Maxwell Leadership Podcast: Leadership Limitations: Can You Lead Everyone? (Part 2)
This week, we continue our series on Leadership Limitations! Last week, in part one, John Maxwell shared the four major factors that determine the limitations of the people we lead. This week, in part two, John will teach on the five factors that determine how far we as leaders can take our people.
After John’s lesson, Mark Cole will be joined again by his amazing co-host, Traci Morrow, as they dive into John’s lesson and offer some ways that you can apply these principles to your own life and leadership! They also continue their discussion of Traci’s new book Real-life Marriage! Don’t forget to get your copy and dig in with Mark and Traci in this episode!
Our BONUS resource for this series is the “Leadership Limitations Worksheet,” which includes fill-in-the-blank notes from John’s teaching. You can download the worksheet by clicking “Download the Bonus Resource” below.
Watch this episode on YouTube!
Real-life Marriage by Traci Morrow
Developing The Leader Within You 2.0 by John C. Maxwell (use code PODCAST for 15% off at checkout this week only)
Download the Maxwell Leadership Growth Plan
Get Your Tickets to Live2Lead!
Relevant Episode: What to Do Next with Jeff Henderson
Read The Transcript
Hey podcast listeners, welcome to The Maxwell Leadership Podcast. This is the podcast that adds value to leaders that will multiply value to others. My name is Mark Cole and I’m excited today to continue our series on Leadership Limitations.
Last week in part one, John talked about four major factors that determine the limitations of the people we lead. That was the easy part. This week in part two, John’s going to teach us the five factors that determine how far we, as leaders, can take our people. That’s introspective. So after John’s lesson, I’ll be joined by my amazing co-host in studio again today. Traci Morrow will help us dive into John’s lesson and we will offer some ways for you to apply these principles to your life and to your leadership.
So before we jump in, we do have a free resource for you that we want to offer you. This is a PDF worksheet that accompanies John’s lesson and makes it even easier to take notes and follow along. If you would like to download this week’s pdf, please go to maxwellpodcast.com/limit and click the “Bonus Resource” button.
Okay, here we go. Let’s go to part two. Here is John.
Five personal limitations. This is mine, yours.
Number one is, I cannot lead people beyond my leadership skills. That deals with ability. It’s simple enough, isn’t it? In other words, if I don’t have it within me to lead people up the Mount of Everest of life, then I can’t take them up the Mount of Everest of life. No matter how hard I want to, no matter how much committed I am, no matter how I’d love to do it, it has nothing to do within these things; it has everything to do with my leadership skills, and your leadership skills will determine five things.
One, the size of your organization. Two, your leadership skills will determine, number two, the quality of people within your organization. Again … bless your hearts, I could sit down with your people one evening without ever meeting you, and when I’m done, I can put a number on your head, what kind of leader you are. You just got to let me see your people. And I’m not picking on you, when I go speak at other churches, I get up and speak and in five minutes I can tell what kind of communicator the pastor of that church is. I go to some congregations and as soon as I speak, I mean they got note pads, they got Bibles and they’re like this. And I say to myself, “Hey, they’re used to good stuff.” I go to some other places, and you got to wake them up.
They don’t have no pad, they don’t have a pen. You know why? Because they come every Sunday getting nothing. And all I’m saying is, if I am a four of a leader, I don’t get eights in my group. I can’t get eights in a group. God can’t give me eights in my group. My leadership skills will determine, number three, the number of leaders within your organization. The better leader you are, the more leaders you have. Number four, my leadership skills will determine the morale of the organization. And my leadership skills, number five, will determine the potential growth of your organization. Now, that’s all good, simple stuff. I think we understand that.
Now, to the attraction principle; I wish I could teach this as well as I know it. Here it is. It’s in your notes. We attract who we are, not what we want. I run into people all the time and they say, “Well, you know what I’d like to have?” I run the pastors. Let me use my field for, I run into pastors all the time. They say, “I’ll tell you what I want. I want a church full of people who are financially able to help me build this relocation.” They want all this stuff.
And I look at them and I say, “You don’t have a chance.” Or I want exciting people and the guy’s boring. I want people with faith and he’s filled with doubts. I want people with love and he’s got a cynical spirit. You see, we don’t attract in our groups what we want. That’s why when people say, “Write down what you want.” I tell you, just drives me nuts. I say, “No. First step, write down who you are. And when you’re done writing down who you are, I’m going to tell you who you’re going to get.” Like begets like.
