Today Mark Cole and Chris Goede begin a new two-part series in which John Maxwell teaches five things that don’t require talent. These are characteristics every growing leader must embrace to get out of what we at Maxwell Leadership call “the people pile.” If you learn these five things, you’ll take your leadership to the next level. Today we’ll talk about points one and two. And next week, we’ll cover three through five.
Our BONUS resource for this episode is the “Things That Don’t Require Talent Worksheet,” which includes fill-in-the-blank notes from John’s teaching. You can download the worksheet by clicking “Download the Bonus Resource” below.
To help you get started, BELAY is offering Maxwell Leadership listeners a free download of their The Power of Productivity. This resource has everything you need to get started, grow, and succeed with your new VA. Just text MAXWELL to 55123 for FREE access.
Welcome to the Maxwell Leadership Podcast. This is a podcast that is committed to adding value to leaders who multiply value to others. My name is Mark Cole, and today Chris Goede and I began a new two part series in which John Maxwell teaches five things that don’t require talent. Now, if you’re like me and don’t feel very talented, you’re just already saying, okay, Mark, stop talking. Let John talk. I want to know. See, these are characteristics every leader, every growing person must embrace to get out of what we at Maxwell Leadership call the people pile. If you learn these five things, you’ll take your leadership to the next level.
Now, today, Chris and I will talk about points one and two. And then next week, we invite you back and we’ll cover the final three, four, and five points that John makes about being more than talented. If you’d like to watch this episode on YouTube or download the bonus resource for this episode, just visit MaxwellPodcast.com/Talent. All right, let’s get ready to learn. Here is John Maxwell.
The lesson title today is things that do not require talent. Several months ago, most of you know, as listeners, I do some speaking for sports teams in the United States. And several months ago, I went back to Ohio State, which is my favorite college football team. My wife Margaret attended there, and they asked me to come and speak before the big Ohio State Michigan game. And they sent me their notebook that they use for their players and teaching and things such as that. My attention was given to a section in the Ohio State study book that was titled items that Do Not Take Talent. And in that, they began to list some things that require no talent at all. And it began to set off kind of a thinking process for me, of which I decided to do a lesson.
From So to Coach Tressel and the high state buckeyes. You were the genius of me developing this lesson in your workbook, in your notes.
The purpose of this lesson is not to minimize talent, but to emphasize those things that are not dependent upon talent, yet when practiced, add value to others and to ourselves. Okay? That’s the purpose of this lesson. We’re not trying to minimize talent, but we are trying to emphasize that there are some things that are not dependent upon talent, yet when you practice them, they add value to others and they add value to yourself. Interestingly enough, most of the things that are going to require you to be successful me to be successful do not require extraordinary talent. I want to give you now things that require no talent at all, that each one of you can do, things that require no talent. Number one, teachability. Let me define teachability. The desire to listen, learn, and apply.
Or as Henry Brooks Adams said, they know enough who know how to learn teachability. Now, there are several thoughts out of this lesson I would like to give you on this subject. So let me give you five. Number one, nothing is interesting if you’re not interested. Nothing is interesting if you’re not interested. The key to teachability is being interested, having a desire to learn. In other words, don’t you know some people, they’re just not interested in life? You know what I’m talking about? Their middle name is boring. If you’re not interested in learning, if you’re not curious about life, if you don’t have an appetite to grow and learn, then I can tell you right now you’re not a teachable person.
But the key to being teachable isn’t a high IQ or an educational degree. The key to being teachable is the fact that you are interested in life itself. The second thought on teachability is this my best friends are my best teachers. I’ve discovered that about myself and I’m going to talk about it in a moment. But let me give you the quote. First, make your friends, your teachers and mingle the pleasures of conversation with the advantages of instruction. What I’ve discovered about teachability is that number one, nothing is interesting unless you are interested. And secondly, my best friends are my best teachers.
