Wow. Life comes at you fast. For everything else, there’s Valium and Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Caramels.
We made our move to Uptown Phoenix just two days after returning from our Florida vacation. We are nearly settled (pics coming soon) and definitely exhausted. I took a new real estate listing (pics on this coming soon as well) and life just keeps on moving faster than I can keep up.
But I love it.
I wanted to share the heart behind our family trip to Florida. Most of you already know that I went to complete my certification as a professional speaker, teacher, trainer and business coach with the John Maxwell Team.
I first heard John teach when Rimmel and I were 20 and 21 years old. Our pastor sent us to a leadership seminar that John Maxwell was teaching. At the time he had launched one of his companies called Equip with a mission to train up leaders globally. To say I was captivated would have been an understatement. Maybe it was because I found myself in a painful job in a toxic environment with less than stellar leadership. Maybe it was because I was young and had my heart set on being in charge someday. As John talked about what qualifies an effective leader verses what disqualifies a leader I immediately understood that *“everything rises and falls on leadership” and **“He who aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.”
Here are just some of the observations I have made over the years regarding the discipline of leadership:
- I have failed as a leader.
- I have succeeded as a leader.
- I learned the power of leadership while working among ineffective leaders.
- I learned the gift of leadership while working among brilliant, powerful leaders.
- Anyone can manage people but it takes a leader to influence people.
The most remarkable thing about John’s leadership is that it comes from an authentic place and that all these years later he continues to practice what he preaches. His achievements are more than most will ever see in a lifetime. Here are just a few of John’s accolades:
- Named the #1 Leadership Guru in America for 7 years in a row by LeadershipGurus.net
- #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach, and speaker.
- Sold more than 25 million books in 50 languages.
- Named the #1 leader in business by the American Management Association® in 2014.
- Named the most influential leadership expert in the world by Business Insider and Inc. magazine in 2014.
- Has trained more than 5 million leaders.
- Reached a leadership milestone in 2015 of having trained leaders in EVERY country in the world.
- Recipient of the Mother Teresa Prize for Global Peace and Leadership from the Luminary Leadership Network.
I mean…come ON! The man is a legend. And yet…
He shook hands, hugged, and said an individual prayer over 1,800 of us in 2 days. I don’t care who you are. THAT’S incredible leadership.
Here’s what I know: leaders who add the most value to others are:
- approachable even when it’s risky
- vulnerable even when it’s difficult
- admit their failures and fears so others can relate
- use their influence to help others succeed
John does all of this. I’ve done my best to emulate the same values in my own life, whether in leading my family or in the workplace. Why? Because everything rises and falls on leadership. Leadership matters. It matters more than we think it does and with an election year upon us we have to THINK about it now more than ever. We have to consider what it takes to not only lead others but to add as much value to others as possible in our lifetimes, whether it be our families, our communities, or even other nations.
Only a leader who desires to add value to others over any other positional responsibility can make America great. Leaders don’t have to be perfect, but they do have to lead to serve, not to be served.
And speaking of imperfections, I sure am glad perfection isn’t a qualification for leadership. I tease about Valium and chocolate remedies as one who is familiar with emotional pain. I have experienced both Anxiety Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I can say with all certainty that I believe in handling medical issues medically and spiritual issues spiritually, but I never stop seeking healing for both.
And I’ll never stop seeking to learn and grow in leadership skills. It’s just too important.
*John Maxwell, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
**NIV Bible, 1 Timothy 3:1