Number two. I cannot lead people, secondly, beyond my level of trust. And put the word credibility there. In other words, I can’t lead people beyond the trust level that I have with them. They’ll never let me lead them further than they can trust me. That’s why I put trust is the single most important factor in both personal and professional relationships. I promise you in my marriage with Margaret, I’ll do anything in my life never to violate trust, because I know something about my marriage. It’s a great marriage, but I’m going to tell you what, the moment trust is violated, the whole foundation begins to disintegrate and crumble.
It’s true in my marriage, it’s true in your relationship with your people. The whole process of trust, that’s why Ben has said this, but I got a little blank there. Warren Bennett said this, “Trust is the glue that holds an organization together.” And I can’t lead people beyond whatever that level of trust is. If they don’t trust me, I can’t lead them. How do you build trust? Simple stuff. One, consistent lifestyle. Two, honest communication. Three, transparency. Four, humility. Five, proven support. Six, fulfilled promises. Seven, servant attitude. Eight, two-way participation. There are another dozen of those, but those are just some ways, quick shots of how to build trust. By the way I’ve operated with it and without it, and I can tell you, can’t operate without it. It’s very, very difficult when trust is gone.
Number three, the third personal limitation is, I cannot lead people past my level of commitment. And that deals with sacrifice. In other words, I can’t get people to be more committed than I am. I can’t get people to work harder than I do. It’s always a model. And that’s why I put, seldom will followers sacrifice more than leaders.
Number four, I cannot lead people around my undisciplined lifestyle. And the keyword is discipline there. That’s simple enough. So I put a quote of mine, “To consistently and successfully lead others, we must consistently and successfully lead ourselves.” A disciplined lifestyle means, I figure by this time you’re tired of taking notes. I have to consistently pay the price. Did you catch this one? I have to consistently pay the price for my position. The moment you and I think we have a position because of yesterday is the day we’ll lose it tomorrow. You have to constantly fight for that.
A disciplined lifestyle means I have to consistently provide what my people need. A disciplined lifestyle means I have to consistently do what made me successful. A disciplined lifestyle means that I have to consistently do it better than I did yesterday. A disciplined lifestyle means that I have to consistently grow in my personal and professional life.
Note, when most people arrive at their success destination, they stop doing what made them successful. I’ve seen it happen all the time, haven’t you? And in the disciplined lifestyle, what I have found is people that do not maintain a disciplined lifestyle, the reason that they do not is they believe that life is a destination and so therefore they wait for that. They get to it, and then they expect it to continue to happen. Greatness doesn’t happen in an event and it doesn’t happen in a moment. Greatness happens day in, day out, day in, day out, day in, day out, day in, day out. Quit hugging that position. Quit just trying to enjoy that position without the growth and the discipline. You got it.
Number five, one more thing. I cannot lead people without my willingness to serve them. And this deals with attitude. And I believe that servanthood is the missing link in most chains of commands. Now, we’ve talked about five things, five personal limitations. Let’s look at it just for a second. I cannot lead people beyond my leadership skills. I cannot lead people above my level of trust. I cannot lead people past my level of commitment. I cannot lead people around my undisciplined lifestyle. And I cannot lead people without my willingness to serve.
Now, let’s just say, in life I get a certain amount of goodwill. And it’s not really money, but I’m going to use this as a visual example. So let’s say that I’m trying to lead this group here. This is my group and I’m trying to lead them, but I don’t have leadership ability. And there are some in this group, I’m about a five and there are some eights and nines. What’ll happen is in this whole process is, after a while I’ll have to give up my leadership ability to someone else. It usually will happen that way, sooner or later. But it’s okay, because I still have some stuff here. But let’s say I promised this group something of which not only did I not fulfill it, but they probably suspicioned that I never intended on fulfilling it. I huffed and puffed them and took a shortcut one night in a meeting trying to recruit one more person thinking that I could bring him into the group without some type of integrity.
And all of a sudden in their little meeting, they realize that I’m not who I’m cracked up to be. And I lack the character and I lack the credibility and the integrity I need to be. And so what happens is, I give that up. But it’s all right, I still have some change left. So we get into this third area. Oh, this is the level of commitment. Now I’m going to my group and I’m asking them to do things I don’t do. I’m asking them to have meetings I don’t have. I’m asking them to show plans that I don’t show. And pretty soon, they realize that I’m good at talking, but I’m not too good at walking. They size me up, don’t they? Just gave it up. But that’s all right, I got some change. I’m still the leader.
