trying to get others to believe in it will be much easier to convince others to follow you.

Leadership Questions

Leadership questions

Myth 1.1. I am not at the top of anything but I still consider myself a leader. I personally feel that is does not matter if you are “at the top” to be a good leader. I do feel that it is important to have a good leader “at the top” and it may even be easier to be a leader if you are “at the top”. But there is never a situation where you can’t lead just because you do not have a following. What you have to do in that situation is ‘create’ a following; share your ideas and get others on board.

Myth 2.4. I think the two biggest components of being a good leader are: truly believe the message that you are trying to implement and being good with people. If you do not truly believe what you are trying to make others believe you will not be able to effectively convince others. Being good with people helps in so many situations but leadership even more so; if you are unable to effectively communicate with other people you will be an ineffective leader.

Myth 3.1. I question authority; it is flaw I realise that it is but it is just something that I do. So there are times that people that I should look up to that I don’t agree with. Most commonly it is teachers that don’t understand my learning style, but I know it is not just gifted learners who question authority. On the other hand I certainly follow people that don’t have an official leadership title. The best example of this is peers; there are many people both in and outside of TALONS of whom I have great respect and look up to all of the time.

Myth 4.3. I always will consider other people’s opinions. Whether I accept or reject the opinion comes down to if I believe in the opinion. If it is morally right then I will agree with the opinion. There are always people who will agree and disagree with any opinion but it depends on the specific person.

Myth 5.1. The leader in any group always answers to the members of the group. Like in a democratic government, the leader tries to meet the wants and needs of the people they represent. Though they may not talk to one specific person, they still have a “boss”. In almost all cases of being the head of anything, a person or group of people give you a title and you need to prove to those people that you are capable of doing the job. In this case your job is to represent the people who put you in power.

Myth 6.2 I am capable of many things. I would say at this point of my life “reaching my full potential” would be staying happy. As long as I am happy I think I am successful. As a 14 year old I don’t know who I want to be when I am older. It is something that I need to have more experience on for sure. Donald Glover said “I am what I am: everything I wanna be”. I agree with this quote because my personal definition of success changes every day.

Myth 7.1 Regardless of where you are going to be in life you can still be a leader. You can be unemployed and homeless and still be a leader. Being a CEO has nothing to do with being a leader. In fact you have a much greater chance of being a CEO if you can lead effectively. If you never learn how to be a leader you will never be put in a position of leadership. Regardless where you are in the hierarchy you find yourself in, there is always somewhere you can lead. If you are looking for someone to give a “leadership position” you are looking for someone that is already a leader, not somebody who still needs to learn.


In Depth Intro post

My In Depth project of starting an online business is will be a project that will end in one of three ways: I become a billionaire, I am forced to file for bankruptcy, or it never ends up making it onto the internet. This year for my In Depth I am going to make a plan that would carefully show the steps of making an online business. I am not actually starting the business for two reasons: I don’t know if I am biting off more than I can chew trying to get the entire business model planned out, and I don’t have the $100,00 + to get the business of the ground.

What I have so far for a plan, is to create a business where artists would make their music available for purchase on my website and customers would be able to go through and buy their music from my site. I realise that there is already lots of competition, monster companies like Apple and Sony, but I have a twist that makes my company superior. Unlike with other major companies, with mine the artist will receive 100% of the profits generated by sales. Apple and Sony only gives the artist as little as 10% of the profits. At first this would not be profitable for me as the host but as my website picks up momentum I would charge other companies for advertising on the webpage to make a profit.

I think the biggest thing I need for this project is someone who knows what they are doing, I have contacted Jacob Gebrewold hoping he can mentor me or recommend someone else who can. Because this is something that I have never done before and have little knowledge on the subject I want to have someone who has successfully ran an online business. Another thing that is difficult about starting a business is that you can’t practice; there is no 100% guarantee the market will buy your product regardless of how skilled you are and how much money you invest into the business.

I am not sure how much work this is going to end up being, I want to talk to a business professional first and get their input. It is for that reason that I don’t yet know how much I am actually going to end up completing. It may be that I have a plan to complete the entire website and even start a Kickstarter fund to get the site up and running, or that I only plan out one aspect of the company. That will be decided as I continue on in the project.


Yea I know I like everyone else am making the BiBLOGaphy pun.

But here are the main sources that got me through eminent this year.


This is the main website for the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. This was a very informative website on the foundation as you might expect. It has a lots of information about what they stand for and what they have done to make the world a better place.


I am guilty of looking towards Wikipedia at to get me started in most projects and this is no different. As dry of a read as it may be it’s always a good bet for an overview of what you are looking for.


