The Absence Of A Father
No one is ever truly alone and what we lack in the natural, God
always makes up the difference.
The Voices Of Your Past
The introduction from the forth coming book by Frank Francis.
A true story about the rewards of rising to the top 1% or
for a bagpiper.
My Daughter, My Hero
Who sets the baramator for your success?
Focus: The Power of "NO"!
Mastering this 2 letter word can change your entire life!
Dr. John C. Maxwell shares the process of a personal growth
plan including seven statements about the growth process.
Charting Your Destiny
Learn the 4 principles for successfully charting your destiny!
3 Questions Jesus Forbids Us To Ask
Questions are powerful…and some are so powerful that Jesus forbid
us to ask them!
My Daughter's Eyes
By Dr. John
I vividly remember a conversation I had many years ago in 1974,
which marked a turning point in my leadership journey. I was sitting
at a Holiday Inn with my friend, Kurt Campmeyer, when he asked me
if I had a personal growth plan. I didn't. In fact, I didn't even
know you were supposed to have one.
Up until that point, the best term for my growth
would be "accidental
growth." I didn't grow on purpose, but I loved
people and worked hard so that I caught a few things along the way.
That night with Kurt, I realized that to grow like I wanted, my
personal development couldn't be hit-and-miss. I needed to initiate
and activate. I made a decision to devote myself to personal growth.
I literally made personal growth my personal mission.
In my book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,
I talk about the Law of Process, which says, "Leaders develop daily, not
in a day." Our natural inclination is to overestimate
the event and underestimate the process. We wait for a special occasion
or an intense experience to boost our growth instead of appreciating
the process. In the words of my friend Kevin Myers: "Everyone is
looking for a quick fix, but what they really need is fitness."
We don't mature momentarily, but over the long-term. As we continue
on our quest to become more skillful as leaders, let's look at seven
statements about the growth process.
1. Growth is not automatic. Paul Harvey
said it best: "You
can tell you're on the road to success; it's uphill all the way." You
can't coast uphill. Growth doesn't happen by itself; it requires
an active investment of time.
Earl Nightengale said, "If you'll spend one
hour a day, every day for five years on a given subject, within five
years you'll become an expert on that subject." In 1974, I made that
decision—to set aside one hour per day for personal growth.
Over thirty years later, I find that the more I learn and grow, the
more precious that hour is to me.
2. Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and
those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate
themselves from the pack, it's almost always due to personal growth.
As Bennis & Nanus say, "It is the capacity
to develop and improve their skills that distinguishes leaders
When I went to college, there was no gap between
me and my peers, none at all. Since 1974, I have diligently followed
through on my commitment to grow an hour every day, and now the
gap, in most cases, is wide. Am I smarter than my former classmates?
Not at all. Many of them danced circles around me academically.
The growth factor—my
long-term commitment to personal development—made the difference.
3. Growth takes time, and only time can reveal certain lessons
to us. We've all heard, "Experience is the best teacher," but
it never has been and never will be. Evaluated experience
is the best teacher. Reflective thinking is required to turn experience
into insight. If you're a young LW subscriber without a wealth
of personal experience, borrow the experience. Ask questions, listen,
and learn from a successful leader that has gone before you.
4. The more we grow, the more we know we need to grow. In
other words, when you start developing yourself, instead of feeling
wise, you'll be struck by how much you don't know. Alvin Toffler,
in Future Shock, once observed, "The illiterate of the future
are not those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn,
unlearn, and relearn."
5. Growth equals change. To develop, we must step away from
comfort and welcome fresh and challenging experiences. Growth demands
a temporary surrender of security. It may mean giving up familiar
but limiting patterns, safe but unrewarding work, values no longer
believed in, and relationships that have lost their meaning.
6. Growth inside fuels growth outside. The highest reward
of our toil is not what we get for it, but what we become by it.
At the age of 17, I decided to read extensively, file my favorite
articles, and prepare lessons. Little did I realize that out of the
simple discipline of reading, filing, and preparing lessons, I would
receive content, develop creativity, begin to speak, and eventually
author numerous books.
7. Choose to grow in the areas of your strengths, not in the
areas of your weakness. There are only four things I do well,
just four, and I focus exclusively on them. I lead, communicate,
create, and network. That's it. I spend all of my time on one of
those four strength zones. The secret of successful people lies
in their ability to discover their strengths and to organize their
life so that these strengths can be applied.
Benjamin Franklin personifies the spirit of inventiveness of the
modern world. His accomplishments read like an almanac of greatness:
Inventor; poet; philosopher; pamphleteer; distinguished member of
three national academies of science; America's first Postmaster
General; founder of Philadelphia's first police force, lending
library, and the academy later to become the University of Pennsylvania;
founder of the first fire insurance company; delegate to the Constitutional
Convention; Drafter of the Declaration of Independence; one of
America's most effective statesmen and ambassadors.
Yet for all of his achievements, the epitaph
that Franklin wrote for himself simply reads, "Here
lies the body of Ben Franklin, printer."
In honoring his humble roots as a printer's apprentice, Benjamin
Franklin reveals the mystery to his greatness. It was in the world
of printing where Franklin was first exposed to new books, writers,
and ideas. His fame, accomplishments, and accolades would never have
been possible without the love of learning and habits of growth imprinted
in his life during his early days as a printer.
This article is used by permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell's
free monthly e-newsletter 'Leadership Wired' available at www.MaximumImpact.com.