Leadership 101 - John C. Maxwell

Leadership 101 - John C. Maxwell

Develop your leadership by training the right fundamentals. Find out how they can be more uncomplicated and accessible than you think!

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The fundamentals of leadership can be more uncomplicated and accessible than most experts make them out to be. This is where author John Maxwell stands out.

Based on more than twenty years of experience, Maxwell talks about the key points of leadership with wisdom, naturalness and objectivity.

He shows in his book that the higher you want to climb, the greater your need to lead, and that the greater the impact you want to make, the more influential you need to be.

Want to know how to do this? Then read on!

The book “Leadership 101”

Released in 2016, “Leadership 101” was written by John Maxwell. This work belongs to the series “The 4 Secrets of Success” and offers the basic principles that guided Maxwell throughout his journey.

The series consists of the books: “Secrets Of Empowerment”, “Secrets Of Attitude”, “Secrets Of Relationship” and “Secrets Of Leadership”.

Who is John C. Maxwell?

John Calvin Maxwell was born in 1947, in the United States, is a leadership expert (lecturer), founder of EQUIP and John Maxwell Company.

In addition, Maxwell is considered the number one business leader by the American Management Association and the world’s most influential leadership expert by Business Insider.

He has sold over 30 million books, including The Golden Book of Leadership, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, and Developing The Leader Within You 2.0.

Why should I read “Leadership 101”?

If you are working in a career that requires outstanding personal skills, this is certainly for you. What’s more, you don’t even have to be a leader before you can enjoy this book.

Easily and directly, but authoritatively, “Leadership Secrets” brings together timeless principles and guidance on how to develop the true skills of a true leader: influence, integrity, attitude, vision, self-discipline, and problem-solving skills.

What can I learn from “Leadership 101”?

  • “Leadership is a gradual process, it develops gradually, not overnight”;
  • “The first person you lead is yourself”;
  • “To become a true leader have self-discipline”;
  • “Trust is the foundation of leadership”;
  • “The true measure of leadership is an influence. Without influence there is no leadership”;
  • “Success is not measured by what you have done, but by what you have left behind”.

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[Book Summary] Leadership 101 - John C. Maxwell

How do I become a leader?

Anyone hoping to become a leader will one day realize that this thinking is incorrect. Maxwell says:

“Becoming a leader is a lot like successfully investing in the stock market. Who expects to make a fortune in one day will not be successful. The most important thing is what is done in the long run.”

In other words, the key to success lies in day-to-day responsibilities. If you keep investing in your personal growth toward leadership, the only result will inevitably be development.

Although we know that some individuals are born with the ability to lead, there are also those who learn to lead. Leadership is a set of skills that can be learned and honed.

Regardless of whether you have the natural ability to lead or not, your growth and progress are likely to come according to the four stages of leadership development:

Stage One - I Don't Know What I Don’t Know

Not believing in the value of leadership is a common thought shared by many people. Disbelieving in the opportunities that arise when we have the ability to lead is a common mistake.

According to John C. Maxwell:

To have leadership is to have influence and that, in the course of each day, most individuals usually try to influence at least four people. Probably your desire to learn more has been stimulated. For once a person does not know what he does not know, he does not grow.”

Second phase - I know what I don't know

One Prime Minister once said:

“Being aware that you are unaware of the facts is a big step towards knowledge.”

There are times in our lives when we realize that we are unaware of a particular issue. It is then that everything becomes possible.

Maxwell tells a personal experience:

 “In 1969, when I took my first leadership position, I tried to lead people in the real world. I already considered myself a leader, but I discovered the truth, I was wrong.”

This led him to gather resources and learn from them. He wrote to the top ten leaders in his field and offered them a hundred dollars for half an hour to ask them a few questions. Those men shared experiences that he wouldn't have been able to learn otherwise.

Third phase - I develop and learn, and it starts to show up

Interesting things will happen when you recognize your lack of knowledge and begin the process of learning daily.

Don't think that it will be easy, five years from now, as your influence will increase, you will notice your progress. In ten years you will develop a skill that will make your leadership really effective. In 20 years, others will ask you for lessons on how to be a leader.

You may be a great leader, but this is a gradual process. Start preparing right now and someday you will enjoy the benefits of this process.

