This week, John Maxwell shares how leaders can be bigger on the inside than they are on the outside. John says that when you’re bigger on the inside than you are on the outside, over time, you become bigger on the outside.
Our BONUS resource for this episode is the “Bigger on the Inside Worksheet,” which includes fill-in-the-blank notes from John’s teaching. You can download the worksheet by clicking “Download the Bonus Resource” below.
Welcome to the Maxwell Leadership Podcast. This is the podcast that adds value to leaders who multiply value to others. My name is Mark Cole, and today you and I and Tracy Morrow, my co host, is going to listen as John Maxwell shares how leaders can be bigger on the inside than they are on the outside. Now, in full disclosure, this should be about a five year series because this is one of my most favorite subjects. It is one that I failed at miserably in my life at one season of leadership, and one that I am most passionate about in this current season of my life. See, John says that when you’re bigger on the inside than you are the outside, over time, you become bigger on the outside. So Tracy and I will listen to John with you. Then we’re going to come back.
We’re going to discuss John’s lesson and how you and I can apply it to our life and to our leadership. If you would like to download the bonus resource for this episode or even watch this episode on YouTube, just visit MaxwellPodcast.com/Bigger. Now, without further delay, let’s listen to John challenge us to be bigger on the inside than we are on the outside.
When you’re better on the inside than you are on the outside, and you’re bigger on the inside than the outside, over time, you will become greater on the outside. I’m just going to pull out the characteristics of an inside out leader, but you’re going to get it real quick. Okay, here we go. Number one, inside out leaders. Here we go, gang. This is so huge. Value people more than position. One of the ways you can tell you’re dealing with an inside out leader is they value people more than position.
They’re never caught up in their position. Number two, inside out leaders inspire others because they are inspired by others. You cannot inspire others unless you’re inspired yourself. Number three inside out leaders are secure enough to appreciate and acknowledge others. Their security allows them to be able to give credit to the people around them. Number four inside out leaders do not abuse power. I once heard Nelson Mandela say this about power and about himself. The problem I have is not how to use power.
My biggest problem is how not to use power. Wow. Inside out leader. Number five inside out leaders extend grace and forgiveness to others. Number six. Inside out leaders acknowledge and apologize for their mistakes. They’re big enough to say I’m sorry. Hey.
Not say sorry. I don’t like that when everybody says sorry. I always want to raise my standard. Who. Could we identify the object of sorry? I’m sorry. Often, leaders mistakenly believe for them to be considered great, they must be associated with doing only the right things. Apologizing is an act of humility. Humility attracts and inspires.
Arrogance does not. Connectors live what they communicate. Connectors are good on the inside. The first six months I wish I had 30 minutes to teach what I’m just going to give you in brackets right now. The first six months, communication overrides credibility. In other words, when you start as a leader of an organization, the first six months can I tell you something? They don’t know much about you. So what you say, they take at face value. Are you with me? So in the beginning, communication what you say to people, they buy into.
They buy into you. They say, okay, but here’s the key. After six months, credibility overrides communication. Because after six months, guess what? They know you. Oh, what a sad thought. Now everything you say is taken through the grid of who you are. That’s why you got to be better on the inside than you are on the outside. So here’s the credibility checklist, since credibility is so important, and those on the inside that are bigger than on the outside have it just some questions.
Number one, have I connected with myself? If you’re going to connect with others and be credible with others, guess what? You got to connect with yourself. I have the statement there comes out of my book winning with People. My relationship with me determines my relationship with you. Wow. You see, we see people as we are, not as they are. That’s why we got to be good on the inside, because if we’re good on the inside, we see people differently than if we’re not big on the inside. You see, if I’m small and I’m insecure and I’m petty and I’m jealous and I’m full of anger and I got all that stuff on the inside of me, can I tell you something? When I see you, guess what I’m going to see? Pettiness, anger, jealousy. We don’t see people as they are.
We see people as we are. Number two, have I made right my wrongs? That’s a huge question. Have I made right my wrongs? You say, what do you mean by that, John? Very simple. Have I made right my wrongs? In other words, when we’ve done something wrong, have we made it right? When I see leaders not apologizing, I see leaders who don’t deal with reality because you can’t make decisions that you make and be as visible you are without at times having to call a timeout and say, can I take a moment? I was wrong here. That’s what bigger on the inside than the outside leaders do. Number 03:00 a.m I accountable in my book, the 17 Laws of Teamwork. One of the laws is the law of accountability, which basically says teammates must be able to count on each other when it counts and where it counts. By the way, that’s a great teamwork.