And number three, successful people view learning differently than those who are less successful. I’ll repeat it. Successful people view learning differently than those who are less successful. Sidney Harris said in your notes, a winner knows how much he still has to learn even when he is considered an expert by others. A loser wants to be considered an expert by others before he has learned enough to know how little he knows. Isn’t that the truth? The only people I have ever met that are knowitalls are people who don’t know it all. The fourth thing I would like to share about teachability is this look for and plan your teachable moments. Look for and plan your Teachable moments.
Benjamin Franklin said, empty the coins of your purse into your mind and your mind will fill your purse with coins. I’m always sad when I see a person who won’t invest in themselves. I’m always sad when a person won’t buy a book or attend a seminar because there’s a registration fee and they’re talking about it costs too much. And I always want to walk into their life and say, do you know what it cost for you not to learn? Do you know what expense it is for you not to grow and develop yourself? And what I’ve discovered is that if you really want to be a teachable person, you have to look for and plan for those teachable moments. That’s what I know about teachable people. Well, one more thing. Number five, make your teachable moments count. Make your teachable moments count.
In other words, here’s a question for you of all the notes you’ve taken all day. The question I’ve got for you is this what are you going to do with it when you go home? Taking notes won’t make you successful. If that was true, everybody that went to school would be a success. And we know better than that. Taking notes won’t make you successful. What you do with those notes after you take those notes will determine your success. Teachability doesn’t take any talent. It just takes a desire to learn.
No talent necessary. Number two initiative. It takes no talent to initiate. It takes no talent to get started. Discipline, yes. Talent, no. Benjamin Franklin said, and it’s in your notes. To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.
Let me give you some insights about initiative. Number one. Accept responsibility for your own life. If you’re going to learn how to initiate, you’ve got to accept responsibility for yourself. Lack of responsibility equals lack of initiative.
Do you see that in your notes? Okay, listen to me carefully. I have found that people that lack initiative almost always lack responsibility. They don’t feel responsible. It’s someone else’s job. It’s someone else’s problem. They’re like the guy that was in a boat, and he was at one end of the boat. At the other end, there was a hole in the boat, and it was springing, a leak, and water was coming to the boat. And he looked at his budy, he said, I’m sure glad that leak isn’t on my side of the boat.
In fact, that’s an important little quote I had there. Lack of responsibility equals lack of initiative. Let’s say that together out loud, okay? Lack of responsibility equals lack of initiative. George Bernard Shaw said, the people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want. And if they can’t find them, make them. The second insight on initiative is discover your dream and pursue it. Number three, divide your dream into manageable parts. If you want to initiate, you’ve got to break it down.
And here’s what happens when something overwhelms people. They many times are paralyzed and fail to initiate. Have you ever had a project that was just so big you just didn’t get started? So what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to take the projects and you’ve got to reduce them down. Overwhelmed people seldom initiate. One more thought on initiative. Understand the downside of no initiative. Abraham Lincoln said, things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. Hello.
The great coach for Alabama for many. Many years, the legendary coach for Alabama said, cause something to happen. Now, so far we’ve talked about two things that require no talent. We’ve just finished talking about initiative, and it doesn’t take any talent to initiate, doesn’t take any talent to get going. And then we talked about teachability. Both of those things are within your grasp.
As leaders, it’s so tempting to feel like we need to do it all. We put this enormous pressure on ourselves to accomplish more today than we did yesterday, to earn more this year than we did last year, but somehow along the way, we still want to be present and more available in our personal relationships. I would suggest something has to give. Doing it all is a myth of leadership. In fact, the best leaders are the one who delegate, operate our of their strengths, and set others up to do the same. If you want to discover that kind of freedom and that kind of effectiveness, BELAY can help. BELAY pairs busy leaders with highly vetted, U.S. based virtual assistants that save them from administrative overwhelm, and direct them back to working on what matters most. To help you, BELAY is offering Maxwell Leadership listeners a free download of their resource called The Power of Productivity. It has everything you need to get back on track with more productive workdays. Simply text MAXWELL to 55123. That M-A-X-W-E-L-L to 55123. Get ready to accomplish more and juggle less with BELAY.
