Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Great leadership quotes from John Maxwell

No person has influenced my understanding of leadership more than John Maxwell. He began his ministry in a small church in my home state of Indiana and later pastored the largest church in the denomination in which he served. As he began to develop leadership materials he found that God was giving him favor with the business world as well as the church, and he felt led to resign his church to focus his full energy and efforts in training leaders. A prolific writer and conference speaker, he has trained tens of thousands of leaders throughout the world.

From the first time I read The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (10th Anniversary Edition) I knew I had found someone to teach me the leadership principles I needed to better serve my church. A few years later I took several members of our church to a conference he was leading and purchased some materials that we used to teach our church about leadership and lay ministry. We used that material for six months to train our people, and it revolutionized our congregation.

Let me share just a few of his quotes that have greatly influenced my leadership.

  • Everything rises and falls on leadership.
  • Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person's level of effectiveness. The lower an individual's ability to lead, the lower the lid on his potential. The higher the leadership, the greater the effectiveness.
  • The ability to lead is really a collection of skills, nearly all of which can be learned and improved.
  • Trust is the foundation of leadership. To build trust, a leader must exemplify these qualities: competence, connection, and character.
  • The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.
  • If you are in a leadership position, do not rely on your title to convince people to follow you. Build relationships. Win people over. Do that and you will never be a lonely leader.
  • No matter if you're just starting out or if you are at the peak of your career, the more you work in your strength zone, the more successful you will be.
  • If you are not willing to take a risk, then you really have no business being a leader.
  • One of the primary responsibilities of a successful leader is to identify potential leaders.
  • When you are trying to connect with people, it's not about you - it's about them. If you want to connect with others, you have to get over yourself. You have to change the focus from inward to outward, off of yourself and onto others.
  • One is too small a number to achieve greatness. You cannot do anything of real value alone.
  • Leadership rises and falls on communication. You must be able to communicate to lead others effectively.
  • No one improves by accident. Personal growth doesn't just happen on its own.
  • You cannot win if you do not begin! The people who get ahead in the world are the ones who look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, they make them.
  • We tend to get in life what we are willing to tolerate. If we allow others to disrespect us, we get disrespected. If we tolerate abuse, we get abused. If we think it's okay to be overworked and underpaid, guess what will happen? If we don't have a plan and purpose for our lives, we will become part of someone else's!
  • Rubber bands are only useful when they are stretched! That can also be said of us.
This is just a small sample of things I've read in his books that have influenced my life, my ministry, and my leadership. If you have not read his books or attended any of his conferences, I would suggest you do so. I would recommend starting with the book mentioned above and then pick others based upon your needs at the time. Our churches need strong leaders, and as you continually develop as a leader it will have a positive impact on your church and everything else you do.

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