But then I go down here to this area of undisciplined lifestyle. I call meetings that I don’t show up to, but I always have an excuse. Reasons why I couldn’t, shouldn’t, didn’t, and hadn’t. Now, you know what, you can always miss a meeting and get by with it. You can always take a shortcut and get by with it. But you can’t take a lot of shortcuts and you can’t miss a lot of meetings. And when I come, they can tell I’m not prepared. They can tell I didn’t work hard. So they see that I’m talking, but I’m not disciplined and I’m not paying the price. Well, you know what happens after a while. I got to give it up, but it’s all right. I still got some left. See, the worst thing in life is for a person that’s losing their change to still have some, because they assume that things will go always as have gone.
So in this last area, I don’t have a servant’s heart to this group. I begin to manipulate them. I begin to take advantage of them. I begin to expect things out of them. I began to get disgusted with them when they don’t come along like they should and they don’t see my heart anymore, they don’t see my friendship, they don’t see my willingness to meet their needs and take care of them and walk the second mile and turn the other cheek. I give it up. Now, one day I come into this group as I have in times’s pass, reach into my pocket to pull out my change of life that makes me a leader. And when I pull it out, I’m bankrupt. It’s over. What happened? What happened? I mean, wait, I mean the group … I don’t have my group anymore. Where did they go? And I don’t understand this whole thing.
And here’s the worst thing about what I’m talking about in these personal limitations of your life. Here’s the worst thing about it. You never know your bankrupt, until you’re bankrupt. So I go back and I begin to serve them. And as I began to serve them, I get a little change back. And I begin to live a disciplined lifestyle and I get some change back. Now, let me say something about life in a way and the way leadership works. Let me tell you something, it always takes you longer to get it back than it does to lose it. So be careful with it now, because you got it. Does that make sense? And I become trustworthy and I get it back. And I began to grow in my leadership ability and I get it back. And I do whatever the fifth thing was, I can’t remember and I get it back.
Are you living off yesterday or are you investing in tomorrow? Those are the questions you got to be asking. Good questions, aren’t they? They’re good questions for me. I can tell you right now, where I live, they’re good questions. There are questions I got to ask myself all the time. Make it your mission to personally grow as a leader. Make it your passion. Keep growing, have that passion for growth.
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Thanks for coming back. Traci, I’m really excited to begin this with you today. There’s a standout session that we kind of use as the thesis of every one of our podcasts. And today’s is, you cannot give what you do not have. You can’t offer to something, something you have not cultivated and developed. And so here we are with John and I’ve watched him, I’ve watched him work on himself in each one of these areas. He’s just said, “Hey, I’m going to tell you, I realize these are limitations. I realize they limit people. I’m not going to allow them to limit me.” And of course, you’re spending your life helping others not be limited too, so I’m excited. I’m excited to dig into this with you.
I’m excited about it. It’s also a little cringy because, really, it’s about ourselves. This is an inside job, this lesson. This is about our personal limitations and I have a feeling that we’re going to be a little exposed in this lesson.
Welcome to our world. Come on the podcast and tell the world.
I know. But the first one where he talked about I cannot lead people beyond my leadership abilities. That is really, I know I found that to be true in my life. Because he gave a list of five things that your leadership skills will determine. The size of the organization, the quality of the people that you draw to you, the number of leaders within your organization, the morale of your organization, and the potential growth of the organization. So how do you say, when you’re speaking to leaders, and we are speaking to many leader friends, how do you, speaking to a leader, help them to develop in this area, Mark?
Well just truly, thanks for asking it and thanks for asking it like that because it’s truly out of my own life’s journey. Again, remember the story everyone. 22 years ago I came with nothing, no position, no title, no experience, no ability to bring a network with me. And then the 22 years have been very kind to me. The reason I bring that up, Traci, is because while I do believe I cannot lead people beyond my leadership ability, I believe that we can grow our ability, therefore, increase the types and quality of people around us. The quality of people that John and myself are attracting to our organization now is staggering.