Law for us as a team isn’t here as partners. Can I be counted on? And I just quit this little bracket stuff that I want to read, and we move on when you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment, you create trust. Don’t get the two confused. They’re not the same. Now, I don’t need partners in this room for this. I need politicians in the room for this. I need to go to Congress, I need to go to this House, the Senate.
There’s all kind of places I need to go with that. When you make a commitment, you create hope. But when you keep it, you create trust. Number 04:00 a.m. I following the golden rule. Boy, that’s just a great question, isn’t it? The Golden Rule is a value based rule. It’s in every culture, it’s in every religion. Do unto others, treat others as you would like to be treated as you would like to be yourself taken care of.
And number five, and I got to put this one in, even though we’re talking about inside out leadership, because it’s essential. Do I deliver the results? Because can I tell you something? If you’re bigger on the inside than you are on the outside, and you don’t deliver results, let me tell you the good news. The good news is you’re a very good person. Are you with me? The bad news is that didn’t make you a leader. You’re just a good person. So when people ask me about character, they say, don’t you think character is a characteristic of a leader? I said, well, yeah, but I think it’s a characteristic of a follower. Good character ethical. You see, character doesn’t make the leader, but without it, the leader comes unraveled, because then they’re bigger on the outside than they are on the inside.
So just I close this lesson by just saying, here’s my challenge. I hope that you make it your challenge. My challenge is to be bigger on the inside than I’m on the outside and to be better on the inside than I’m on the outside. Because if that is true, that my spirit is bigger on the inside and my character is bigger on the inside than is on the outside, over time, my influence will greatly increase on the outside. Hello, this is John C. Maxwell. I’ve been teaching leadership for over 40 years. We’re gathering in Atlanta for our 10th Live to Lead Leadership Conference friday, October the 6th, and I want to personally invite you to join us.
Live to Lead is about empowering you to live out leadership, not just learn it. World class leaders Kendra Scott and Marcus Buckingham and Ryan Lee will be joining me to impart wisdom, inspire change, and help you lead more effectively. Hey, bring your team. Groups of ten or more receive a significant discount. So let’s grow together, because leadership isn’t a solo journey. It’s best experienced in community with others. Visit Live2lead.com today and let’s make leadership a lived experience.
Hey, welcome back, podcast listeners. Podcast viewers. As John was teaching today, I was reminded of the John Wooden quote that says, be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are. Your reputation is merely what others think you are. And, Tracy, truly, I love all of my podcast co hosts. I love guests like we’ve had recently, but if anybody could talk to us and share with me and be able to talk authentically about being bigger on the inside than the outside. And again, no reflection to my other co hosts, but, Tracy, when I think of our friendship partnership relationship, you are bigger on the inside than the outside.
And I’m not just saying that I say powerful things about all my co hosts because John and I are blessed with great people around us. But, Tracy, I’m really excited about this because I really do believe you have disciplined yourself, that despite all the cameras you’ve looked into, all the businesses you’ve built, you are passionate about being bigger on the inside. In fact, so much so that when you and I first started listening to John, you went, Mark, I love this subject matter, and isn’t it true very few people have the ability to talk about this with the credibility that John Maxwell has?
It’s so true. Well, first of all, I want to say thank you so much for that very nice compliment. I am honored by those words so much. But I do love this because we do have a mentor who really has made this his whole life platform. And I believe the same about you, Mark. We have an inside out focus, and so that has been something that we have talked about often. And so when this landed on in My box with this is the title, I was like, yes, I’m so excited to discuss this. But at the same time, as I was listening, I thought, what excites me the most is the listeners who I know are on the other side of this screen or in their car or in their home or working out listening.
However you’re listening to this podcast, and I know that this was like that little emoji where it’s like a mind blowing. I know that there were leaders that were like their minds were just blown. Because what happens when you are growing up and your mind is formulating around what a leader is, it is your parents, it is your teachers, it is the adults in your life that have a title, right? And that your whole ideas about leadership are formulated around when you are in a position of authority and you have a title. You’re the parent, you’re the teacher, you’re the boss, you’re the CEO, you’re the person in charge, you’re the owner. And suddenly, what John just did is he flipped the script. And what we’re talking about today is he says, it’s not about the title. It’s not about that at, actually, that’s exterior. It’s actually about who you are today.
