36 Lessons on Leadership From John C. Maxwell

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

There are two kinds of pride, both good and bad. ‘Good pride’ represents our dignity and self-respect. ‘Bad pride’ is the deadly sin of superiority that reeks of conceit and arrogance.

People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.

Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.

Inability to make decisions is one of the principal reasons executives fail. Deficiency in decision-making ranks much higher than lack of specific knowledge or technical know-how as an indicator of leadership failure.

Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.

Failed plans should not be interpreted as a failed vision. Visions don’t change, they are only refined. Plans rarely stay the same, and are scrapped or adjusted as needed. Be stubborn about the vision, but flexible with your plan.

Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have.

Self-centered leaders manipulate when they move people for personal benefit. Mature leaders motivate by moving people for mutual benefit.

When a person starts to talk about their dreams, it’s as if something bubbles up from within. Their eyes brighten, their face glows, and you can feel the excitement in their words.

The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.

Success comes to those who have an entire mountain of gold that they continually mine, not those who find one nugget and try to live on it for fifty years.

36 Lessons on Leadership From John C. Maxwell

Children astound me with their inquisitive minds. The world is wide and mysterious to them, and as they piece together the puzzle of life, they ask ‘Why?’ ceaselessly.

Live to learn, and you will really learn to live.

Everyone has the potential to become an encourager. You don’t have to be rich. You don’t have to be a genius. You don’t have to have it all together. All you have to do is care about people and initiate.

Good leaders must communicate vision clearly, creatively, and continually. However, the vision doesn’t come alive until the leader models it.

The best leaders are readers of people. They have the intuitive ability to understand others by discerning how they feel and recognizing what they sense.

People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.

People who add value to others do so intentionally. I say that because to add value, leaders must give of themselves, and that rarely occurs by accident.

Leadership is influence.

People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their overall purpose in life.

As a leader, the first person I need to lead is me. The first person that I should try to change is me.

Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.

A word of encouragement from a teacher to a child can change a life. A word of encouragement from a spouse can save a marriage. A word of encouragement from a leader can inspire a person to reach her potential.

36 Lessons on Leadership From John C. Maxwell

When you are full of pride on the inside, it makes you stiff, stubborn, and creates strife with others.

The best way a mentor can prepare another leader is to expose him or her to other great people.

Growth demands a temporary surrender of security. It may mean giving up familiar but limiting patterns, safe but unrewarding work, values no longer believed in, and relationships that have lost their meaning.

The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.

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.

When your dream is bigger than you are, you only have two choices: give up or get help.

Your attitude towards failure determines your altitude after failure.

Leaders who are kind of insecure or egocentric, they basically sabotage themselves.

A minute of thought is greater than an hour of talk.

In the end, people are persuaded not by what we say, but by what they understand.

To remain a credible leader, I must always work first, hardest, and longest on changing myself. This is neither easy nor natural, but it is essential.

Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it’s almost always due to personal growth.

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