Developing the Leader
By: John Maxwell
Summarized by: George H.
· The key to success in any endeavor is the ability to lead others successfully.
· Everything rises and falls on leadership. You cannot produce consistently on a level higher than your leadership.
· How an employee performs is a reflection of the one for whom he works for..
· Leadership can be taught. A group of tourists were visiting a picturesque village and they asked "were any great men born in this village?" , the old man replied "no, only babies."
· There are very few books on leadership, most deal with management.
Five characters that set the leader manager apart from the regular one:
1- They are long term thinkers.
2- Constantly reaching beyond their areas of influence.
3- Emphasis on vision, values and motivation
4- Strong political skills.
5- Don't accept the status quo.
· People don't want to be managed, they want to be led.
* Knowing how to do a job is the job of labor.
* Showing others is the accomplishment of a teacher.
* Making sure the work is done by others is the accomplishment of a manager.
* Inspiring others to do better work is the accomplishment of a leader.
· In his book Wind of Fire, Larson points out some interesting facts about Sandhill Cranes:
"These large birds, who fly great distances across continents, have remarkable qualities
1- They rotate leadership.
2- They choose who can handle turbulence.
3- when one bird is leading, the rest are honking their affirmation.
1- The Definition of Leadership:
· Everyone talks about it; few understand it. Most people want it; few achieve it. Leadership is influence. He who thinks he is a leader and has no one following him is only taking a walk. Leadership is the ability to obtain followers.
· If an issue is to be decided, who is the person whose opinion seems most valuable.
· There have been meetings of only a moment which have left impressions for life, for eternity.
No one can understand that mysterious thing we call influence..
Yet everyone of us continually exerts influence, either to heal, to bless, to leave marks of beauty; or to wound, to hurt, to poison, to stain lives.
· Leadership is getting people to work for you when they are not obligated.
People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Leadership begins in the heart, not the head.
· You can love people without leading them, but you cannot lead people without loving them.
· A leadership is great not because of his or her power, but because of his ability to empower others.
2. The key to leadership:
· The two most difficult tasks to get others to do is, to think, and to do things in order of importance.
· 20/80 rule, 20% of the people do 80% of the work.
· You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.
William James said that the art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.
· Efficiency is the foundation of survival. Effectiveness is the foundation of success.
· It is not how hard you work, it is how smart you work.
· Organize or agonize. A life in which anything goes will ultimately be a life in which nothing goes.
· Evaluate or Stalemate. Decide what to do and do it, however, decide what not to do and don't do it. The last thing one knows is what to put first.
· The leader can give up anything except final responsibility.
· Life is too short not to be fun.
· Priority principle, priorities never stay put.
· You can't have it all. 95% of achieving anything is knowing what you want.
· Too many priorities paralyze us. When little priorities demand too much of us, big problems arise
Robert J. Mckain said "The reason most major goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first." Some years ago a headline told of hundreds of whales that suddenly died. The whales were pursuing sardines and found themselves marooned in bay. The small fish lured the sea giant to their death. They came to their violent end by chasing small things. Often the little things trip us up in life.
· Too often we learn too late what is really important.
3. The most important ingredient of leadership:
· When I have integrity, my words and my deeds match up. I am who I am, no matter where I am or who I am with.
· People with integrity have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. Their lives are open books.
· Integrity is not what we do so much as who we are. And who we are in turn determines what we do.
· Integrity builds trust.
Cavett Robert said "if my people understand me, I'll get their attention. If my people trust me, I'll get their action."
· Integrity facilitates high standards. Leaders must live by higher standards than their followers.
John Rockefeller said "I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity an obligation; every possession a duty." Too many people are ready to assert their rights, but not to assume their responsibilities.
· Integrity results in a solid reputation, not just an image. Image is what people think we are. Integrity is what we really are.
· In ancient China people wanted security so they build the great wall. As they settled back to enjoy their security they were invaded three times, not once did the invaders break the wall or climbed over it. Each time they bribed the gatekeeper and marched right in. The Chinese were so busy relying on walls of stone that they forgot to teach integrity to their children.
· Integrity means living it myself before leading others.
· Integrity helps a leader be credible not just clever. Leaders who are sincere don't have to advertise that fact. It's visible in everything they do.
· Billy Graham said "Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost."
· When we sell out to someone else, we sell out ourselves as told by this poem:
Still of old, Men by themselves are priced- For thirty pieces Judas sold Himself, not Christ.
· As leaders our decision not only adversely affect us, but affect those who follow us.
4- The Ultimate Test of Leadership:
CREATING POSITIVE CHANGE
· Change the leader, Change the organization. Everything rises and falls on leadership.
· Profile of a leader in trouble: poor understanding of people, lacks imagination, personal problems, not organized, flies into rage, will not take a risk, insecure, inflexible, no team spirit, fights change.
· There is nothing more difficult to undertake, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than the introduction of change.
· Have you changed lately, have you grown, if so how? If you want to continue leading you must continue changing. To be a leader you must preserve all through your life the attitude of being receptive to new ideas.
· A leader should be a change agent. Change equals growth. When you're through changing, you're through.
· Decisions should be made at the lowest level possible, because of close proximity to the issue.
· People resist change because of fear. People are too satisfied with the way things are. Change won't happen when people are engaged in negative thinking. The leader is susceptible to criticism. Change may mean personal loss. Change requires commitment. Tradition resists change.
· The leader must develop trust with people. The leader must make personal change before asking others to change.
(Andrew Canrnegie said "As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say and more attention to what they do" Great leaders not only say what should be done, they show it.)