So buckle up, my friends. We are going to be breaking down. And hopefully this will be one that you listen to over and over again as you are really wrapping your mind around the new idea of what it is to be a true leader. And that is something that every single person can do. Whether you are a kid listening in the car with your parents and you are nine years old, this is something you can start to listen to and start to work on today, working on who you are on the inside.
So, you know, Tracy, before we jump in and I know we have questions, we’re going to break down. What?
Yes, we do.
But let me say this, and I’m going to throw you a curveball that I didn’t talk to you about in the pre conversation. What is it that makes this your favorite subject that we talk about? When people ask me all the time and I’m going to ask you, I’m going to answer that question so you kind of can formulate that is the question I’m coming to you with, which is why is this so indelibly impressed upon you as one of the most important topics that John Maxwell ever addresses? That’s my question back to you. You didn’t even think about it. You didn’t script that. But that’s the question, because you and I do share a passion for this subject. In fact, when people ask me all the time, what’s your favorite Maxwell book? It’s developing the leader within you 2.0 hands down. You want to know my favorite book? It was the first book that I read. It’s the first book that I read and then put up on a shelf and didn’t put into practice.
It’s the first book that I brought back when I was given a chance to lead again and said, this time I will read this book consistently throughout the rest of my life. So if I don’t read this book once a year, I read it at least every two year. It’s in my life plan. I pick up the book Developing the Leader Within You 2.0. Why every one of us have a why we have a favorite little sucker stick? We’re going to find out, Tracy’s, in just a minute. But podcast viewers, podcast listeners, mine is because I read the book the first time I was given an opportunity to develop my character, my ability to lead and be bigger on the inside. And I neglected it. And my outside grew exponentially.
In my 20s, my early twenty s, I accomplished things no other leader in our organization had ever accomplished at my age. I was elected as the leader. I was leading camps. I was doing all these things with young people and neglected to lead myself, and I crashed and burned. I found myself at 29, unable to sustain the external influence that I had because I had no internal fortitude. You want to know why I’m passionate about this subject? Because I don’t want to repeat that same mistake. I am passionate about ensuring that the internal leader is capable of whatever the external leader accomplishes. And I am passionate about that.
So that’s my source. That’s my story. Tracy, why do you think this is one of your favorite topics?
I can tell you right away that it sets each one of us apart as unique because we all have gifts and talents. We all have something that we are uniquely crafted, that we can do. And we could all kind of separate into groups about what we bring to the know. We talk about Pat Lyncione’s book, the Six Working Geniuses, six Types of Working Genius, and we could categorize us all in the things that we bring to the team. But when you talk about inside out leadership, what truly makes us unique is the individual parts of us that make us us the part that makes me the part that you, that makes you the listener, you the part that makes Mark Cole mark Cole part that makes John Maxwell john Maxwell is uniquely just us. There will only ever be one of you and there will only ever be one of me. And so if we implement these tools, it takes away a competitive piece that really is you get into your very own lane. And when I started listening to John, it took away that competitive fear maybe that you were competing against other people and it put you into a lane of completing other people.
When you become the very best version of yourself, then it made me learn to if I focus on me, then I take my focus off of competing against other people. And when I become the best version of myself in the areas of humility and in the areas that we are going to talk about the credibility checklist, then I really enjoy showing up in the different areas of my life because I’m getting better and I can mark all the ways that I’m growing in those areas. And John left a very in each of his books. Yes, the developing leader within you. But if you look in every one of his books, you are going to see areas where you yourself can develop as your unique self and show up in the areas where you show up in your family, in your community, in your place of work, in your place of worship. If you have that, if all the areas that you show up, you can show up as the next best version of yourself. And that lights me up because when you see someone showing up as their best unique self, they are living their best version of themselves and then they bring their best. And so that to me, the sky is the limit of growth and that becomes endless.
So I’m excited to get into it. Let’s do it. So he talks about what inside out leaders are and he kind of hops on a bunch of different things before he gets to the checklist. But one of the things that he talked about is know if you value people above position and I kind of hit on that and then he talks about you can’t inspire other people unless you are inspired by other people. And I really love that and I would just like to hit on that really quickly. What inspires you Mark, about like what about other people inspires know.
