Harvey Mackay: John Maxwell offers wise views on leadership
BY HARVEY MACKAY United Feature Syndicate
Sunday, March 03, 2013
3/03/13 at 4:13 AM
Follow the leader. It's more than just a child's game; it's a fundamental skill in business.
John Maxwell is one of the most respected experts in the field of leadership. He's written more than 70 books, most of which focus on the topic. Many have graced the New York Times best-seller list.
You may have heard John preach on the Hour of Power broadcasts from the Crystal Cathedral. John's clients range from an NFL team to West Point and a Fortune 500 company.
He's the source of countless quotes that inspire the lives of millions of people.
John Maxwell offered up so many golden nuggets when I recently interviewed him that I want to share some of them with you.
John warns: "Too often we get to the top of the mountain and say, 'Here we are as leaders. Come up here and join me.' We don't understand that you've got to go to where the people are.
"The first responsibility of a leader is to find out where people are and connect with them. Then when you connect with them, you can relate to them, and you can move them."
Relationships are the foundation of leadership. You have to develop trust.
As John says, "People won't go along with you until they get along with you." You have to get close to your people and connect with them. This goes against the previous generation, which felt there needed to be distance between leaders and their people.
I asked John, "What kinds of leadership experiences do businesspeople often lack?"
He talked about how most people believe that experience is the best teacher, but he disagrees.
"Experience is essential to successful leadership, although I don't think experience is the best teacher," John said. "Just because you are getting older and more experienced doesn't mean you're getting better. I know a lot of people who are getting older, but ... they're not getting any better. They're not growing. They're not learning."
John also talked about the Achilles heel for a lot of leaders: They get a little momentum going, and they celebrate but don't reflect. He thinks leaders should do more reflection.
To reflect on his experiences, John asks, "What did I learn? What am I learning at this stage? And what am I going to change?"
John feels everyone should have a growth plan. He believes you need to discover your strengths and grow them through a daily plan. "Don't take the time to focus on your weak areas, because all you will do is get to average," he warns. "And people don't pay for average."
John believes you have to do one more thing. Every morning you have to ask yourself the question, "Who can I add value to today?"
Mackay's Moral: "A successful person finds the right place for himself. But a successful leader finds the right place for others." - John Maxwell
Original Print Headline: Effective leadership is about connecting
Harvey Mackay is the author of the New York Times best-seller "Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive." To send him a question or comment, go to tulsaworld.com/mackayfeedback.