Fourth phase - Advancement simply because of what I know

According to Maxwell:

“By the time you reach Phase 4, your ability to lead will be almost automatic. That is when you will experience the greatest reward in the world. However, the only way to reach this stage is to recognize the process and pay the price.”

What are the Characteristics of a Leader?

The path leading to the top is arduous. Few individuals can be among the best in their profession. A smaller number is still seen as being “the best”. Success requires self-discipline.

The talents of each leader matter little, as it is only possible to reach the maximum level of such talents by self-discipline. It is she who provides the support for the leader to reach the highest level, she is the key to lasting leadership.

To achieve this it is necessary to take some actions:

  • Challenge your justifications: as François La Rochefoucauld said, “Almost all our faults are more excusable than the methods we have imagined to conceal them”.

The reasons you are not disciplined are just excuses, challenge them all and eliminate any tendency to justify yourself.

  • Cancel bonuses until work is done: bonuses motivate good employees, but demotivate when they are also given to those who don't fulfill their tasks;
  • Stay focused on results: whenever you focus on job impediments rather than results you are likely to be unmotivated.

The next time you come across an essential activity and think about what is convenient, change the focus. Think about the advantages of doing what is right, and then move on.

Jackson Brown Jr. has said:

“Talent without discipline is like a skating octopus. There’s a lot of movement, but you never know if it’s going forward, backward or sideways.”

If you know you have talent but haven’t seen much of a result, self-discipline may be what you’re missing.

How to build trust?

A very important lesson about leadership is learning about how trust works. For Maxwell,

“Trust is about winning and spending coins in your pocket.”

Whenever you make a good decision, you will earn a coin. Every time you make a failed decision, you will lose part of your coins. If a leader makes too many bad decisions one after the other, he or she will realize that there are no more coins left. This is when he will be dismissed as a leader.

There are three qualities a leader must possess to gain confidence: competence, connection, and character.

Craig Weatherup, PepsiCo’s president and CEO, says:

“People tolerate sincere mistakes, but if you betray their trust, you'll find it very difficult to win them back.

Therefore, it is necessary to treat trust as your most precious asset. One can fool the boss, however, newer colleagues or collaborators.

Influence Can Be Developed

It is very simple to know who is the leader of a group. Notice when a question has to be decided, whose opinion stands out? Who do people agree with? And who is the one everyone follows?

In “Power and Influence: Mastering the Art of Persuasion”, the author shares the idea of ​​the “power triangle”, which is made up of three components: communication, recognition, and influence. Initially, you communicate effectively. This makes it recognized, which will eventually lead to influence.

One way to increase your influence is to empower others. Possessing this skill is one of the keys to personal and professional success. By working with and through people, you will be able to do much more.

According to John C. Maxwell:

“Empowering is influencing by the purpose of personal and organizational growth. It is sharing experiences in order to invest in people's lives so that they can perform in the best way. It's to glimpse their potential by sharing resources and showing them that you totally believe in them.”

To be able to empower others, follow these steps:

  1. Evaluate people;
  2. Be a model;
  3. Let them succeed;
  4. Delegate authority;
  5. Publicly demonstrate that you trust your followers;
  6. Encourage;
  7. Release them to continue on their own.

As you progress in the development of others, you will find that many aspects of your life will improve. You will have more time to do important things in life and also make incredibly positive changes in the lives of many people.

Books about leadership

Daniel Goleman, in his book “Focus”, says that every effective leader should focus the attention of the company where it is most needed and productive. Pay attention to their behaviors and the effects of their actions. Leadership requires knowing your values and communicating your vision to inspire and motivate others.

Another work that also talks about leadership is the “The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership Powered Company”. Its authors, Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter and James Noel, share that leadership is a skill set that can be learned and must be practiced.

Another book of John C. Maxwell, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, will explain each one of those main laws to be a great and exceptional leader. Check it out!

How can I apply the ideas from “Leadership 101”?

Every leader eventually turns away from his company in one way or another. You can change companies, retire, change jobs, or even the inevitable of life, leave this world.

So part of a leader’s job is to prepare people and the organization for what comes after their departure. For, as Chris Musgrove said:

“Success is not measured by what you have done, but by what you have left behind.

In the end, your leadership will not be measured by your personal accomplishments, not even the achievements of your team or company. She will be judged by the outcome of her staff and organization upon her departure. The lasting value will be assessed by your legacy.

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Leadership 101 - John C. Maxwell