So let me start with the external, the things that you can see first every year. It’s so funny. A couple of times today in this lesson I’m going to refer to a recent teaching that I did on mentorship, on teaching others about giving what you have but not trying to give what you don’t have, which is kind of mentorship. And so one of the things that I do every year is because I’ve been given a lot is I mentor others. But I have found that to mentor others I need to have a source that is pouring into me. And so one of the things I do every year is I identify five leaders that are leading brands or leading companies or are leading missions that I see as bigger than me and the organization that I’m leading. So in other words, they have a vantage point on a perspective that I have not yet achieved. They can give me leadership from a vantage point that I want to have but I currently don’t have.
So I get the privilege of getting to ask Ed Bastion, CEO of Delta questions each and every year. That is because he’s leading at a level that I have not led at and gives me a perspective. What I do with that Tracy, is I then go and inspire others to lead bigger than they’ve ever had to leave. So I take what I’m giving and then I make sure that I give that because I believe that if I were just to intake influence from influencers bigger than me and never expel or give out that then I become bloated on the inside and yet don’t find an ability to let that influence others. That’s not good. Just like never pouring into yourself but always pouring out is not good. So the first thing that I would say to answer your question, what inspires me so that I can inspire others is being around people that obviously are doing things bigger than me that’s external. But I also will tell you I really gravitate to people that while I can see externally they have greater responsibility than me, they still show me an attractiveness to the things that matter to me.
So when I hear somebody that is leading bigger than me begin to talk about their family time, making memories for their children, doing things that are super important to me, I perk up. Because those internal disciplines, they have to keep themselves bigger at the family level or at the professional level as the same is an attractive piece to me. When somebody talks about a strong faith component that drives their leadership, I always kind of lean in because I have a foundation of faith, too, that keeps me grounded, that keeps me hopeful, or when somebody talks about key relationships or having fun outside of work rather than just fulfillment from only work. Those intrinsic things that are internal disciplines always attract me. So if I see a great leader and every once in a while they show me a family dynamic or a having fun dynamic outside of work or a faith dynamic, always lean in because those components are things that are internal to me and they’re the things that stabilize me and all the external responsibilities that I have.
Oh, I love that so much. So that kind of hooks two and three together when John talks about being inspired by other people, but also being secure enough to go to those people and ask them to mentor you a little bit as you are mentoring others. And I just wrote down for those of you if you didn’t get a chance to write those down, he talked about not just being successful in what they are doing for their careers, but finding that at the same time that they are finding success with their family, finding time to have fun, keeping their key relationships healthy and having a healthy faith life as well, alongside of having success in what they are doing in their career. So I love that and wrote those down and you guys may want to write that down, scribble that down in your notes, which, by the way, I hope you do print out your notes. We do offer those to you as our bonus resource and I hope that you keep those in a little binder and review those. Remember, like John says, you take notes and that you mark down, let the lesson mark down in the lesson, and then you go back and what you write down marks you okay, Mark. So going down to he talks about extending grace and forgiveness and then talking about asking people for forgiveness. And let’s spend a little bit of time on that before we get to what he talks about the first six months in a new role.
But he talked about saying I’m sorry. We live in a time where leaders don’t really say I’m sorry because of this kind of the social media world where people kind of pounce on someone who says I’m sorry, and use that to their benefit, to almost just nail them to a wall publicly. And people have gotten a little bit afraid of that. And I fear that the up and coming generation of leaders haven’t really seen leaders do this well. And so how can we get that back on track as current leaders so that we can show the way of how to do that for leaders.
Well, I hope this doesn’t sound self serving because I’m not going to say I’m always good at this, but I definitely try to do this all the time. And that is before I give you that, let me say this. Either leadership is responsible for people’s effectiveness or it’s not. And oftentimes as leaders we deal with ineffective people as if it is only ineffective people that is the issue. Well, if we go into a situation that needs correction because of ineffectiveness and we always put the blame on the person, as if the ineffectiveness of the situation or the ineffective of the person has no bearing or no responsibility on how good or how poor the leadership is, then we really don’t believe in the power of leadership. I mean, leaders, you can’t have it both way. I make a difference for my team and then when things are not going well, team, you’re on your own. It has nothing to do with me.