This was an interesting, well written biography. Found it really helpful for facts and getting a better understanding of his life. Though there are a lot of ads that disrupt your reading.


This documentary was a nice break from reading articles. I think the most insightful thing this documentary provided is controversy about bill gates. “Controversial figure, with his ruthless business leadership contributing to Microsoft being sued by the US government.” How a geek changed the world

This book called “The road ahead” was used to write the first draft of my speech. It was an interesting read. I got this book from the Burnaby Public Library. This book was actually written by Bill Gates.


“The Plot to get Bill Gates: an irreverent investigation of the world’s richest man and the people who hate him.” By: Gary Rivlin” This book I got from SFU. I used it a lot to write my speech as it is in the prospective of his competitors and other people who have reason to dislike him.


This is the MS DOS software that I downloaded to make my learning center happen. It wasn’t spectacular, there were more than a few commands that were not in the program but it played such a huge role in my eminent person project.


Microsoft actually has a really good support for MS DOS regardless of how old it is. There are lots of tips and a guide on how to use it on the Microsoft webpage.


Where is Bill today? (extra blog post)

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

There is something about Bill Gates that I looked into but felt that I never really got a chance to share it; where he is now. So I have dedicated an entire blog post to it.

Bill sold all of his shares of the Microsoft Company and stepped down, reliving himself of his duties at Microsoft. Him and his wife, Melinda Gates started an organisation to help those who need it. They created the ‘Bill and Melinda Gates’ was formed in 1998. I have included a segment from the first draft of my speech that talked a lot about the good that he has done for the world.

Image courtesy of immersiveeducation.org

“The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation kept growing. Over the next 15 years they donated over half of his fortune to people in third world countries focusing on Global Issues, helping people that are less fortune then himself. He donated billions to helping those with HIV, Pneumonia, Tuberculosis and Clean water. It started to dawn on me that he wasn’t actually throwing money away, I realised that he is one of few people in the world that can actually singlehandedly make a difference. With his $60 some billion he can change lives and that’s exactly what he did. Before my eyes people started posting videos online of what he was doing for them. There were many villages in Africa, where water was a deadly drink. The foundation helps bring the mortality rate of waterborne diseases down.

In 1999 he started a campaign raising awareness closer to home. He tried to increase the number of minority graduates and provide post-secondary education to those who cannot afford it and set them up for a sustainable career and enjoyable life. To this day the foundation supports grantees in all 50 states in the US and the District of Columbia. Internationally, they support work in more than 100 countries. And have donated $31.6 billion dollars.”

When I wrote this first draft of my speech I wanted to include all the good that he has done for the world but I felt that it contradicted the character I was trying speak from. But I feel that it is important to speak for all of good he has done for the world. I have also included some statistics courtesy of gatesfoundation.org and I encourage you to go and read more about the great things this great man has done.


Current number of foundation employees: 1,227 (1)
Asset Trust Endowment: $42.3 billion (2)(1)
Total grant payments since inception: $31.6 billion (1)
Total 2013 grant payments: $3.6 billion (3)
Total 2012 grant payments: $3.4 billion (4)

Learning Center

For my learning center this year I did a technological themed event. I wanted to represent Bill Gates and his creations. I had two computers set up: one with a slideshow of fun facts of Bill Gates and the other with a program called MS DOS. The slideshow was meant to play In the background and had 14 ‘fun facts’ like: “If Bill Gates was a country he would be the 63rd richest in the world” or “Bill Gates was arrested in Mexico in 1977 for running a red light and driving without a license”. I also made a pun with the location of my learning center; I was by the big window in the foyer and had a sign that said “Windows, my greatest creation”.

But the main attraction was MS DOS. I chose MS DOS for my learning center because it was something I had already looked into through my speech. I wanted to go deeper into how the program worked. After learning how to use the program I taught others at my learning center. I talked about the differences between MS DOS and the current Windows software and how the technology industry had changed more than any other industry in the world. I thought it was a good choice of a learning center because I was able to answer any questions people had due to the research done earlier in the project. There were lots of people that came through my learning center that had used MS DOS for many years in high school and university. They asked lots of tough questions and talked to me about different aspects of computer programming.

The third thing I had at my learning center was window markers allowing people to draw on the windows and leave feedback. Unfortunately this did not go as planned, the window markers did not contrast against the pitch black outside and nobody could see what they were writing. I only had one person leave feedback and it read “It apple made a car would it have windows”. Though some TALONS students helped me decorate the window while we were setting up, drawing the MS DOS and Windows logos.

