John Maxwell

Leaders with humility succeed

newton standign on the shouldersLeaders with humility will succeed in their career.  Humility allows people to listen to, and learn from others who have been where the are going.  Humility doesn’t mean you doubt your ability, it means you respect the ability of others.

C.S. Lewis once said,Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.

Here are three reasons why leaders with humility succeed:

Leaders with humility succeed  because they are open to learning from others.  Great leaders realize that there is very little they do well that they didn’t learn from someone else.  Learning from others is a strength of great leaders.  Will Rogers once said, “A man learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”

Leaders with humility succeed because they gain knowledge and wisdom from every encounter.  Each person can learn and grow if they will determine to learn from the success of others. Bill Nye said, “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.”

John Maxwell, the great leadership expert, uses a set of seven questions when he talks to successful leaders:

  1. What are the great lessons you have learned?
  2. How has failure shaped your life?
  3. What are your strengths?
  4. What is your passion?
  5. Who do you know that I should know?
  6. What have you read that I should read?
  7. What have you done that I should do?

Leaders with humility succeed because they surround themselves with people who know more than they doGreat leaders know that they can’t know everything.  If you want to be the best, then hire the best in every area. Leaders with humility don’t need to be the smartest person in the room; in fact it is a requirement that they are not.

Malcolm Forbes, former publisher of Forbes said, “Never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he’s hired to do.”

Leo Iacocca, Chrysler’s former CEO said,  ”I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way.”






Significant change requires a change of the heart.

the-best-and-most-beautiful-things-in-the-world-cannot-be-seen-or-even-touched-they-must-be-felt-with-the-heartLeading a significant change effort requires significant effort if you want to see significant results.  When it comes to this large of a change, John Maxwell says, “People don’t need to turn over a new leaf, they need a new life.” In his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John teaches us that the way to a life changing experience is through the heart. 

“Leaders touch the heart before they ask for a hand.” John Maxwell

At eighteen months old, Helen Keller had a brief illness that changed her life forever.  As a result of her illness she lost her sight and hearing.  At the age of eighty-four she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her lifetime of public service. Like John Maxwell, Keller teaches us that the way to a life changing experience is through the heart. 

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller

If you want to lead through significant change, you must lead through the heart:

Start with the heart of the leader

Leaders of significant change must ensure their heart is fully dedicated to the effort and speak from their heart.  There is no other way if you want to succeed.  Your team will only follow you if they feel you are passionate, energized, and committed to reaching the goal.  John Maxwell says it like this, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

If you have traveled to a foreign country you know what happens when you speak your native language slow and loud – it doesn’t help; you are still not understood.  I have found travel much easier if I know how to communicate in the local language.  Leading through significant change is no different.  If you want to be understood you must speak the language of the heart. 

“What is uttered from the heart alone, will win the hearts of others to your own.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Finish with the heart of the team

Now that the leader of significant change is speaking from their heart, they must speak to the heart of their team. Eddie Robinson, the former Grambling State football coach who for 56 years amassed a win loss record of 408/165 put it this way, “Leadership, like coaching, is fighting for the hearts and souls of men and getting them to believe in you.”

Another great college coach, Mike Krzyzewski from Duke basketball, not only successfully coached basketball, he wrote a book on lessons in leadership titled Leading With The Heart.  Coach K is quoted as saying, “A common mistake among those who work in sport is spending a disproportionate amount of time on the ‘x’s and o’s’ as compared to time spent learning about people.”

You see, it’s been said, “People won’t remember what you did.  People won’t remember what you said.  But people will always remember the way you made them feel.”  This feeling comes from the heart of the leader, through the heart of the team.


Leadership isn’t something you do; it’s the life you live.

LEADERSSHIP-QUOTES-4-EMPOWER-OTHERS1A life of leadership is focused on helping others grow so they can achieve their maximum potential.  That sure sounds altruistic.  Well it’s more than that.  Read on to find out how living a life of leadership will bring your personal success.

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Before you say “I can’t”, you pass by “I can.” – Part 2

In my last blog I discussed believing in yourself and choosing “I can if,” and not “I can’t because,” when faced with struggles or doubt.

Sometimes it isn’t enough to be the only one who believes in yourself – what do you do then? 

The success of a journey often depends more on who you are with than where you are going.”
Read More…

Now Is The Time To Share What You Know

Each year I get together with about one hundred leaders from around the world to be mentored by John Maxwell over several days.

John and his team take us places we might never see on our own, where we learn about leadership from the best. This year was Boston’s Fenway Park where we talked with Hall of Fame Red Sox great Jim Rice.

Along with lessons on leadership from Jim Rice, we all took batting practice and had the chance to shag fly balls in the outfield.

Jim told us how he was mentored as a ball player throughout his life. He honed his athletic ability in his neighborhood growing up with older kids where he learned how to work hard to be better every day. The art of catching a fly ball off the Green Monster came from Carl Yastrzemski when Jim was a rookie. Ted Williams showed him how to hit out of a slump before Rice was in a slump.

He then showed all one hundred of us how to swing the bat to ensure a single the way Ted Williams taught him. Wow, batting lessons from a hall of famer – it doesn’t get better than that.

Jim Rice taught me that sharing what you know with others is best done before they need to use your knowledge.

Listen While You Work

“Leadership is influence, nothing more nothing less.”  I learned this from John Maxwell and I teach it to everyone I mentor.  The beginning of influence is trust, and trying to influence another person without first eliciting trust is as futile as trying to boil water outside of a kettle.  Trust, like the kettle, is the vessel in which all things work together to generate powerful action.

Developing trust comes from understanding one another.  Ralph Nichols, an expert in the field of listening, says, “The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”

If you think about the command and control leadership style, you can picture the leader in front of a room filled with their employees and a microphone in their hand. They talk from the beginning of the meeting to the end of the meeting; telling their team what they need to hear.  That style of leader doesn’t understand their team, won’t develop trust with their team, and can’t influence their team.

Kevin Turner, the COO of Microsoft and former CEO of Sam’s Club once described the secret to Sam Walton’s success.  He said, “Walton didn’t have an open door policy; he had an open ear policy.”

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