You can’t have both ways. It either has something to do with you or it doesn’t. I come from the theory that everything rises and falls on leadership. So if I’m dealing with somebody that is ineffective on my team every time, not sometimes, every time that I deal with that ineffectiveness correctly, I first start with the responsibility I have to the ineffectiveness of the person or the situation always. Now, I don’t always do it, but always do it when I do it right because it is my responsibility. Everything rises and falls on leadership. I made the wrong choice. I shouldn’t have hired the person in the first place.
I overempowered the person before they were ready for empowerment. I didn’t give them the resources or the values they needed. I didn’t give them enough accountability. I always walk into a situation that I’m going to deal with correctively first, identifying what I could have done better as a leader in the situation. Now, I didn’t learn that from leaders in my life because I’ve worked for too many leaders that made me their problem. They had a problem as a leader and because they didn’t deal with themselves as a problem, I became the scapegoat of their ineffectiveness. Anybody relate with me out there in podcast land?
And I just determined I’m not going to be that kind of leader. So I go in and I always, when I do it right, I don’t always do it. Let me keep reiterating that I always, when I do it right, find the leadership lesson and the leadership responsibility of what I could have, shoulda and will do better the next time I’m faced with this opportunity. When I walk into a situation and do that with a follower, somebody that’s a direct report to me, somebody that’s on my team, somebody that looks to me as an authority figure, I disarm them from feeling defensive because I take the first blow, I give it to myself. Now, is it true that often when a leader goes in and takes responsibility for people that they should be taking their own responsibility for ineffectiveness? They never leave the room? Taking responsibility. I just said a mouthful. So go rewind it. Yes.
By taking responsibility as a leader, sometimes people abdicate the responsibility they should take too. That is a casualty to this approach. However, I never walk into a room if I’m going to do it right without not first taking responsibility of what I wish I would have done better in the situation. Once I do that, which is extending grace and forgiveness. That’s what John is talking about now I can deal with the situation. And again, I’ve watched sometimes people go, yeah, Mark, but I did this because of your bad leadership, because of what you just took responsibility for. And then I’ve lost my ability to effectively help them because they don’t have a key attribute that every one of us should have and that is coachability. Oftentimes when I go in and I take the ultimate first blow of responsibility to the ineffectiveness of the situation, more times than not people go, wow, he just modeled taking responsibility.
I’ll take some responsibility too.
And I will take the ODS of most of the time it working to where they took responsibility against the times they take no responsibility and let me carry all the blame because I believe it’s what John is talking about. Extending grace and forgiveness in a situation is always the best style of leadership because it speaks to the inside of me, not the inside of the person I’m trying to lead. And I always want to lead with what I could have or should have taken as responsibility.
Oh, I think that is so healthy. And it also follows up with humility, attracts and inspires. It inspires the person listening to be open and take an honest look at themselves. That’s so good. Let’s look at the next one where he says we aren’t even to the credibility checklist for the next six months of a new role. He says communication overrides credibility. But then after that, credibility overrides communication. Share a little bit on that.
Yeah. I love the fact that John puts a timeline on it because it makes me feel really ineffective because I’m telling you, I am right now living out a leadership experience that has been years, not months to where my communication is overriding credibility and it’s time for credibility to override communication. I’m working with some leadership things that we will talk many podcasts in the future about what I’m learning as a leader in today’s reality. I’m dealing with leadership challenges that no leaders before us have had to deal with. COVID is part of that. The diversity climate that we’re in as leaders, that’s going to have to lead different than we did five years ago, a decade ago. It’s different and the complexities of it is. Different.
And the way we have to deal with it is different. And people that have led in previous generations or previous decades are not able to tell how to effectively lead with how our climate of leadership has become. And so there are areas that I fully intend on being better at, that I still get feedback that I am tone deaf on, and I’m finding myself, Tracy, that I wish sometimes it was a six month journey, but it’s a little bit longer. But here’s the point that I want to underscore here is not even the struggle that I’m having, or perhaps even the struggle that you’re having listening to this podcast. If your credibility is beginning to be undermined by what you say and what you do, being two separate messages, you’ve got to be vulnerable and own it. Because if you extend your welcome on a subject matter beyond the point to where your new role allows you to get away with saying something that is not currently matching with your actions, you will become hypocritical and numb to that hypocrisy. So just a few days ago, before recording this podcast, somebody pointed out to me that I was still failing in my messaging of leading differently in this particular situation. And I had a chance, Tracy, to say, yeah, but I’m getting better.
