Walking the Talk – John C. Maxwell
Perhaps you can understand this? Have you ever had very high expectations of someone? Maybe you have been a fan or at least followed someone who appears to be larger than life? My experience proves that often high expectations of others in those positions leads to low-levels of continual disappointment.
What a buzz kill.
This week I was able to meet and spend time in the presence of John C. Maxwell. I’m not an autograph kind of in your face Maxwell fan. I like to offer people space – I am more of a casual observer. As it should be because I am on John’s Team as a coach, speaker and trainer. I’m here to add to my skills vault and add value to others. This was my first opportunity to see John at work and learn about his value systems in action. What I am finding out may surprise you.
“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” – John C. Maxwell
The fact is John C. Maxwell is perhaps one of the hardest working leaders I have ever met. From the moment, he shows up, and he comes early – he is available. He is truly interested in people and yesterday alone spent many hours posing for pictures, shaking hands and signing books. He then immediately came into the session and spoke for four hours. I am not sure when he had the chance to dine because right after that he was available again. Last night we celebrated his birthday.
Happy birthday John.
He looked at us all and said, “I’m here – whatever you want to do.” (Another several hour photo shoot and meet and greet.) John served his team on his birthday.
There is something very authentic about a leader who actually likes the people he is leading. The truth is there is some great teaching going on this week; however, my largest lessons are coming from my observations.
“Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.” – John C. Maxwell
Here are my Top 5 observational lessons from John Maxwell.
- John is completely available – He really values people and is here to serve. He stays connected to those around him and in the moment.
- John’s hair gets messy – When you work hard and invest in people it takes a lot of energy. John doesn’t fuss about his hair getting messy or cake spilling on his coat. He is an authentic leader who enjoys life.
- John bleeds his cause – “Everything rises and falls on leadership” – To John this statement is a calling. He has dedicated his life to improving people’s ability to lead so that people can be led well.
- John’s authenticity runs deep – As a person of faith and of people – John truly does walk the talk. (And he talks a lot.)
- John is a transformational leader – His efforts are naturally multiplied. I believe this is because he is value driven and dedicated to becoming his best self.
Perhaps for the first time I have witnessed the reason behind his success. Notoriety has not gone to John’s head, and he doesn’t teach on anything he does not live himself.
Reflecting over the last several days I’m finding that I have some work to do as a leader. I need to find ways to increase my energy level and connect with people more deeply. I see even greater opportunity in living out the servant leadership model, and the impact it can make on the universe.
For now, the biggest lesson learned is that I can coach, speak and train with extreme confidence – knowing that my team captain is the real deal.
What leadership quality do you value the most? Why?