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What’s In Your Toolbox?

By John C. Maxwell | July 22, 2020
What’s In Your Toolbox?

Do you know what 70% of Americans have opted to do during the Covid quarantine?

Home improvement projects.

That’s right—after allowing honey-do lists to sit, unfinished, for years, many Americans have decided to spend their time at home making home a better place to be. And it makes sense; after all, if you’re going to be stuck inside staring at an annoying but fixable problem all day, you might as well do something about it.

It’s not just indoor projects that people are tackling—there’s been an uptick in outdoor projects, such as landscaping or raised bed farming. With more time on their hands and more time at home, more people are choosing to invest in making their everyday life better.

As a leader and a student of personal growth, I love the idea. I think it’s a great trend (even if it’s not exactly my personal preference) and a good example of how people can take the lemon of Covid and make lemonade.

But it also has me wondering:

How many of these home improvement warriors have the right tools in their toolbox?

It’s one thing to say you’re going to re-tile your bathroom, it’s something else entirely to actually have the right equipment to make that dream possible. Without the right tools, even simple jobs become extremely difficult.

And what’s true for home improvement is true for self-improvement.

Maybe you’ve decided to let the house stay as-is and opted instead to focus on your personal growth during this season. If that’s the case, then I applaud you because personal growth today is the only guarantee that tomorrow is going to get better. But to grow effectively, you need to have the right tools in your toolbox. Otherwise, growth will become a challenge.

If you’re not sure what kind of tools you’ll need, I’m here to help. I’ve spent my life pursuing personal growth, and I’ve found there are a few must-have tools that not only make growth easier, they actually accelerate the process:

  1. Good Books. My first mentors were the authors of the books I read as a young man, and that’s still true for me today. I read several books a month, often twice, because the first time through a book, I mark it up to highlight the key points I need to remember. The second time through a book, I focus only on the highlights and that allows the book to mark me.
  2. Good Listens. Once upon a time, I had to actually go places to hear other leaders speak, and I always made it a priority to do so. Being exposed to the ideas of others and listening to them share their passion in real time is an extremely helpful tool for growth. Fortunately, with the rise of podcasting and digital video streaming, you don’t have to leave your home to hear some of the best and brightest leaders today. Their teaching is just a click away.
  3. Good Thinking. I make it a point to intentionally spend time each day thinking. First thing in the morning, I think about my priorities for the day. During the day I set aside time to think about the book I’m writing or a teaching I’m developing, not to mention transformation opportunities that I’m working on. Then, at the end of each day, I think about how I spent my time, what I learned, and what I want to accomplish tomorrow. Time for thinking is not just a tool for personal growth, it’s a power tool—it allows you to do more than sheer effort alone.
  4. Good Conversations. Nothing improves a person’s thinking or perspective like good conversations with other people. As I’ve often said, all of us is smarter than one of us, and I truly appreciate how much a smart conversation with someone else helps clarify and sometimes change my thinking and understanding for the better.
  5. Good Questions. The final tool I want to talk about is the simplest one in the box. It’s the willingness to ask questions. A leader who is willing to ask good questions is a leader who can unlock many a mystery, elevate many an idea, and innovate on many a project. One of the most powerful questions a leader can ask is, “Why?” And yet many leaders leave this tool untouched. Good Questions make Great Leaders, so this tool is a must-have.

For decades now, I have committed to not only having these tools in my personal toolbox, but to making sure that my team and I provide these tools for your toolbox.

That’s why our Enterprise exists—to add value to you so you can add value to others. Whether that’s through our blog, our books, or any of the other options available on our websites, we want to ensure that you as a leader have the tools you need for success.

You can’t improve your home without the right tools in your toolbox, and you can’t improve your life without the right tools for personal growth.

I am happy to provide those tools to help you live your purpose and fulfill your potential—and I hope you’ll turn around and do the same for the people in your life.

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15 thoughts on "What’s In Your Toolbox?"

  • Patricia says: July 22, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    Thank you for this amazing insight. I am on a journey of personal development and the tools you have shared have given me lot a of questions to ponder on.

  • Florence says: July 23, 2020 at 4:29 am

    Wow. This tools have really blessed me. Thank you for such a great impartation through your books and blog.

  • Florence says: July 23, 2020 at 4:29 am

    Wow. This tools have really blessed me. Thank you for such a great impartation through your books and blog.

  • Mindy Murphy says: July 23, 2020 at 5:17 am

    Thanks John. You are one of my tools in my ever growing tool box. Back in March, before COVID, I never wanted to do more than get up, pray, work out, go to work, come home, sleep, REPEAT to ad nauseum. My life has radically changed since then. Every day I ask God what His purpose is for me that day, and I proceed to do different things on that list that develop me as a woman of God, a leader, a sister, a friend. Thank you for your dedication to helping people like me, who were ready to sit around at a retail job for the rest of my life until I die, change everything. It all starts with God, and mindset!!

  • Bruce says: July 23, 2020 at 7:27 am

    Tommy Silva from “This Old House” has always said that the right tool makes the task easier, but not only easier but a quality finished product. The money, he says, “is in the details.” You’re both preaching the same gospel. Thank you for the encouragement and reminder.

  • Deborah says: July 23, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Simply awesome.

  • What’s In Your Toolbox? | By John Maxwell - Inside the Business Management says: July 23, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    […] Source: What’s In Your Toolbox? […]

  • Shauna Snyder says: July 24, 2020 at 7:44 am

    So good!!! I have spent my time in quarantine working on me and my home, but I work on me every single day! Your webinars, Minute with Maxwell and books are not only in my toolbox, but are the things I use every single day! I would not have made it through this time, and the loss of my job without you and your team!

  • Miliyon says: July 29, 2020 at 5:19 am

    Thank you chang my life regards to Leadership
    I read your book and I Watch your video it amazing
    God bless you alot

  • Gloria says: August 7, 2020 at 12:23 am

    I thank God for you, your teaching, tools, blog… are filled with much encouragement, faith, and hope.

  • Richard James Ssenyonga says: August 14, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks John

  • Richard James Ssenyonga says: August 14, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    Thanks Mr.John, your podcasts are encouraging me & i have started reading for personal growth & am doing better than before. thanks

  • Three Smart Investments for Today - Lead Magazine says: August 23, 2020 at 10:00 am

    […] week, I wrote about the tools in your leadership toolbox, and most of the tools I wrote about were tools that build your mind; tools that help you improve […]

  • Stanley says: December 19, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Am Stanley, Young and eager to to promote good livelihood in my community, listening to ur tapes, u said everything rises and falls on leadership, which is true. But I wish I can be more of what’s expected

  • How to level up in your life and reinvent yourself in 2021 says: January 18, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    […] you know where you are headed in 2021, don’t shy away from picking a stretch goal in every area you want to improve. It doesn’t need to be this big, audacious goal. It could be as […]

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