Yeah, but it’s only been three years. Yeah, but nobody that led a generation ago, a decade ago, dealt with this thing. I could have excused it like crazy. You know what? Fortunately, I did this time. Once again, I’m telling you all the highlight reels and not the bad times, this next time I went, you know what? You’re right. And for three years I’ve been saying, I’m going to get better in this situation, and I’m still, in some areas, haven’t moved the ball at all. The person that was pointing it out to me did not even come close to expecting that response. She expected pushback.
She expected excuses. She expected all the things that was going on in my mind that I really wanted to say. She was completely disarmed with me going, you know what? I still have not got this right. Will you help me? And I’m telling you, forget the issue and trying to figure out what the issue is, that demeanor of saying, I have no excuses, all I have is a report card and it’s not a good grade. Will you help me improve my grade? It totally brought somebody back in to help me that really can help me on this particular issue. And my point is not the issue that you’re struggling with. My point is when your credibility has overridden your communication, own it. You’ve outstayed your welcome on that particular topic and be vulnerable about it.
It will buy you some more time to get it right.
This is why I love you. And this one of the many reasons. This is why this podcast is so deeply meaningful to me. You and I are just having a one on one conversation right now. This is going to play, I don’t know, in a couple of weeks, but for right now it feels much like when you and I just have a meeting, when we’re just together and we’re not recording, but this is going to play to hundreds of thousands of people and you’re like pulling back the curtain. This is a behind the curtain moment that you are being so vulnerable and honest about. And this is what I want our listeners to understand is like one area and aspect of your leadership that you might be struggling in does not define your entire leadership. However, how you respond in that moment is a big part of defining your leadership.
And so what you are doing right now before hundreds of thousands of listeners that wrap around the globe, whether it’s ear pods in your ears or listening in the car speaker, what you are hearing right now is a leader who’s struggling in an area and working it through from communication to credibility. And he could have hidden that and talked about another aspect of his leadership where he is totally firmly standing in credibility. But what we’re talking about here is an honest approach to how we work through these areas and that does not help you if every time Mark talks about an area where he’s firmly standing in credibility and just checks all the happy boxes. So I just want to say thank you. I didn’t know what you were going to share and I appreciate that as a listener, not just a co host, but someone who will go back and listen to this again and write down notes for myself. And I just appreciate that because heading into the credibility checklist number one is have I connected with myself and have I righted my wrongs? And what you just did is you pulled back the curtain to a private meeting with someone where you are working through your communication into credibility with us and that gives us the permission to do that ourselves.
Yeah. Thank you. How you just highlighted that for me, Tracy, was so much better than how I said it. Because I will live vulnerably in this issue that I’m not leading very well in. In a time that demands me and this iconic brand to lead better in this topic, it demands it. I don’t have an option. I’ll unbreak that down for you guys. I’m not hiding behind an issue with a lot of superficial conversation, but we’re not talking about your struggles.
We’re talking about the attitude toward the struggles. We’re talking about how you respond. Every leader for the rest of time is going to have struggles.
Get over yourself. You’re never going to live the perfect, carefree, problem free life of a leader. There’s no such thing.
That’s why John says leadership sucks. There’s no two good days in a leader consecutive days in a leader’s life. You are going to have challenges. The challenge does not define your leadership. The response to the challenge defines your leadership. We’re going to this have I connected with myself? I dealt with something just this morning, whole separate issue, and I really had to deal with a leader on my team today in an area that is super sensitive to that leader. And we have been here multiple, multiple times. And because I go in always saying, what could I be doing better as this person’s leader? They have allowed me to take responsibility for too long to their lack of growth in this area.
And I knew they were going to say, yeah, but you’re trying to make me like you. I knew they were going to say, yeah, this is your insecurity that’s showing up because you want me to be better because of your insecurity. I knew they were going to highlight me bringing this issue to light this morning based on the challenges, the weaknesses that I have expressed to them before. So what did I do at 330 this morning of this podcast day of recording? I went deep within myself and I had a conversation and said, mark, are you being insecure here in dealing with this today? Mark, are you trying to dominate them and have them try to change to be more approved by you? Mark, are you not allowing them an efficient or an effective timeline to make the changes? I went in, Tracy, and checked all the boxes on my leadership so that when I brought this issue to the table just a few hours ago, I could respond what I knew was going to happen. You’re just trying to make me like you. No, I’m not. And let me tell you why. You’re just trying to get me to do this faster than I’m prepared.