But so many times, people start out wanting to attract people that don’t find them attractive. So I want to attract a type of leader with me and I go out and I go, “Well, what’s wrong? Why won’t they get on the team? Why won’t they join me in the journey?” It’s because I’m not attractive, I’m not capable of influencing or at attracting someone with that level. Again, that’s all the bad news. The good news is, if you’re not attracting the kind of people that you want, because John says here, The Attraction Principle, we attract who we are, not what we want. Well, if I look around me and I don’t like the people, go back to the mirror. Because it’s you, you’re attracting who you are.
And the reason I love this limitation is because it is improvable. It is repairable. It is something that, with diligence and effort, we can begin to develop ourselves and remove the limitation or the lid and begin to increase others. I think the key takeaway here is, look around you, look at your team. If they’re not helping you, you probably need to go help yourself first and then attract some people that will take you to that next journey.
So in sales we call that, zeros don’t attract heroes. Not that anybody’s a zero. Everyone, we’ve already established, has a 10 on their head. But if you count yourself as a zero and you’re wanting to follow and have a following of heroes that you lead, maybe that switch is that you follow heroes and you glean from them. But what would that be then, just leading right where you are.
It’s leading the people that are attracted to you today. Even though you don’t have the dream team that you desire, it’s leading them well where you’re at today. That’s where you develop those skills.
It is. But so many people spend more time planning on where they want to be than assessing where they are. And we all talk about, man, I want tens on my team, I want tens on my team. Why am I not attracting 10? And we spend more time talking about the desire of tomorrow or desire what we want on the team than we do assessing where we are and why we are there and attracting who we are. That’s why I think the biggest challenge is, understand this first limitation, I cannot lead beyond my leadership skills. Good. Again, that’s the bad news. The good news is, assess where you are and begin to build a plan to get there.
I told you beforehand, and I told all of you that join us every week and we love you so much for it, I told you beforehand that when I was listening to John teach this lesson about I cannot lead people beyond my level of trust, which in all speaking, really, about credibility, Traci. And then he talks about he and Margaret and how he makes sure that as messy as their relationship is and as messy as someone in demand as John is, there are some components about relationships that you have to make sure you get tools that you actually focus on to make sure you have credibility in those areas.
And so it was the time that I told you before and I said, okay, number one, let me remind everybody, if you didn’t watch last week, if you didn’t listen last week, if you’re listening, you’re missing out, because I’m holding up Traci Morrow’s book, Real Life Marriage. And I love the tagline, Navigating, You’re beautiful. Got that one. Boy, that sounds good.
That’s the wedding day. Hold up.
Messy. Whoa, wait. Did you know I have a messy marriage, Traci, what’s going on? Is Stephanie talking to you? And then one of a kind love story and I went, oh, that captures it all, doesn’t it? And so I wanted to spend a little time on this and almost kind of reverse roles. You’re not asking me questions, I’m asking you questions, because you wrote this book and I think you really are one of the most consistent relational people I’ve ever met, ever.
We get to do a lot together. You host several things for us, events. We spoke together at an IMC event a few weeks ago.
Get to do a lot of stuff together. But one of the things that I admire the most is your consistency in your relationships, and specifically, your family relationships. Tell us a little bit about this book and what is it all about?
Well, it really is kind of that next level is, my level of trust and credibility that John talks about. One of the things he said in there that I loved, and I even wrote it in my notes, “I’ll do anything not to violate the trust with Margaret.” And that’s hard. If you’ve been married more than a minute, that that’s hard because marriage is messy and difficult. And the wedding day is beautiful, like I say in the book, you’re beautiful. That’s a beautiful day. You have all your hopes and dreams for your marriage and you aren’t married very long before you realize the messiness is two very different people, two different backgrounds, two different personality types, two different gifts, two different ways of looking and viewing and doing life. And you come together under one house and you are supposed to merge your life together for life. And that’s actually really difficult.
So especially in this world of Instagram where we see people who put out this beautiful picture, and in your own home, I can’t imagine that anyone listening to this or watching this may have had a fight with their spouse today. Maybe the 50th time you’ve had that same disagreement and that’s the messy part of it. And where that trust can be broken because we just feel exhausted from continuing to try and rework those same things. So this book is really about Casey and I. We are two really different people, but I loved that man and I wanted a marriage that went the distance. And so I was willing to turn over every rock and, interestingly, to find tools.
Interestingly, I found them in John’s books, in John’s audios. Anything I could learn from John about how to have healthy relationships. When he says trust is the single most important factor in both personal and professional relationships, I took that to heart and I applied everything I learned from John into my marriage and applied those same, twisted a little bit from a work environment to the home environment, of honoring one another and building trust.
