“Developing the Leaders Around You” by John Maxwell

  1. If you oversee people and you wish to develop leaders, you are responsible to:
    1) Appreciate them for who they are.
    2) Believe that they will do their very best.
    3) Praise their accomplishments.
    4) Accept your personal responsibility to them as their leader.
  2. Great leaders produce other leaders.
  3. An opinion before a decision has potential value. An opinion after the decision has been made is worthless.
  4. There is no success without a successor.
  5. A company must organize around what it is trying to accomplish, not around what is being done.
  6. I have seen people in an organization do things a particular way simply because the bureaucracy states it must be done that way, even when it hinders what the organization is trying to accomplish. Organize around tasks, not functions.
  7. Consistent accomplishment generates momentum.
  8. “Example is not the main thing in influencing others… its’ the only thing.” ~Albert Schweitzer
  9. Some of the qualities to look for in a person include the following:
    Positiveness: the ability to work with and see people and situations in a positive way.
    Servanthood: the willingness to submit, play team ball, and follow the leader.
    Growth Potential: a hunger for personal growth and development; the ability to keep growing as the job expands.
    Follow-Through: the determination to get the job done completely and with consistency.
    Loyalty: the willingness to always put the leader and the organization above personal desires.
    Resiliency: the ability to bounce back when problems arise.
    Integrity: trustworthiness and solid character; consistent words and walk.
    “Big Picture” Mindset: the ability to see the whole organization and all of its needs.
    Discipline: the willingness to do what is required regardless of personal mood.
    Gratitude: an attitude of thankfulness that becomes a way of life.
  10. Time on the job is no substitute for production in the job.
  11. “Friend, can you tell me something this town is noted for?” “Well,” replied the old man, “I don’t rightly know except that it’s the starting point to the world. You can start here and go anywhere you want.”
    All people do not view their current location as the starting point to wherever they want to go in the world. We as leaders must encourage those around us to see themselves in such a place.
  12. An important part of leadership involves casting vision. Some leaders forget to cast vision because they get caught up in managing. True leaders recognize a difference between leaders and managers. Managers are maintainers, tending to rely on systems and controls. Leaders are innovators and creators who rely on people. Creative ideas become reality when people who are in a position to act catch the vision of their innovative leader.
    An effective vision provides guidance. It gives direction for an organization… direction that cannot effectively result from rules and regulations, policy manuals, or organizational charts. True direction for an organization is born with a vision.
  13. “Unless a man undertakes more than he possibly can do, he will never do all he can do.” ~Henry Drummond
  14. “Men are developed the same way gold is mined. Several tons of dirt must be moved to get an ounce of gold. But you don’t go into the mind looking for dirt. You go in looking for the gold.” ~Dale Carnegie
    Look for the gold, not the dirt; the good, not the bad. The more positive qualities you look for, the more you are going to find.
  15. So often, what people say their problem is really isn’t their problem. Their problem is the attitude which causes them to handle life’s obstacles poorly.
  16. When it comes to self discipline, people choose one of two things: the pain of discipline which comes from sacrifice and growth or the pain of regret which comes from the easy road and missed opportunities.
  17. Use the BEST acronym as a reminder of what people need when they get started with an organization:
    B: Believe in them.
    E: Encourage them.
    S: Share with them.
    T: Trust them.
  18. The leader’s major responsibility in the nurturing process is modeling… leadership , a strong work ethic, responsibility, character, openness, consistency, communication, and a belief in people.
  19. Norman Vincent Peale expressed it well when he said that the man who lives for himself is a failure; the man who lives for others has achieved true success.
  20. No one wants to spend his time doing work that is unimportant. People want to do work that matters. Workers often say things like, “I want to feel that I’ve achieved, that I’ve accomplished, that I’ve made a difference. I want excellence. I want what I do to be important work. I want to make an impact.” People want significance.
  21. Another way to add significance to the lives of the people you lead is to show them the big picture and let them know how they contribute to it. Many people get so caught up in the task of the moment that they cannot see the importance of what they do.
  22. To determine whether your people are committed, first you must make sure they know what it will cost them to become leaders.
  23. Ben Franklin set aside time every day to review two questions. In the morning he asked himself, “What good shall I do today?” In the evening he asked, “What good have I done today?”
  24. “A” priorities are ones that move the organization, department, or job function forward. They break ground, open doors to new opportunities, or develop new markets. They promote growth within people or the organization. “B” priorities are concerned with maintenance. They are required for things to continue running smoothly, such as answering letters or phone calls, and taking care of details. They are things that cannot be neglected, but they don’t add value to the organization. I have found that people often expend their best on “B” priorities because they seem urgent, and they give “A” priorities what’s left over. I always encourage my people to give 80 percent of their time and energy to “A” priorities and the remaining 20 percent to “B” priorities.
  25. You can’t turn people loose without structure, but you also want to give them enough freedom to be creative. They way to do that is to give them the big three: responsibility, authority, and accountability.
  26. Growth is not automatic; it does not necessarily come with experience, nor simply as a result of gathering information. Personal growth must be deliberate, planned, and consistent.
  27. When a leader’s goal is acceptability rather than excellence, then even the best people in the organization will produce what is merely acceptable. The rest may not even produce the minimum. When excellence is the standard, the best will hit the mark, and others will at least hit the board.
  28. Ten Guidelines for Handling Confrontation:
    1. Confront ASAP: The longer you wait, the less likely you are to do what must be done.
    2. Separate the person from the wrong action.
    3. Confront only what the person can change.
    4. Give the person the benefit of the doubt.
    5. Be specific.
    6. Avoid sarcasm.
    7. Avoid words like always and never.
    8. Tell the person how you feel about what was done wrong.
    9. Give the person a game plan to fix the problem.
    10. Affirm him or her as a person and a friend.
  29. Five things that every coach should do:
    1. Tell people what you expect from them.
    2. Give people an opportunity to perform.
    3. Let them know how they’re getting along.
    4. Instruct and empower them when they need it.
    5. Reward them accordingly to their contribution.
  30. All leaders can become good problem solvers. To do so, they must do four things.
    1. They must anticipate problems before they occur.
    2. They must maintain a positive attitude while they occur.
    3. They must all their resources to solve them as quickly as possible so they cease to occur.
    4. They must learn from their problems so the same problems do not occur again.
  31. When all players are treated and compensated the same, poor or mediocre performance is being rewarded the same as outstanding contributions by the best players.
  32. The leader should focus on performing tasks no one else can do, not simply on doing tasks he or she enjoys.
  33. I delegate according to the following steps:
    1. Ask them to be fact finders only.
    2. Ask them to make suggestions.
    3. Ask them to implement one of their recommendations, but only after you give you approval.
    4. Ask them to take action on their own, but to report the results immediately.
    5. Give complete authority.
  34. People become empowered when you provide them with three things: opportunity, freedom, and security.
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