No, I’m not. Let me tell you how long we’ve been working on this. You’re just doing this because you’re feeling a little insecure today, because this is not performing the way that it is. No, I’m not. Let me tell you how well it is performing, actually. I had went through and had the conversation with myself first to make sure that I wasn’t dealing with it from a place of my inadequacies or weaknesses, but a place of really needing to lead them out of a revolving door that they’re in. And I can’t tell you how having that credibility checklist to go deep within myself early this morning made me a better leader that 1 hour later, this person demonstrated growth that I’ve been waiting for for over two years. Because I had the conversation with myself first as this person’s leader to make sure that this was not a mark issue.
But this was this leader’s issue that.
I was working on, which in a way, I hope that I’m not overstepping, but in a way, it kind of was a mark issue because you needed to have that hard conversation with that person. Not a mark issue, but it was a leadership step that you also needed to take because that person needed to be led to the next step for them, and they needed to be led there, and they needed you to have that conversation with yourself so that you could lead them there. So that’s why we need good leadership.
Okay, so let’s go. I love that. I love that you are literally at step three. Where am I accountable? In a way, you are being accountable to all of our podcast listeners as you are leading your team. But who else are you accountable to? Is it just accountability to yourself or who are you accountable to?
I mentioned a little earlier in our show, and boy, I knew this was going to go long. So those of you that have stuck with us I know, but listen, I knew it was going to happen, Tracy, because this is such mine and your jam.
And that’s okay. I’m sorry for those of you that are having to work out and run on the treadmill a little bit longer, because Tracy and I won’t hush today.
I’m not really sorry. Keep going. You got this. Keep running.
But here’s what I do want to say to you on this particular subject, and I wanted to talk about this before we close down. I mentioned earlier in the show that I had a mentorship talk with a bunch of people, several hundred people this week, about the effectiveness of mentorship, how to let mentoring be effective, what is the magic? And one of those things was to have a voice in your life. In other words, as John says, be accountable. What I talked to this week that I want to just take, just I won’t take but a minute is to tell you, yes, the question is, am I accountable? But I would put a comma to that and say, and to whom? Because some people make themselves accountable to people whose number one desire is to hold you back from your envisioned future. And when you’re accountable to the wrong person, you just put a lid on your effectiveness. Some people are accountable to people that don’t have the same values as you, and they will give you flexibility to trade in your values for success. And you will end up with success, but you won’t know who you are when you get there because you are accountable to the wrong person. Some people don’t want accountability at all, just to themselves.
And if you’re accountable only to themselves, be thankful when you only accomplish what only you can do, because you are shortchanging yourself by not putting people that can think differently than you into your life. But I cannot overemphasize in my short minute here that I wanted to address this. Not only is it important to be accountable, it’s important to whom you are accountable to, and spend some time on that. We don’t have time in this podcast today except to drop that nugget to you that you being accountable is important, but make sure that who that voice is in your life is a voice that is taking you somewhere rather than keeping you somewhere. And that role, that responsibility, will be the difference maker as you hold yourself accountable to staying true to yourself. What I love is John’s inner circle. Outer circle. An inner circle keeps him grounded to who he is.
An outer circle keeps him stretching to who he is supposed to become. And so as a leader, put people accountable in your life. Yes. That will keep you centered and focused and on the foundation of what you have, but not keep you away from the success that you’re supposed to chase. And having that right there will be very important as we move this. Tracy. Oh, I do not want to end this know? I know it is so good. Here’s the standout statement for all of our podcast listeners.
Be an inside out leader. Maybe that’s a distinctive of Maxwell leadership. We talk all the time, and I won’t even do a listener comment today. I would challenge all of you to give us a comment, let us know how we’re doing. Not even just the good. We read a lot of good ones because we get a lot of good ones. But give us a podcast. Give us a question.
I’d love to answer some questions in this segment. Wherever you listen to the podcast go on there. Give us a comment, give us a question. We’ll call it out. But here’s what I’ll tell you. Be an inside leader may be a distinctive of John Maxwell. Hopefully, it’s a distinctive of Maxwell leadership under my leadership. But here’s why we need to be an inside leader, is because authenticity has no competition.
You being your best version cannot be replicated. It cannot be mirrored. It can only be true to you and your uniqueness. And why do we want you to be an inside out leader? Because everyone deserves to be led well.