He gave eight pieces to us in this call, in this lesson. Eight ways that we can build trust with one another and I really put my heart into doing that. And this book is kind of the pathway to, how do you have healthy communication? How do you become a safe person in conflict?
Yeah, I’ve heard you say this book was not biographical, because the journey continues. So it’s not this, let me air out my dirty laundry, it’s not that.
Although there is some of that in there.
It’s also not inspirational, although it’s very inspirational. But it wasn’t intended for that, it was intended to give tools.
So tell me, what does that mean? This is a book of tools and application.
What I heard John say a long time ago is a lot of times people just live the life that is given to them rather than choosing the life that they actually really desire. And that’s the same thing for your marriage. I think so many times we can compare our lives to people. And so I think it was, hey, you know what, there’s no one else like me on this planet. There is no one else my spouse. Same thing as for you. And so I wanted to share the tools that Casey and I found a rhythm. After about 15 years of marriage, that we found a rhythm once we kind of decoded one another, stop trying to have one another fit different roles.
And we started understanding our personalities, our love languages, the way we expressed love to one another. What we actually really wanted out of our life, rather than trying to duplicate maybe what we saw in my family was one trap you can fall into, and have the opposite of what we saw in his family, which was another trap you can fall into. But what do we actually want for ourselves? Taking some of the good from both of our families and charting our own course, choosing the marriage that we wanted and then being safe people in conflict.
I share in the book, Casey grew up with, I love my in-laws, but they were both alcoholics. He grew up in a home that was really scary as a kid. And so we had to learn to have healthy conflict because he didn’t know what that looked like. And so just those little pieces, the things that we learned from reading books and from what I learned from John, finding those pieces and finding our way through healthy language in a conflict and finding conflict resolution, healthy communication.
We’ve actually went from kind of, for those of you who are listening, I’m almost holding knuckles to each other like this friction to really finding a dance and a groove and finding we’re actually, we didn’t need to become a different person, but we actually, when we live our best selves, we actually are really complimentary to one another.
That’s beautiful. That’s beautiful. And again, here’s the book for those of you watching Real Life Marriage by Traci Marrow. We’re going to include in the show notes how you can get the book. We’ll include that as a link and then-
Of course, they can go to Amazon, I’m sure. And so good job, Traci. I’m super excited.
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By the way, speaking of marriage, you can’t lead people past the level of my commitment, which talks about sacrifice.
Right? Yeah. So it’s saying, here John said, “Seldom will followers sacrifice more than leaders.” Can you explain, I think sacrifice is a scary word for people, and especially if you’ve never heard that as it relates to business or your work. Or can you describe a little bit what you think that looks like and what that might mean for a leader?
One of the greatest ways that John illustrated, and I lived this out before I’d ever heard John talk about this, but he tells about his nephew that had started a job and he went in there and he asked his nephew who wanted to climb the ladder as quick as possible. And he said, “Hey, let me ask you a question. What time’s starting time?” The nephew answered, “It’s 8:00.” He said, “Not for you. It’s 7:30.” And he said, “How long do you have for lunch?” And he said, “An hour. Isn’t that great, the give an hour?” He said, “No, not for you. That’s 30 minutes.” He said, finally he said, “What time’s quitting time?” He said, “Oh, it’s 5:00.” And he said, “No, not for you. It’s 5:30.”
And then he began to walk him through, here’s what you need to do. The first week you need to request a meeting with the top leader and you need to go in and say, “Here’s my cell phone. If you ever need anything, I’m here to help you. Wash your car, take your laundry.” Some people call that kissing up. That’s okay. What I call it is being willing to give up to go up. It’s the law of sacrifice. And so for me, in my application, when I first started working alongside John on our team, he won’t let me say working for him. When I first started working, I was living 52 miles away in Atlanta. Look at this scary face, those of you watching. That’s terrible. Especially on a Friday night.
Friday evening you leave at five, you get home at seven, 7:30, if you’re lucky. So I just determined two things. One, I get to work a lot earlier and I was going to leave a little later in the name of beating traffic or missing traffic, but in the anticipation that I would demonstrate a sacrificial work ethic that would attract people to give me opportunity and it worked. The second thing that I would tell you is, it would get really easy to listen, there’s some pretty good radio stations in Atlanta that’s pretty entertaining. I like music, I like to be entertained. It would’ve been a time to be entertained. I just determined I was going to sacrifice entertainment and invest in myself.