Hey, so welcome back, podcast friends. I really am excited about this. I came in chris, you might even want to share just a moment of how you came into John’s organization. But I certainly came in. I was at a restart in life. I didn’t feel very talented in business, I wasn’t I didn’t feel very talented with success because I was in a pretty broken place. And so I truly walked in and I was mesmerized by the people that I was surrounded by, people that could lead. I didn’t feel very talented.
And yet here we are today, you and I, co leading this thing that was very impacting. And so great news, everybody. Talent is not the only thing that will drive you to success.
There’s a chance for you, right? Small chance. There’s a chance for you if Mark and I are sitting here. It’s interesting because as you just posed that question to me, I was thinking about one of my all time favorite books of John. Coming from just an athletic background, I was attracted to the title of the book, talent Is Never Enough. Now, I think the title’s changed since then, but for me, that book was I just dove right into it because growing up, you see so many different people that exceed whatever they’re going after, whatever their KPIs are, that you go, man, how did that happen? Right? Because this individual over here was more talented. And I think what John’s going to really unpack for us are some of those key things that we’re going to talk about. And I absolutely love this lesson. I think if you’re in the business of growth like we are, this is right up your alley.
I would agree, because anybody can, I think, go about this. And actually, as I was thinking through this, I was like, as we dive in today, the first one that we’re really going to spend a lot of time on is hard for a lot of us. Let’s just be honest. Where we go, man, we have to put aside our thoughts. We have to put aside our inner defense attorney. Maybe I’ve been called that before in a different discussion. Right? And you have to go, man.
Okay, So I’ve got to have the understanding that there are other perspectives out there. There are other ways to do it. There are other things for us to go after, and we’ve got to be able to be teachable. And so I want to talk a little bit about this word from your perspective. You obviously just mentioned in the intro the amount of growth you’ve had is because you were open to being teachable. But also you’ve let a lot of people that are teachable let’s unpack a little bit from your perspective for those that are listening the difference of what you see in those that are teachable or not teachable, the impact that this has had on your growth as a leader.
Well, it’s so interesting. So this is going to be fresh on my mind, but we just launched Maxwell Leadership, Vietnamese. And so now we have a certified team that only speak Vietnamese. We are launching corporate solutions. We’re launching all of our personal growth solutions in the incredible country of Vietnam. Yes. But really, we’ve expanded by looking at language groups. So Vietnamese people now are being served by everything that we’re doing.
So literally, right before coming down today to the studio to join you, I was teaching about 175 of our new certified coaches in Vietnam. It is awesome. But it triggered me back because I’m teaching Zoom. And for some of them, I never saw anything but the top of their head. It triggers me back to the first time I traveled in Asia with John. And John said, Now, Mark, when you’re talking, don’t think everybody’s fallen asleep. They’re the best notetakers, the best people that want to learn and take a note on everything you say. And of course, we know that podcast Family, and I’m looking at you on YouTube.
Thanks for watching us today. But we know, Podcast Family that taking notes certainly isn’t the only thing to indicate teachability. Right. I’ve seen a lot of people take a lot of notes, never pull it back out, and they were not any of the better for it. But certainly being able to be in a posture of learning and taking notes, that’s why we do the bonus resource every single week and ask Jake and Chris, I stumble on it, being able to say it almost every single week as well. But we do that because we want you to have a posture of learning. I’ve met a lot of people. You’re talking to them, you’re giving great thoughts, or at least great experience.
Sometimes my sharing is not great thoughts, but it is always great experience because I’ve been traveling with John and I watch people never take a note. They never give an indication that they heard it. And then also, Chris, I want to tell you that I believe one of the most sad waste of John Maxwell’s time is we have people that pay literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to be mentored by John. They bring him in I get to tag along a lot. They bring us in to mentor their people. And John’s, there open access to ask the leadership guru of the world a question. And there’s crickets, there’s chirping, there’s nothing. We end a call early that’s been paid for.
And I always go, wow. John Maxwell’s experience. John Maxwell’s words. John Maxwell’s deal. And yet people are not going to ask questions. And I understand intimidation and I’m going to ask a stupid question. I understand all that. And if you were on one of those calls, I’m not picking at you.
