John Maxwell on Leadership: “Follow Me, I’m Right Behind You…”


by jeremywaite

Not too long ago I went to a seminar just to hear someone because I knew he charged $100,000 a day to speak.  What could anyone possibly say to justify that kind of rate?

Was he going to deliver a few long and eloquent speeches?  Was he going to regale us with tales of celebrities and presidents?  Maybe he’d spend 5 hours telling us how he became so successful I thought.  I hoped not.  I could read that in one of his many books.  What I was hoping for was that he might actually say something genuinely remarkable.  Something life-changing.  Perhaps even just one thing that I could take away…

In actual fact, he gave me more than I could ever have hoped for.  The speaker was New York Times best-selling author, John Maxwell.  He started many of his sentences with the phrase, “If you just put into action what I’m about to tell you in the next 3 minutes, this advice will change your life”.  If you charge big bucks – you need to make big statements right?

Well… his big statements were very big.  Better still, they delivered.  He spoke four sessions of exactly an hour, sat on a bar stool, with no notes and no slides, to a room of 3000 people who were literally eating out of his hand.  It was edge of your seat stuff and you didn’t want to miss a thing he was saying.  I wrote down everything he said as fast as I could.  (And yes, I did say that he spoke with NO notes). So much for limited attention spans.  It was an impressive display.

I wouldn’t complain if the only business advice I ever received was that which John Maxwell gave to me that rainy Thursday.  He was outstanding.  Looking back, I imagine his advice would have generated millions of pounds in increased revenue if the business leaders there put into practise the principles and lessons he spoke about.

So what did he say that was SO special???

There were two things that I remember most from what John told me that day…

  1. How will your name be remembered? When you’re gone, people will sum up your life in one sentence. You decide NOW what you want that to be. (Don’t let them decide for you).
  2. What makes an AMAZING leader?

It’s that second question I want to tell you about.  John Maxwell isn’t just a speaker who knows his onions, he lives what he teaches at the highest level everyday.  As a key advisor to the last four presidents, world leaders and CEO’s including Bill Gates, if anyone wants to learn anything about leadership, John is your man.

To a packed auditorium of 3,000 entrepreneurs, he spoke about something he noticed when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.  At that time George W. Bush was the president of the USA and he did what any good president would do.  He jumped into Marine One and flew straight to New Orleans.  Looking down on the devastation and destruction he tried to understand what the people might be going though.  Landing on high ground he then gave a press conference to the worlds media, talking about the unlimited support that the US government was to give the people of Louisiana.

Bill Clinton didn’t do that.  He wasn’t president.  He didn’t even need to go.  Without fanfare he drove straight into the heart of the flooded area, rolled up his sleeves and got to work helping with the clean up operation.  He stood side by side with the emergency workers and got stuck in.

That tiny vignette sums up for me the difference between a good leader and a great leader.

Bill Clinton = “I feel your pain.  I’m right here alongside you”.

George W. Bush = “This is what we’re going to do.  I hope you like it”.

It’s the difference between leading from the front and leading from the middle of the pack.  For all you soccer fans, there’s a reason why the captain of your team is usually a mid-fielder and not a striker.  Leaders need to be like generals, directing troops from the heart of the action.

Some leaders have that position because of their title. Other people are leaders because people want to follow them.

Leadership like George W’s still works well, it just doesn’t inspire anyone. Many people need their leader to tell them what to do.  It inspires confidence.  But now that he is not president is George W still a leader?

Similarly, ask anyone who ever worked with Bill Clinton if they still see him as a leader.  People will tell you how he always remembered their name.  (No Monica jokes please). They’d tell you how if you talked to him briefly in a crowded room, he made you feel like you were the only person in that room that mattered.  For me, that’s leadership.

A leader without any real followers isn’t a leader at all, he’s just taking a walk on his own. (That same truth applies in the world of Twitter – think about it)…

I’ll always remember the iconic image that will always be associated with George W’s reign as president.  Bull horn in hand, he stood on top of the rubble at ground zero after 9/11 and addressed the emergency workers.  Part of his rousing speech included the line, “…soon everyone will be able to hear”.

It sounded like fighting talk.  A leader letting the terrorists know that America was about to kick their ass.  Emotions were high and it sounded like a strong leader delivering the perfect line at the perfect time.  Truth is, the bull-horn wasn’t working and some guy shouted that he couldn’t hear George W talking.  The line was actually directed at the workers in from of him, “Well theses guys can hear and soon everyone will be able to hear”.  In context, it doesn’t quite make headlines does it?  The bull-horn started working and he gave his speech, but those few words are the ones that people (and especially the media) remember.