I looked back at my Intro post that I made at the start if the project and goals that I set were: “Throughout this project I hope to get closer to myself and look at where I want to go with my life and help me get a better insight into possible career paths.” Looking back I think I did learn more about myself, I have found that as I continue in TALONS I am finding more about myself in everything I do. As far as looking into a career path goes I don’t think I have had enough life experience to decide. Since I was about 11 I have had an interest in being a criminal lawyer, but I feel like I need to put myself in new situations to really have a feel for where I want to go with my life. As a 13 year old I can’t really say anything for sure.

I think I am going to remember eminent for the whole night of the notables’ experience. The food was great, the grade 10 speeches were AMAZING, and the learning centers were pretty spectacular. I don’t think the people outside of the TALONS program realise the amount of work that goes into making December 3rd as successful as it was. All of the grade nines with their committee work, who worked behind the scenes to make everything happen smoothly, especially Andrea and Mira, our amazing project managers. Chef Abanante prepared us an awesome dinner and finally I would like to thank the TALONS teachers for organising the whole event and making it as amazing as it was.

Interview (or lack therfor of)

I tried to contact Macguire Rintoul for my interview this year that is easier said than done. I wanted to contact Macguire because he is an ex-TALON and I thought that he would have the most insight out of anyone else I could contact.

Originally I wanted to contact someone in the Microsoft organisation. Unfortunately the highest up in the organisation I could reach was Customer Service. That is understandable considering the number of people that call Microsoft every day. So my goal was to contact Macguire, I messaged him on Facebook on November 8th and waited for a response. After waiting 2 weeks I decided to try alternate methods; I went to the TALONS alumni committee, I wanted to find Maguire’s phone number. I called the number I was given and was greeted by a default answering machine. After leaving a message I decided it would be in my best interests to peruse other interview candidates.

I found two professors that taught programming courses: Professor Amanda Conolly from the University of Waterloo and Ross Anderson from The University of Cambridge. Apparently it was not meant to be. Though I am still waiting for a response I am doubtful. As much as I would have liked to get an interview for eminent this year I am hoping to take this as a learning experience. Next year hopefully I can find someone to interview. Though I was unsuccessful I still don’t fully understand why. I tried every way I could think of to contact Macguire and when it turned out to be unsuccessful I moved on. I think had I have continued to email different professors and kept looking for interviewees I would have been successful eventually.

(If I get a response from anyone I will add it if not I will add input from my Dad who workes with IT security at BC Hydro)

Document of Learning

For my document of learning this year I have decided to go over my eminent speech because it is what I am most proud of so far in the eminent person project. To be entirely honest when creating the speech the procrastination was intense. When we were given the Friday block to work on speeches I started mine; I had an idea but haven’t actually turned that idea into a speech. I ended up writing my first draft over the weekend and sent it to a peer for feedback. He said that the draft I had written was a good start but needed work, he talked about how “you did a good job of capturing the perspective of MS DOS but making it seem like a stalker. Plus it also kind of sounded like a biography from a stalkers perspective”.

I thought the feedback was good but when I sat down to actually apply it to my speech I realised that for me to take his feedback I would have to rewrite a majority of the speech. So I did and the result was a significant improvement but still not as good as I thought it could be. So on Tuesday (the day before I had to present), I went to two more grade tens for advise on how to improve further. They said that I needed to have a better connection with the audience, that the thing that would really make my speech is emotion.

Walking out of the school that day I was walking along the muddy area, I slipped covering myself from head to toe in mud and proceeded to go to the bus stop and wait for my bus home. After being ridiculed at by friends, we were talking about my speech. I felt that my speech needed to be addressed to somebody and couldn’t decide on who. Then Mr. Main one of the support teachers at Gleneagle overheard me talking about my speech on the bus, covered head to toe in and told me that my speech should be written for Bill Gates. The more I thought about it the more I thought he was right. I made the overarching theme of my speech a suicide message from MS DOS to Bill Gates. That night around 5:30pm I rewrote my speech for a second time in two nights. Finally when I was finished I read it over and decided that this was ‘as good as it is was going to get’ considering I was giving the speech the next day.

Looking back on the speech I thought it went really well and it is something I am proud to have written. In the future I feel like I should have started the whole process of writing that first draft, getting feedback, and rewriting. Because I started the whole thing 5 days before I gave the speech it gave me little time to get it memorised.