But what I am saying, the worst question is the unasked one, the worst posture is the I know it all. So this concept of teachability is big for me, too.
Yeah, I think about that, and I often think about the Q A. You just went right where I was going. And we’ll ask John sometimes we’ll be like, hey, what was it about that Q A? Or what was it? And he’ll say all the time, he’ll be like, Man, I just wish that they would have asked this question. And like, John’s already out there and he’s already thinking about that. You’ve been in this mode of being teachable, and I want to talk a little about something you hit on just a minute ago where we say and John talks about here in one of his points where he says, make your teachable moments count. And John is big about this. As much as you are consuming, as much as you are learning, and for those that are listening and that are out there, I know it’s true for me. Like, I consume a lot of information and I go through different podcasts and I’m in different conferences, I’m in different meetings and I’m taking notes.
And then I don’t do a really good job of coming back and saying, what are the two things? What are the three things at the pace of which you travel? You learn, you grow, you want to be teachable. How do you do that? How do you really get specific about being teachable? First of all, you’ve already explained that, but then taking what you’re learning and putting it into action.
So you know what’s interesting? I just started this. I’ve always had some kind of an exercise like this, so I’ll explain it, but I just started something new that is really reaping great benefit to my leadership in the area of learning something or applying something. A good friend of ours, Greg Steeley, I think you may have even introduced me to him, now leads our foundation on the next generation side. He told me about a discipline that he got a long time ago. I think it’s with his wife, but I can’t remember all this. But he had a discipline that every evening he’d come up with three takeaways of the day. And again, I think he would share it with Monica. And he said it just was kind of this accountability, and from the accountability standpoint, great.
But what really triggered me is, am I distilling down what is my greatest takeaways at the end of every evening? And I do a great job of planning and reflecting. It is a discipline in my life.
But I was not disciplined on my takeaways. I was disciplined on what did I accomplish? Well, now that I have been doing this for about, I think about three months, two and a half months maybe, now that I’m doing this, it’s incredibly exciting. At the end of the in the evening, I can’t wait to get right in my journal and pull those things out. But here’s what I do on the weekend. You bet you I am pulling that out and then deciding what my top five takeaways from the last seven days is. And then my Sunday takeaway is what I am putting in action already from my takeaways. And that accountability is very important. I have done something, I’ve talked about it on the podcast for many times.
I do something called a life plan. At the end of the year, I reflect the previous year’s plan and put a plan together for the next year. It’s a powerful experience. I’ve had some of the greatest experiences, but the greatest effectiveness of that is when once a month, once a quarter, I pull it back out and make sure how I’m applying it.
Yeah, that’s good. I love that because I think in the world of content, there’s so much content out there. Let’s make sure that we are being very intentional. I love the example you just gave that you learned from Greg. Right. And then you distill it from that big number down to five. And then how is that going to be part of what I do the next week? Okay, before we move on to the next point, let’s talk a little bit about, I would just say, being extremely vulnerable myself. There have been times in our life we’re not teachable.
And we may have missed some opportunities in this organization that we’ve had the privilege of serving for a long time, maybe personally, maybe some others. When that comes to the fact that we have a posture that maybe we’re just guarded, maybe we’re not willing to put the defense attorney down, maybe we already have made our mind up. What are things that we’re missing from maybe a growth standpoint, maybe opportunities, all that when it comes to leadership and.
Not being teachable, one is because we have popularized teachability. Most people would consider themselves teachable. They’ve learned to play the game. So the best way I like to expose to people whether they’re teachable or not is to ask them the area of their life they’re the most confident in, what’s the area you’re most confident in? And we would go through that, and chances are it might would be speaking or communicating. And most of the time. People don’t learn very much in an area where they are ultra or super confident. Yeah, it’s just too much. But the adverse is true, too.
