I worked a couple of years with and for best-selling author and leadership guru John Maxwell. He taught me a ton about leadership, life, and overall some key principles on how to be a good employee and the keys to building a lasting organization. Here are a few of those key lessons I learned from John.
1. Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less. Everything rises and falls on leadership, and influence is parallel and equal to leadership.
2. Have a good time, and enjoy the process. John was a blast to travel with, and helped me understand that “getting there” is as much fun as arriving. We often had random stops on trips and always enjoyed the journey.
3. Surround yourself with leaders who are better at certain things than you are. You don’t have to be the best at everything. Bring in folks who are better than you.
4. Leaders are readers. Pure and simple. If you are not growing, you are not going.
5. Leaders are learners. Learn from everyone. You are never too good or too established to keep learning.
6. Put people in the right roles, and then stay out of the way. Hire the right people, and then let them run. Don’t meddle or micromanage. If you feel the need to, you probably hired the wrong person to start with.
7. A with A, not A with C. Top notch A level players don’t want to play on the same team with C or D level players. Make sure you are putting A players with A players.
8. Focus on the 7’s and up. Too many leaders spend way too much time focusing on the areas where they are 4’s and 5’s on the leadership scale from 1-10, and instead should spend time on the areas where they are 7’s and 8’s to get to being a 9 or 10.
9. Above all, get it done. Execution and making things happen is a rare commodity these days among leaders, and those who can take the ball across the finish line are much needed.