I get nervous when I speak to in front of a crowd and know I am being marked on what I say. In the past I have been good at embracing that energy and turning it onto positive energy and adding more energy to the performance. The only difference is that this was supposed to be a more somber speech and I have never tried to covert that energy into negative or sad energy before. The lack of memorisation certainly didn’t help my cause.

I would like to thank:

Jamie Fajber, James Situ, and Mr. Main for helping revise my speech.



Eminent Speech Connor Attridge

Begin Playback (like an answering machine talking)

November 26 say time

Dear Bill. You are all I think about, your all I care about, you were once mine. The most successful entrepreneur in history. Being the richest man alive, your fortune is reaching close to $81 Billion dollars. You would be nothing without me I hope you realise that. We are intrinsically linked to each other’s rise and fall, we relied on each other for the better part of our career but all good things inevitably come to an end. I hope you realise what you’ve lost. I am the third uncredited cofounder of Microsoft

Remember back when you were at Harvard with a near perfect SAT score. Your IQ equal to that of Albert Einstein and Steven Hawking. You were top of your class. Remember when you sacrificed it all. Dropping out of Harvard for me, for us. I got you to contact your friend Paul Allen from high school, we talked about starting a company. We would call it Microsoft

You guys wrote a couple programs that worked on top of existing Operating systems then, we got the opportunity I had been waiting for all of my life. Two men from the company IBM approached us. They wanted to create a partnership where they would supply the computer and Microsoft would write the program. That is how MS DOS or “the Microsoft disk operating system” transferred from a long-time dream of yours to a reality. It was your stepping stone to success, with IBM’s help it became a world renowned program and was being used by more than half of the computers in the world. That was the happiest times of my life. It was the happiest time of our lives. Or so I thought.

We kept fighting, you kept wanting to go so fast, to do so much. You expected so much from me, I worked around the clock to try to keep you happy. Do you even realise that Bill. You certainly didn’t at the time. Because you left me.

You made allot of drastic decisions in that short period of time. Leaving your partnership with IBM, you left your past behind wanting nothing to do with it.

The days, weeks, and even months flew by you had moved on, wanting nothing to do with me I watched as you found someone else, Melinda Ann French, remember that lady who worked on the third floor. One of your own employees. You went out for dinner one night and it seemed like just the next day you had announced you’re engagement. You got married and started a family.

and I watched.

I watched from the sidelines as you raised your kids and lived in your 63 million dollar mansion. That 63 million dollar mansion, funded by me. I got you to where you are today and how do you thank me? By leaving me with no credit, no reward, no thank you, and no recognition. I was no more than a successful investment, even though it was my hard work that got you where you are today. Without me he would just be an entrepreneur trying to make ends meet. Now look at me, nobody knows my name, I am worthless my success has come and gone. You are still taking advantage of your intellect. You’re building on his already massive fortune. Though I will pay credit where credit is due, Bill you made a chain of largely successful operating systems that you called windows. Though I had no part in creating any of the windows software you, to this day you still relies on me to maintain and run almost all of them. I don’t know why I don’t refuse. Maybe it’s the way you ask, or maybe I’m I hoping that eventually if I keep giving and giving and you keeps taking and taking that eventually you recognise what I do for you.

But you don’t. You never have and you never will I am putting my foot down right here and right now. I’m done. I can’t live without you and try as I might, I will never gain your support and recognition. I’ve had it Bill this is the last you will ever hear, the last anyone will ever hear from me. As I sit here and record this for you I just want you to know; that I love you, I always have, and I always will. As you are listening to this a mere 15 minutes ago, I offed myself. I erased my motherboard, and all backups that have ever been created of my software.

This will be the last thing any one will ever hears of MS DOS.

I was your brain child, I lived to please you and if I can’t please you I don’t want to live. I have loved you since ever since I was nothing more than an idea in your head. You created me and I carried you on my back towards success. All I ever wanted to do was make you proud and I just wanted to say; I’m Sorry

End of final message


I̶n̶d̶i̶a̶n̶ ̶f̶o̶o̶d̶ Library Post

SFU Tour & Library Research Trip

Photo courtesy of Mr. Jackson’s Flickr page

Looking ahead at the SFU library trip I was looking forward to bonding with peers, finding information on my eminent person and an all you can eat Indian Buffet. As a new TALONS learner I haven’t really gotten a chance to get to know my peers, as informative as I was hoping the trip would be I was especially looking forward to the social aspect. With that being said I had never properly explored the SFU campus, I went up there in elementary school for a couple camps and went on a field there trip last year but had never really been giving the opportunity to be shown around by a student.