The adverse is true in the area of your most or your greatest insecurity, because you’re embarrassed to put yourself out there because you’re so bad, you don’t want people to think you’re as bad as you really think you are, right? And so on both extremes, I found a gross rejection or resistance to learning. People that are ultra confident turns almost into cockiness, and they believe they’re so good that they should be teaching everybody rather than listening. And the people that see themselves as insecure or insignificant, they won’t learn in those areas. And I would just challenge you, pause for a moment and determine in your life the areas to where you have the greatest amount of insecurities and the area where you have the greatest temptation to be a know it all. And we all have those. We all think we know something that our significant other doesn’t. We all think we know something that nobody else on our leadership team does. What are those areas? And then challenge yourself, when’s the last time I’ve learned something in that area that’s good at the input of others? Because in our security and our cockiness, we’ll silently closet learn, but we won’t openly learn.
Therefore, it’s not great because we don’t process and dialogue about it, because, again, exposes an insecurity or it demonstrates too much cockiness, and we don’t want to let people know we think we’re that good.
Yeah, that’s good.
I’ll tell you, in this whole lesson, one of the things Chris, it’s on the same topic John said, nothing is interesting if you’re not interested. And I’ve worked with a lot of leaders, Chris, you’re not one of them. Okay? So just kind of pause for a minute. I’ve worked with a lot of leaders that are just simply not interested in getting better. They’re not interested. You recruited me to do this, so why don’t you just let me do it? I’m trying to do it, but you won’t let me. There’s not an interest to do it better. Again, it goes back to too much cockiness or differently cockiness or insecurity.
And yeah, they don’t have a desire because it’s become rote to do it any different. I have found that people listen for a lot of reasons, but I think there’s really four categories. People listen. They listen to respond. I can’t wait for you to get done so I can tell you back. Or they listen to understand. Hey, I’m not trying to respond here. I’m trying to learn something here.
I think another way that people listen to is they listen so that they can make their point. All right, I’ll give you your time so I can have my time. They listen to make a point, or they listen to learn a point. And I will just tell you, if you’re not listening to understand enough, and if you’re not listening to receive a point enough, you’re not teachable enough.
And I work with leaders all around the globe, and I can read it very quickly on whether they are listening to respond or they’re listening to learn. If they’re listening so that I’ll quit talking so they can make their point or they’re listening to absorb the point. There’s a posture there.
There’s a body language.
There’s a body language that just says, whoa, can you keep talking? Tell me more about that.
And so, again, I would just tell us if you’re not interested, if you don’t find something interesting, you’re not going to find what you need to learn as a inspiration or a magnet that pulls something out of you.
Those four points, you just wrote them down as you were listening to John say them one more time. Because I think each one of us, as we think about this, we’ve been in conversations the that we know what that body language, we know what that feels like. And I think you did a really good job of putting words to that. Give us those four things one more time.
Yeah. You listen to respond. I can’t wait to get my piece in. Or you listen to understand. I can’t wait to hear you say something more or you listen to make a point. Okay, I am going to listen to what you’re saying because I’m going to prove to you, so I need to hear where you are so I can prove where you need to be. I want to make a point or I want to learn point, and when I want to learn a point or when I listen to receive, there is a teachability that comes out of that that really begins to build that consistency, compounding wisdom that we won’t have. I’ll say one more thing on this.
John was saying something the other day, and John is not egotistical. You know that. I know that. He’s very confident, but he’s not egotistical at all. And he told me something other day. He said, Mark, I would have never imagined the ability to see more and before in other words, what he said was, I would never imagined the wisdom to quickly determine a leadership direction in a situation, in a team, in an environment like I have right now. Well, the only reason he can say that is because of the years, should I say decades that he spent truly learning to receive than to respond.
Yeah, that’s so good. And he does it in such a big picture. I think one of the things with me, I was having a conversation the other day and just talking about one of those points, not doing it the right way. I’ll get into the weeds of things that are being said and try to defend or pick a point, and I’ve missed the entire learning opportunity. I wasn’t teachable in the moment because I was like, okay, I’m going to defend that my response by those three words you use right there. And I missed the whole big picture of that. And I think one of the things we both have learned from John is that there’s such a bigger picture and if you keep asking the right questions, another quote that comes to mind, I might mess this up a little bit, but Tim Elmore says, speak like you’re right, listen like you’re wrong.