· You must understand the history of the organization. "Don't take the fence down until you know the reason it was put up."
· Not all change is improvement, but without change there can be no improvement.
Max Depree said: It is never too late to change.
WE CANNOT BECOME WHAT WE NEED TO BE BY REMAINING WHAT WE ARE"
5- The Quickest way to gain leadership:
· Two things are needed to effectively solve problems: The right attitude and the right action plan.
· The size of the person is more important than the size of the problem. People need to change their perspectives, not their problems.
· Problems give meaning to life. The very element that offers resistance to flying is at the same time the condition for flight. Remember the youth who was questioning a lonely old man. What is life's heaviest burden? The old fellow answered sadly: "Having nothing to carry."
· Policies are many, principles are few. Policies will change, principles never do.
· There is a world of difference between a person who has a big problem and a person who makes a problem big.
· A problem is something I can do something about. A test of a leader is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.
· We can judge leaders by the size of the problems they tackle.
· Never solve a problem for a person, solve it with that person.
· The problem solving process:
Identify the problem,
Prioritize the problem,
Define it (ask the right questions and talk to the right people, get the facts),
Collect problem causes,
select the best solutions,
6- The extra plus in leadership:
· Chuck Swindoll said " The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than the past, than education, the facts, than circumstances, than failure, than what other people think or say we do. It is more important than appearance, or skill. It will make or break a company, church or home. We have a choice everyday regarding our attitude. I am convinced that life it 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. We are in charge of our attitude.
· Our attitude is our most important asset. Walt Emerson said "what lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters to what lies within us."
· We see what we are prepared to see. Beliefs can influence attitude.
· One out of every 5 victims of fatal accidents had a quarrel within six hours before his or her accident.
· It is improbable that a person with a bad attitude can continuously be a success. We cannot continue to function in a manner that we do not truly believe about ourselves. A leader's attitude is caught by his or her followers.
· We are responsible for our attitudes. Our destinies in life will never be determined by our complaining spirits. Life is full of surprises and the adjustment of our attitudes is a lifelong project.
· The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects a change .
The leader adjusts the sail.
· The greatest day of our life is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes.
· An advisor to president Lincoln recommended a candidate. Lincoln refused saying "I don't like the man's face" The advisor said "but sir he can't be responsible for his face" and Lincoln replied "Every man over 40 is responsible for his face, no matter what you think about your attitude, it shows on your face."
· We cannot choose how many years we will live, but we can choose how much life those years will have.
We cannot control the beauty of our face, but we can control the expression on it.
We cannot control life's difficult moments, but we can choose to make life less difficult.
We cannot control the negative atmosphere of the world, but we can control the atmosphere of our mind. Too often we try to choose and control things we cannot. Too seldom we choose to control what we can our attitude.
· It is not what happens to me that matters, but what happens in me.
· A happy person is not a person with certain circumstances, but with a certain attitude.
· God chooses what we go through, but we choose how we go through it.
· The leaders' attitude helps determine the attitudes of the followers.
People catch our attitudes just like they catch our colds- by getting close to us.
· The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will, I am.
· Cancer research at King's College in London studied breast cancer victims who had mastectomies.
7 of 10 women with fighting spirit were alive 10 years later, but 8 of 10 women who felt hopeless died.
· As you begin to change your thinking, start immediately to change your behavior.
7- Developing your most Important Asset:
· To know how to do a job is the accomplishment of labor.
To tell others how to do a job is the accomplishment of the teacher.
To inspire others to do a better job is the accomplishment of management.
To be able to do all three is the accomplishment of a true leader.
· People tend to become what the most important people in their life think they will become.
· People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
· The # one motivational principle in the world is:
people do what people see.
The speed of the leader determines the speed of the follower.
· Leaders must care for people before they can develop them.
8- The indispensable quality of leadership:
· What you see is what you can be. Does the vision make the leader or does the leader make the vision.
Vision comes first. Many leaders lost the vision, therefore lost the power to lead.
· All great leaders know where they are going and they are able to persuade others to follow.
· God's gift to me is my potential. My gift back to God is what I do with my potential.
· If you had anything you wanted, unlimited time, money etc.. what would you do? Your answer to that question is your dream.
· If you want to know the temperature of your organization put a thermometer in the leader's mouth.
· The remarkable thing about Abraham Lincoln is not that he was born in a log cabin, but that he got out of the log canbin.
9- The Price Tag of Leadership:
· Discipline is the choice of achieving what you want by doing things you don't want to do.
· When we are foolish we want to conquer the world. When we are wise we want to conquer ourselves.
· Success depends not merely on how well you do the things you enjoy, but how conscientiously you perform those duties you don't.· Winston Churchill, said: "The price of greatness is responsibility"
· Abraham Lincoln favorite stories: when a man who killed both his parents was sentenced he pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan, or the politician who told the judge "it is not my fault, your honor, I never could have done all that stuff if the people hadn't elected me.
· Accept accountability. Plato said "the unexamined life is not worth living"
· Nearly all men can stand adversity, but to test a man's character, give him power. (Lincoln)
· George Bush prayed in his inaugural address of 1989 "For we are given power not to advance our own purposes nor to make a great show in the world, nor a name. There is but one use of power and it is to serve people.
· Live what you teach, do what you say, be honest and put the group ahead of you.
· Become character driven instead of emotion driven.
10- A lesson of leadership:
· The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.
· Niccolo Machiavelli said: "The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him"
· If you are planning for one year, grow rice. If you are planning for 20 years, grow trees.
If you are planning for centuries, grow men. Chinese proverb.