John C. Maxwell is an American motivational speaker and author to many bestselling books on leadership. Some of his most famous books are ‘The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership’, ‘The 15 invaluable laws of growth’ and ‘5 levels of leadership’. He served as pastor for many years before making a shift in his career to be more devoted in public speaking. We have listed below some of his most valuable lessons:
1. To Value Today
As John puts it, success in anything is more of a daily thing. It is decided by the daily agenda you follow. Keep in mind that today matters. Decision making and managing that decision daily are altogether different things. It is good that you visualize tomorrow, that offcourse is your goal but important thing is to value today. Consider what efforts you put in daily that take you toward your goal. Your daily schedule will decide whether you are repairing yesterday’s mistakes or preparing for moving towards your goals. Remember your every step is a progressive realization of your goal. You work all life to become overnight success
2. Attitude is difference marker
Many people say that attitude is everything but John says that it is important but not everything. He believes that attitude basically is the difference marker between two people with equal capabilities and caliber. It is the main thing when competence is equal.
3. Work Smart
You have two different aspect of your personality. One aspect is in the area of choices in which you can make big difference by working on them. For example attitude, you can change massively in this area just by changing your choice to improve. In such areas it is better to work on your weaknesses. But the other aspect of your personality where your growth will be slow even when you make big efforts like in giftedness, you need to work on your strengths.
4. Make Trade-Offs
John says that at every step of your life, you need to trade-off something. You need to give something to receive something better or of your liking. As you move higher and become more successful you will need to have higher trade-offs. You will need to trade-off your comfort for growth, office hours for family time and so on. You have to give up in order to go up.
5. Add Value To People
Adding value to people can be the best contribution that a leader can give. One should become a leader for this rather than for just getting a position in hierarchy. To add value to people you are required to make yourself more valuable. Always keep learning and increase your capabilities because you can’t give what you don’t have. Best leaders will get to know their people and relate through them what they value.
6. Lead By Example
To be successful and a leader in your circle you need to lead by example. If people see that you do what you preach, then they surely will follow you. People do what they see and not what they are told. They want to see that if any difficulties come their leader stand in front and face them first. They want you to guide them and give strength to the organization. If a leader doesn’t do so there will be loss of morale and enthusiasm in team.
7. Ask More Questions
There are few bosses who want to give the impression that they know everything and are in command on every issue. But a true leader is pretty good at asking questions. Your vision increases when you seek answers to these questions. You will be learning a lot once you start asking more intelligent questions. If you don’t ask questions, there will be no new ideas. Be very curious and remain on path to learning
8. Now Is The Time
Understand the importance of being in present, don’t procrastinate and never leave a task that you start unfinished. Your goals may be difficult to achieve but leaving them midway will hurt you for long time to come. Don’t settle for comfort to avoid the rigors of today. When challenge arises, face it and never sell your mission for comfort. Don’t fail to realize the importance of present because you will never get back the wasted time.
9. Connect And Communicate
For success in personal and professional life the skill of effective communication will always give you a very decisive edge. You should Communicate to Connect. The most significant requirements in a leader are vision, consensus, charisma and trustworthiness. All these are qualities that give you ability to identify and relate to people and increase your influence with them. Getting along with people and connecting with them is the one must have skill if you want to be a good leader.
10. Find Your Purpose
Finding your ‘why’ and knowing your purpose is very important because the knowledge of purpose gives you immense confidence and become your anchor. It is said that those who have a strong ‘why’ will definitely get to their goals. Any task that is worth doing will have it’s own share of hurdles and only those who are driven with a strong sense of purpose will be able to overcome them.
11. Self Discipline
Nobody can overlook the importance of self discipline. All the qualities described above will be wasted if the leader doesn’t have self discipline. As Elbert Hubbard said, “Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not”. Just do it.
12. Find Mentors
Nobody has all the knowledge. Find mentors, those who have already traveled that path prior to you. The guidance you will receive from them will save you years in learning by yourself. There is no shortage of knowledge rather a shortage of people who want to be educated. John advises, “One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.”
Follow these few golden rules for success and happiness in your life.
Also read: Golden rules by Warren Buffet