And I’m like, okay, well, maybe I speak like I’m right and I listen like I’m right. So, okay, enough about lesson. Yeah, we’re having our own little teachable lesson. But one of the other things that John talks about as we dig into the fact that things don’t require talent in order to grow and to learn and become a better leader, there are skills that we can learn. This is something that the initiative where for the longest time, I thought it was just an innate thing. I thought it was just something like a discernment, like it was in you, like, hey, either I have the ability to drive initiatives or I don’t. And I think one of the things I’ve learned over spending time with you and with John is there is 100% a mindset shift, a thing that you can do as a leader to go, man, let me look at the opportunities before I come to a conclusion that it won’t work or that doesn’t make sense. And I have a logical way of looking at things, and so I have to work really hard to stay away from that.
As you have spent a lot of time with John. He ends with this quote in this section of cause something to happen. And I don’t know if I know of anybody more with the ability to cause things to happen out of sure willpower, out of thought, out of creativity, okay, as a setup. So, man, you have again sit there and you rode shotgun in front seat with John. How have you grown in that area to where being able to take initiative has outgrown some of the other things that has allowed you to become a more effective know?
It’s so funny, Chris, because as John was teaching this, I mean, I circled things like a lack of responsibility equals a lack of initiative. And I just listened to John teach on responsibility, on dreaming, on the downside. And I heard him teach all this and my mind was whirling on this right here. And so I’m just getting ready to test something. By the way, if you’re new to the podcast, this is not the first time I’ve tested something on the podcast. Disregard it if it’s not that good. But I believe that for the large majority of people in the world, we all have initiative. Now, I have multiple children, so I understand there’s some with drive.
Some with not so much drive. I understand type A personalities. I get all of that. And yes, there are some more equipped to drive you, and most of the time they drive you crazy. That’s where they’re driving that initiative. But I’ve also believe with all of my heart that of every person I’ve ever led, of every team member that’s ever been on my team, that they all have initiative. The initiative is just different. The initiative sometimes is hard to find.
But when you can find something in someone that drives them that makes them want to do more than they could have or should have done, then you have found a very valuable piece of insight into helping that person reach their potential. So if you look at your two children if I look at my children, my grandchildren, if I look at them, each one of them has a driver. Every one of our team that you and I manage, they have a driver, some of them. The driver is, get me to 05:00 so I can get out of here and get home to my family. Well, guess what? Their driver is out of the workspace. They got a driver. So then what do I do with that person? I find a way to give them incentive to get them out quicker if they get more done. As leaders, we just look at people and say, oh, you don’t have initiative.
No, they don’t have initiative on the same things you have initiative on. But I believe in all of us, every one of us, there is a passion point that will awaken a degree of initiative. Now, listen to how fast I talk. Listen how passionate I am. I’m not trying to make others have my initiative, my drive, but what I do as a leader have is a huge passion to find the driver point, the passion point in each person so that we can help them drive from initiative. If you can get people to identify that passion point, if you can find a way to accelerate that passion point, then you’re going to awaken a larger degree of initiative. Let’s talk about John. You brought him up.
John Maxwell at 76 is still doing what he’s doing. You know why? Because it’s bigger, it’s better, and it’s more impacting than the previous year. Put John in an environment that is dead, dormant, docile, the guy is ready to go play golf, jump off a bridge, do anything. But it because there’s got look at John Maxwell. I mean, we just talked about his drive. He’s 76. What’s keeping him going is this initiative, this push, this drive for bigger, better, more. You take influence, you take growth, you take movement out of John’s life.
He’s ready to go play golf. He’s ready to jump off a bridge. He’s ready to do something different. Why? Because movement toward impacting others is a huge driver and initiative for him. And what I wish that all of us could do is find that thing that we would want to spend the rest of our life with for free and then let all the benefits come from that and put our drive and initiative into it.