In other words, a leader looks at what is required and does more. A leader looks at what is expected and exceeds that. And so I think that’s what John is saying here. Seldom will followers sacrifice more than leaders. Because if the standard is this, a leader’s always trying to raise that standard.
Yeah. Oh that’s so good. That’s so good. And it kind of leads right into the next one, which is really discipline. So that one’s kind of sacrifices, thinking outside the box of how you can show up differently. But then not just once or twice, but the discipline of showing up regularly that way. Consistency. John jokes around a lot about how that’s such, he gives a big show about how consistency is such an unsexy word. But what are the most common missteps, now you’re the CEO of all of John’s world and now you’ve taken that baton and you are running with it. Run, your word.
But what would you say are the most common missteps that you see with leaders? Not just team members, but leaders living an undisciplined lifestyle?
I think a lot of times when you reach the prize or you reach a success level, you feel like you can give up the things that’s taken you there. And I’ve heard it said, and I’m going to address this in just a moment. What got you here won’t keep you here. And that’s a true statement. I’ll talk about that in a moment. But sometimes that is a misrepresented statement. What got you here is what’s going to keep you here and take you to the next level. There’s a hunger that I’ll see in people climbing a ladder or pursuing position or trying to get there that somehow subsides when they have achieved it.
There’s a willingness to serve others until you feel like you’ve reached a position that you want to be served. Well, I think the discipline of servant leadership applies even more the higher your influence in an organization. And most people lose the discipline they serve to get, not serve to give. I’m serving you because I hope for something back rather than I serve so that I hope that you get what you’re wanting to accomplish. And so a lot of times, you’ll find the disciplines of getting up early, getting in the office before everyone else, that begins to subside when you have the privileges and the perks and you kind of come in when you want to. You kind of do what you would like to do.
I believe sacrifice should be felt more the higher you accomplish your dream and the higher you achieve success in an organization. You should feel the responsibility of sacrificing more. Why, because you’re more visible. It will compound influence. If you’ll visibly sacrifice more, it’ll encourage others. I think the other reason that we need to discipline ourself to sacrifice more is our position already creates a barrier of connectivity.
People don’t tell you, boss, what you need to hear. John told me many years ago, he said, “Mark, when you become the CEO, you will no longer be coined as bringing a bad decision to the table.” Now, you will bring bad decisions to the table and everybody will go, “Oh Mark, that’s the best idea.” And they’re gagging underneath all that best idea. And so when we keep an attitude of discipline and sacrifice, we limit the success gap that sometimes comes to those that have had great accomplishment inside of an organization.
I think that’s a lot in line with what John talks about, has talked about for years, about believing your own press. and I think it’s really the way we’ve conditioned and how it’s been where you know that if you work so hard, you get the car, you get the house, you get all the things that you’re wanting for yourself as you are climbing the ladder. And then once you get there, it’s very hard for some people to have the mentality of like, now you get the perks, you get the front line to park your car and the spot and the big office and all that kind of stuff. And what you are talking about, what John has been talking about is that you don’t ever allow yourself to get in that mindset to be the fancy guy.
So what is that tension and how does a leader starting out, who is really hungry, what are the things that they say to themselves so they don’t fall into the trap of trying to get to that place where then they can park in the front and have the big office. What is that tension? Because you do have a nicer office and there are perks. So what is that tension that you tell yourself as a young leader so you don’t plan to get comfortable there?
Well, I think all of us as rising leaders and all of us that lead people that want to be a rising leader, we really need to do a heart check. What is the desired outcome for me personally by accomplishing that achievement, that position? What is it really? That I want to tell people what to do, that I want to be the big cheese, that I want a nicer car? If you can uncover within yourself motive, that motive that really indicates that you are the one that wants to be the best benefactor of your success, you’re going to have a problem. You really are. I’ve seen some people that were very self-motivated in their benefit that has risen and discovered a better way down the road. But most people that rise with that as their agenda, self-benefit, will have a short shelf life.
But if people really want that and have that aspiration so that it will benefit others and so that they can use that greater influence, that bigger platform for the benefit of raising up additional people or doing good for the world, you’re going to find somebody that’s a lot more sustainable for you to invest in because they’re not going to get up there and crash and burn. They’re going to get up there and continue climbing.
