John C. Maxwell is an American author, speaker, and pastor who has written many books, primarily focusing on leadership. Reaching more than 350,000 people a year through speaking engagements alone, and over a million through resources, he is committed to developing leaders of excellence and integrity by providing the finest resources and training for personal and professional growth. He has communicated his leadership principles to Fortune 500 companies, the United States Military Academy at West Point, and sports organizations such as the NCAA, the NBA, and the NFL. Here are our favorite quotes from Maxwell:
“The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.” If you make a few key decisions and then manage them well in your daily agenda, you will succeed. You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. Success doesn’t just suddenly occur one day in your life. Conversely, neither does failure. Each is a process. Maxwell says that every day of your life is merely preparation for the next. What you become is the result of what you do today. In other words, you are preparing for something. The question is, what are you preparing for?
“If you are a leader, you should never forget that everyone needs encouragement. And everyone who receives it - young or old, successful or less-than-successful, unknown or famous - is changed by it.” It’s crucial to understand and remember the universal laws of leadership. This is one of them that works with anyone you come into contact with. The Oxford Dictionary defines the word “encourage” as “give support, confidence, or hope to someone”. Leaders need to give encouragement constantly and they should be looking for anything and everything to notice and point out. If you are not sure where to start, count how many encouraging words you give out to your team, family, and / or friends, then triple it. Watch the changes that happen with them, and with you!
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” The greatest leadership is by example. You must do, act, say, and be the person you want your team to be. Leadership is a visual thing. You cannot take others on a journey with an unknown destination. Know where you are going, and how you are going to get there. When you are showing people how to get the vision, you do it with them; you keep them close.
“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” When you speak about your vision or goal, people do not just listen to the content of your speech but they also focus on the passion and determination with which you utter your words. Your attitude towards your vision or goals can be felt in your words and seen in your eyes, which is why communication specialists stress the importance of both verbal and non-verbal communication.
“People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” Sometimes leaders have a strong vision, they even step up and set the example, but their vision or example doesn’t move others to action or change. Some people believe that if the cause is good enough, people will automatically buy into it and follow. But that’s not how it works. People don’t follow worthy causes. They follow worthy leaders who promote causes they can believe in. People buy into the leader first, then the leader’s vision.
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