When it comes to getting information for projects I have never been to a library for material unless specify told to by the criteria, the reason for that being I have never been to a library with specific enough material. With my eminent person being Bill Gates the closest I would expect to find in most local library’s might be a couple books on computer programming or starting a business but with the internet I can just ask google and get rewarded with 20,000 results in less than a second. This was all until I visited the SFU library; with five floors of wall to wall book shelves. There were 4 or 5 books on Bill Gates only one of which were in the library when I went to look and it was “The Plot to get Bill Gates: an irreverent investigation of the world’s richest man and the people who hate him.” By: Gary Rivlin

SFU Tour & Library Research Trip

Photo courtesy of Mr. Jackson’s Flickr page

I feel like a paragraph needs to be dedicated to lunch. We went to an all you can eat Indian Buffet called “The Himalayan Peak”, myself and Jamie Fajber decided to take advantage of the ‘all you can eat’ aspect and both ate our weight in Aloo Gobi and Naan. There was 2 meat entrees, 3 veggie entrees, rice, naan, desert, and a salad bar; all of which I had to try.

I don’t feel as if I learned much on the trip itself, though I hope to find insight in my book. I did really enjoy the tour and learned a little bit about what ‘University Life’ looks like. I found the Museum of Anthropology really interesting and before then I had no idea they had one at SFU. Overall I think the trip was successful as to the goals I set; I had a great time with my peers and felt I got to know them all a little bit better and learned a little in the process.

SFU Tour & Library Research Trip

This is my favorite TALONS picture so far this year (Photo courtesy of Mr. Jackson’s Flickr page)

Meet- Bill Gates

Bill Henry Gates III was born October 28 1955 in Seattle Washington. He was born an only child to Mary and William gates who never could have dreamed that their son would one of the most successful businessmen ever born, being the richest person on the “Forbes list of richest people” for fourteen years spanning from 1995- 2007 then again in 2008. In 1999 he became the world first centibillionaire when his wealth briefly surpassed $101 billion. With his fortune he has started an organization with his wife Melinda Gates called the “Bill and Melinda Gates foundation” that has donated over 30 billion dollars in grants. The company donates around 3 billion dollars every year, they give to anyone who can convince them they need the money; you apply for a grant and they will give you one, they have given to tonnes of causes in the US from Agricultural Development to water, sanitation and hygiene.

Image courtesy of inscribd.com

Bill was born into a upper-middle class family, he developed an early interest in computers, the were some funds at “Lakeside School” where he was enrolled so they purchased one of the first computers a “Teletype Model 33” witch him and a few other students became engrossed in technology as it advanced he actually was banned along with four peers by the company because they were hacking into the system and exploiting bugs and glitches to be able to use the computer for free. After the ban the group of students were actually hired to find bugs for the company. This was the starting block for his career in technology he went on to write code for the school and was later penalized   for altering the software to put himself in classes with “a disproportionate number of interesting girls.” He later went on to say “it was hard to tear myself away from a machine at which I could so unambiguously demonstrate success.”

Image courtesy of forbes.com

Gates went on to study at Harvard university after graduation but dropped out and started what would go on to be one of the most revolutionary companies the world has ever seen, He started the company with his friend from Lakeside School; Paul Alan, the co-founder of Microsoft. The goings were very slow for the first 5 years from 1975 to 1980 the main achievement was copyrighting the name Microsoft, During the first 5 years of the company Gates returned to Harvard to complete his studies and still managed to read over every line of code any Microsoft employee ever wrote. In 1980 Microsoft made its first big step and struck a deal with IBM to create an operating system (OS) and sold the rights to the system to IBM for $50,000 and used it to leapfrog its way to releasing the very first windows OS to the public. Windows 1.0 contended with Apple but was not nearly as popular but as Windows 2.0 and 3.0 and finally 3.1 were realized the company was rapidly growing, then in 1995 Windows 95 was realised being the most competitive operating system Microsoft had ever released and they just kept going from there, they went on to reshape the world of personal and corporate computers forever.

Image courtesy of mininvilla.com

When it comes to my similarity’s with Bill Gates we are both white, males that were born into upper middle class families. We both devolved interests in technology and business from an early age, him using computers when he was 13 when they first came out and me playing Mr. Potato head games and go fish online when I was 5, though I have never gotten into coding and don’t really know the first thing about it that would be something I would be interested in and could possibly even transition into my in-depth. Being the same age Bill was when he started coding I feel I could be taking a very similar path with my electives being Business and Information Technology I am getting an insight into the world that Bill Gates is living. Throughout this project I hope to get closer to myself and look at where I want to go with my life, help me get a better insight into possible career paths.