And the team’s going to be able to tell.
The team will be able to tell if your motive is for all the gain to be for you. And it doesn’t have to just be just the team. John will say, it’s great when it’s a win-win, when there’s a benefit to you. It leads right into number five where he talks about willingness to serve. Are you serving the team as a leader or are you just serving yourself?
So one of the things I thought was so interesting when he talked about you don’t know that you’re bankrupt until you’re bankrupt, which I thought was such a great way of putting it and the way he led up with the change in your pocket and all of that stuff. So I would love for you to expand on that just a little bit in closing. But also, one of the things that he said was, he was talking about, oh, I took a note about it, but he was talking about people who, they get to the end and they’re bankrupt. But how often have you seen, how common is it when they get to that point and they have no more change in their pocket with people and they have missed their way?
Is it common for people to acknowledge it and start back up again? Or do they just kind of trail off? What if there’s a leader listening and they’re like, I’m bankrupt, I used up all the change in my pocket and I now need to start basically from scratch with my people because I’m bankrupt with them?
Number one, I am a leader that was bankrupt. I tell my story I was bankrupt emotionally, financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually. I was bankrupt when I joined John 22 years ago. So I am a living testament that the answer to your question is, yes, people can wake up and be bankrupt and start over again and have even greater impact in all those major categories that’s important in our lives, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, financially. So the answer is yes. I think what I want to go with the question that you asked though is, what do we put in our life to safeguard-
Oh, that’s great.
Losing too much change in our pocket. Because John’s analogy, and I don’t know why I’ve never heard this before, but he said losing change, he said he feels sorry for the people that are losing change, but they still think they have it. They’ve lost all the change in their pocket, but they still walk around as if they’ve got it. And isn’t that really sad? Most people, when you get bankrupt, you realize, I’m bankrupt. But imagine the individual that still thinks they’ve got all of that and the position is masking that they have no influence capital in the organization. And my heart went out to that because I want some of us, especially young leaders that are climbing quick, I want you to put in safeguards that will help you not lose the change in your pocket before you realize it.
I think there’s a couple of things that come to mind there. One is asking people what it’s like to be on the other side of me. Liz Wiser and my friend, help me realize that in her book, Maximizers. What is it like to be on the other side of me? I think the other is, getting a inner circle that has the ability to speak clearly and certainly in your life. Here’s what I mean by certainly. Too many people have people around them that when and if they do speak up, they make it so negative of an experience to those that spoke up, that they’ll never do it again.
When people give you the gift of critique, you need to hug them, you need to buy them dinner, you need to do something for them so that they will keep doing that for you. They may not be right. I’ve had people give me critique often that they’re not right, even though they’re close to me, they’re just not right because they’re not seeing more and before as the leader does. They’re seeing it from where they are, rather than where I am.
However, the day that I discount critical feedback from an inner circle member is the day I can count the number of days that I’m not going to have critical feedback in the future because people won’t keep doing it. So I would get these questions, what is it like to be on the other side of me, I would empower and inner circle to begin processing that.
Hey, well man, I just wish we didn’t run out of time here. I know I want to remind everybody again, Real Life Marriage, Traci Morrow in the show notes. Go to Amazon, pick that up and make your significant relationships better with what you pick up from this book. I was really impacted by Shavania. She watched the, I think she watched, she may have just listened to the podcast that I did recently with Jeff Henderson. She gave us a comment that I really love and I want to encourage you with her comment today.
She said, “Mark and Jeff, thank you for this episode. One of the most powerful takeaways for me is what Jeff said about grieving well. I recently left my job of 11 plus years. My plan is to focus on growing as a Maxwell Leadership coach and trainer. Yet, the last two months have been very difficult and a lot of the excitement for this new chapter has fallen prey to the unprocessed grief of leaving that last job. Working through the grief was uncomfortable, but I see that if it is the next thing I have to do in order to move forward and grow forward, thank you again. I’m now reading Know What You Are For and I have What To Do Next in my bookcase. So, so many great things. Thank you for the podcast.”
And for you and all of you that listened to the podcast, thank you. Hey, we hope today has impacted you. We hope today has been exactly what you needed. We hope somebody close to you will be impacted by today’s episode because the world needs you. The world needs powerful, positive change. In other words, the world and the people around you deserve to be led well.
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