Yeah. And I think as we get ready to wrap up, and I’m going to throw it to you to close one of the things again, we’re going back to things that don’t require talent. To Mark’s point, all of us have some type of initiative in there. It just looks a little bit differently. And at Maxwell leadership, one of the things we talk about a lot is we need to lead people the way they need to be led. So let me just pause for just a minute. Not only do you need to be aware of your initiative is a little bit different, mine’s different than Mark’s, mark’s is different than John’s, john’s is different than Jake’s. Right.
We can go around the table, but this is the key and Mark’s bringing it to the table. Everybody has some type of initiative and as a leader, it’s our responsibility, whether it’s in the family, whether it’s in the community, whether it’s in your organization, whether it is a peer to figure out what that is. And just because it might be different than yours doesn’t mean that they don’t have it. And so I love that because we’re in the people business and we’ve got to really begin to look at because we believe everybody deserves to be led well. And if that’s the case, everybody’s got a different level initiative and it’s something that doesn’t require talent for us to have impact, we just got to help people figure it out and we got to dig in and see what it is and align with that. So wrap up for us.
Yeah. And I’m going to wrap up and I’m going to talk about this book that I’m holding up, YouTube Watchers. And then those of you that’s listening, I’m holding up the book Developing the Leader Within You 2.0, I can tell you the tale of two marks. Two me’s. Both marks are passionate about leadership. Both marks are passionate about developing others. One Mark, after reading this book the first time, read the book and turned all of his initiative into the external climb of impact. How can people perceive me? How do people want to see me? The drive was there, the work ethic was there.
Everything was there. The passion, the drive, the initiative felt like it was leadership. I just wanted to impact. And what I did is I spent all of my external forward focusing things on people, seeing me as influential so I could take them somewhere. It was all external focused. You take that to the 30 year old Mark that came into this organization and heard for the first time that I needed to be bigger on the inside than the outside and I needed to make sure that I was leading me better than others. I never focused on that for the first 15 years, the first 15 years of growth or 1st 15 years of leadership. I never focused on making sure that I was growing myself more than others.
And I don’t think it was just age because young people don’t think like that sometimes. I think it was more of a turning my initiative towards something that felt right but wasn’t right, that was giving impact, but impact on the wrong road. And I would just challenge us as we take a pause in this lesson because we’re going to be back next week and we’re going to teach lessons three, four and our points three, four and five on things that don’t require talent. And we’re just pausing right here on initiative. And I don’t think there’s any accident, Jake, and how we’ve put this content together. Because if you initiative sometimes is not our problem. The wrong initiative, the wrong push, the wrong road and driving that down and finding out we’ve been pushing for something that wasn’t as fulfilling as it should be. And I really do want to challenge you, because as we spend this week processing this podcast and then we come back for part two next week, my encouragement to you is to get your initiative checked.
And, yes, find things that’ll make you initiative, make you inspired to learn, as we talked about teachability, but also get things that make sure it gets you where you want to go. Because I can tell you now, Chris, my most convicting moments is when I realize I have stopped developing myself on the inside and gotten so focused on external challenges, external identity, external accomplishments, and not focusing on the things that matter.
And then when I come back and reset that initiative, reconnects for me and then everything flows out of that. We had a podcast listener, a listener comment that I just want to share with you as we close down Julian. And Julian said, I love well, he listened to the podcast love and work with Marcus Buckingham, which Chris, you did that. I was on DL or sick leave.
Or wherever you are.
We don’t know where I was. I was fighting for my sanity, I think. But anyway, Julian said––I love this Julian’s listening in Texas. This is what he said. I love the podcast. But as I was listening to this episode, like other ones, this was fire. I got to the office, I had to turn on the channel and watch from the beginning. Keep doing what you’re doing.
This is a fresh podcast. Go back. We’ll put it in the show notes where you can listen that. Hey, by the way, for those of you that are unfamiliar with this book or forgot about the impact of this book, we’ll put that out there. The code. When you click on that link, it’s podcast. We’ll give you a 15% discount. Hey, we hope you’ll join us again next week.
We’ll do podcast or we’ll do points three, four and five under things that don’t require talent. Thanks for joining us today. Go check your initiative and go lead, because everyone deserves to be led well.