A serendipitous moment of accidental leadership or inspired words?  All I know is that real leaders don’t usually shout from mountain tops.  They usually get down and dirty in the crowd because that’s where real change usually begins.

Among the many things that John taught me that day in Bradford, learning about the kind of leader I’d like to become was the thing I remember the most. £100,000 a day?  Worth every penny.

[John has got a great blog and gives away podcasts for free on iTunes, so if you want more of the Maxwell, go and discover him for yourself].

About these ads

Etiquetado:, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cruces, Sol y La Imaginación

Cuando la imaginación y la creatividad suman infinito

MarketingActivo

el mundo del marketing se activa para ti

tranquicomix

fanzine bejarano de historietas hecho en los 80

A Stairway To Fashion

contact: ralucastoica23@gmail.com

Vinod833's Blog

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Apasionada de las Redes Sociales

Compartir conocimientos 2.0 y Marketing Online

Zona de Promesas

Tecnología - Internet - Redes Sociales - Entrepreneurship - Música - Economía - Innovación

Top Master | Blog

LOS PROGRAMAS DE MBA Y POSTGRADO MAS INFLUYENTES DE TODO EL MUNDO

La realidad alterna

Diario de sueños, cuentos, poesías y una novela en proceso

TechCrunch

Startup and Technology News

Unencumbered by Facts

Taking unsubstantiation to new levels

Carlos Cordero

Blog de tecnología

PsicoEmocions Blog

Un Pont entre la Psique i les Emocions

TEA PTLS NACHO

AUTISMO.TEA..PTLS

Comunicación & Marketing

De Lilian Lanzieri

Xtratexia

Dirección estratégica para la vida

Silvia Altamirano

An editorial designer that writes

StellarHIRE Partners

Founding Partner, StellarHire Partners - Executive Search Consultants. Recent engagements include Eloqua, SFDC, Tibco and Veeam.

ivanbrunpr's Blog

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

Matt on Not-WordPress

Stuff and things.

BLOGTEC

Noticias de Tecnologia.

Talento en Expansión

Tendencias y Mejores Prácticas en la Gestión de Personas de la Empresa 2.0

Two Leaves Tea SPAIN

Great Organic Tea! ✫✫✫✫✫ Te Organico en Piramides

Escuela de Dinero

El mejor Sitio en Español sobre lo básico para entender el Dinero y sus matemáticas relacionadas.

Intentando dejar huella...

...en cada uno de los visitantes

Ideas Para la Clase.com

Portafolio de experiencias en la clase de español para Middle School.

littlegreybox

Travel & Lifestyle Blog

déborah rueda

Un sitio más pero diferente sobre marketing on line

No solo los 80's

La mejor música de la historia

Molly Balloon's Blog

Identity + Dressing + Colour

El OJO PUBLICO. / Глаз общественности

Ver para contar & contar para ver. / Чтобы рассказать

Think Creative Idea

Marketing, publicidad, web y negocios

Social Media y más

Social Media, Redes Sociales, Marketing, SEO

The Coaching Alliance

El camino hacia el éxito

Luces y sombras de las marcas

Social Media, Marketing y Comunicación

CNN en Español: Ultimas Noticias de Estados Unidos, Latinoamérica y el Mundo, Opinión y Videos

Ultimas Noticias de Estados Unidos, Latinoamérica y el Mundo, Opinión y Videos

Javier GM Photography - México y más.

“Un fotógrafo tiene que ser auténtico y en sus fotografías, debe expresar emociones, provocar reacciones y despertar pasiones..” ~ Javier García-Moreno E.

Natalia Gómez del Pozuelo

Experta en comunicación y oratoria

aloyn

Alimentación, ocio y negocios, ALOYN, es un Grupo dirigido a Directivos y Propietarios de empresas, interesados en el mundo de la industria de alimentación y bebidas. Tanto por la parte de la industria productora como por la parte de la industria consumidora y/o distribuidora (Distribución Comercial, Horeca, Vending, Venta Directa, etc). También nos interesan las actividades ligadas al agroturismo y el enoturismo como magníficas actividades de promoción y difusión de la cultura gastronómica.

Blog de Jack Moreno

Un blog de Joaquín Moreno sobre recursos, literatura y ciencia ficción

Mashamour

Ensalada de Manjares

Infographic List

For those who love Infographics - www.infographiclist.com

URieLaRtE

hay que ser libre para ser uno mismo

Seguir

Recibe cada nueva publicación en tu buzón de correo electrónico.

Únete a otros 1.668 seguidores

%d personas les gusta esto: