Want to contribute to my next book? A few years ago, I published the book Everyone Communicates, Few Connect. If you were a blog reader back then, you’ll remember that we all worked together here on the blog to fine-tune the content for that book. Many of you submitted stories on communication, which were featured in the book.
Well, now I’m working on my next manuscript, for the book to be released in the fall of 2014. And I would love to have your help in creating the content.
The subject for this book is “answers to your top leadership questions.” Of course, I’ll be doing my best to provide the answers, but I would love to hear from you on what those top questions should be.
What burning questions have you always wanted to ask about leadership? What challenges have you faced that you’d like advice on? What is the number one thing you’d like to learn from me on the subject?
I would appreciate your help tremendously. You can help by…
Submitting a question.Visit THE SURVEY HERE and fill it out with the number one leadership question that you would like me to answer. If you have more than one question, simply fill out the form multiple times.
Tweeting this post. Go to the top of the post and look for the speech bubble that lists how many times this post has already been Tweeted. Click the “Tweet This” button below it. That will allow you to Tweet it too. The more people know about this and submit questions, the more representative the sample of questions will be.
Sharing this post in other ways. Right below the text of the post, you’ll see many options to share it, including email, Facebook and LinkedIn. Any time you share it will offer others the chance to participate.
It’s my goal to completely finish this book by the end of summer. So we’re working hard to nail down the list of questions and start working on answers as soon as possible. Please submit your question(s) as soon as you can. The deadline for all questions will be May 30, 2013.
Also, remember that my blog here is merging with Leadership Wired beginning in June 2013. If you want to keep receiving my posts, and you haven’t already signed up for Leadership Wired, click here. Then find and click the small envelope icon in the top left corner of the page. That will take you to subscription options for Leadership Wired, along with other John Maxwell Company newsletters.
Over the past four decades, I’ve spent a good part of my life working to grow and develop leaders, and the one thing I believe just as strongly today as I did forty years ago is that everything rises and falls on leadership.
Leadership is the difference maker and the deal breaker. It’s how we grow organizations. It’s how we impact lives. But, as you also know, leadership cannot be an idea we simply talk about. Leadership is the action we must live out.
For the past two years, The John Maxwell Company has been serving to help individuals and organizations live out the proven leadership principles that I teach. The purpose of The John Maxwell Company is to simply help you apply what you’ve learned through our intentional leadership development programs. Those programs include the Maximum Impact Club, public and private training events, and executive and management coaching. Now we also have Leadership Wired, the company blog.
With the move of Leadership Wired from an email newsletter to a blog, we’re excited to provide up-to-the-minute information and teaching on leadership all in one place (JohnMaxwell.com/blog). And next month, John Maxwell on Leadership will transition over to that location and become a part of Leadership Wired. I’ll still give you my current thoughts on leadership and personal growth, just at a new address.
If you’re not already subscribed to Leadership Wired, I encourage you to sign up now. When you do so, you’ll receive a free audio lesson from me. And you’ll continue to get my regular leadership blog posts. Join me today!
At Leadercast a few years ago, I fielded a very timely question.
During lunch, a young man asked,
“How does a good leader handle layoffs? Especially when they need to lay off a good and valued employee?”
Here’s what I believe:
First, I don’t think a leader should ask others to make sacrifices until he’s made some himself. So I’d examine other company expenses to see what could be sacrificed instead. So many executives, when faced with the need to cut costs, will sacrifice employees ahead of their own corporate perks. Instead of looking at the big picture, they see only their OWN picture.
But if an organization is only as strong as its weakest link, then leaders should do everything they can to avoid removing a STRONG link. A good employee is simply too valuable to let go without exhausting other options.
I do the same when hiring. I’ve always believed that if you find a good potential employee, you do whatever you can to get them on the team – even if it means creating a position or changing the budget. I once even gave up my own budgeted salary for a year in order to hire the leader I wanted to run one of my companies.
You may not be able to sacrifice your salary to keep an employee, but if they’re truly valuable, you certainly should be willing to give up the box seats at the baseball stadium, or use of the corporate jet, or your company-paid gym membership.
And after all the budget-busting, if you still need to lay good people off, then make it your goal to help them find a new position. Tell them you will be their #1 advocate. Offer to be a reference in their job hunt. Network on their behalf. Write the recommendation letter and/or make the phone call to the potential employer. Do whatever you can to ease their transition.
Finally, ask if you can remain friends even if they can no longer be on your staff. Who knows what the future may bring? Besides, as a leader, your goal should be to add value to the people you lead. When good employees leave and take a new position, it might offer them better opportunities than what you could have provided.
Originally posted May 20, 2009
I believe it is a normal human desire to be concerned about how we look on the outside. There’s nothing wrong with that. What can get us in trouble is worrying more about how we look on the outside than about how we really are on the inside. Our reputation comes from what others believe about our outside. Our character represents who we are on the inside. And the good news is that if you focus on being better on the inside than the outside, over time you will also become better on the outside. Why do I say that?
The Inside Influences the Outside
More than twenty-five hundred years ago, the Proverbs writer noted that as we think in our hearts, so we become. That ancient idea has been both echoed by other wisdom writers and confirmed by modern science. Coaches teach the importance of visualization for winning. Psychologists point out the power of self-image on people’s actions. Doctors note the impact of positive attitude and hope on healing.
What we believe really matters. We reap what we sow. What we do or neglect to do in the privacy of our daily lives impacts who we are. If you neglect your heart, mind, and soul, it changes who you are on the outside as well as the inside.
Inside Victories Precede Outside Ones
If you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, then someday you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them. In other words, before you can do, you must be.
I have often observed people who seemed to be doing all the right things on the outside, yet they were not experiencing success. When that happens, I usually conclude that something is wrong on the inside and needs to be changed. The right motions outwardly with wrong motives inwardly will not bring lasting progress. Right outward talking with wrong inward thinking will not bring lasting success. Expressions of care on the outside with a heart of hatred or contempt on the inside will not bring lasting peace. Continual growth and lasting success are the result of aligning the inside and the outside of our lives. And getting the inside right must come first—with solid character traits that provide the foundation for growth.
Our Inside Development Is Totally within Our Control
We often cannot determine what happens to us, but we can always determine what happens within us. Jim Rohn said,
Character is a quality that embodies many important traits such as integrity, courage, perseverance, confidence, and wisdom. Unlike your fingerprints that you were born with and can’t change, character is something that you create within yourself and must take responsibility for changing.
When we fail to make the right character choices within us, we give away ownership of ourselves. We belong to others—to whatever gains control of us. And that puts us in a bad place. How can you ever reach your potential and become the person you can be if others are making your choices for you?
Doug Firebaugh, author and multi-level marketing expert, says, “Winning in life is more than just money…it’s about winning on the inside…and knowing that you have played the game of life with all you had…and then some.” If you want to be successful, you must prioritize building your inside ahead of your outside.
Several years ago, teenage millionaire phenomenon Farrah Gray wrote a book called Reallionaire. He coined the term to describe “someone who has discovered that there is more to money than having money. A person who understands that success is not just about being rich in your pocket; you have to be rich on the inside, too.” At a tender age, he recognized that money without a strong character foundation can lead not to success but to ruin. If you have any doubt, just look at the number of famous child actors and young pop stars who have crashed and burned. Their stories are often sad because they focused on the externals of life instead of building internally to give themselves a strong foundation when fame and fortune came. Theirs is a fate we need to work hard to avoid by focusing on improving on the inside more than the outside.