We often think of leadership as supervising others or being in charge. The more I’ve studied leadership, I have found that all of us are leaders to some degree. Whether you are leading as a CEO, a parent, a student in a group project, a community organizer, or leading the way in the next family goal–you influence others. If you would like to follow along with me on a journey using John C. Maxwell’s book The Leadership Handbook: 26 Critical Lessons Every Leader Needs, I believe we can embark on a life changing adventure to improve how we lead, follow, and improve on those weaknesses we just can’t seem to move past. For example, how well do you receive criticism, and are you honest about strengths and weaknesses? Do you accept growth as a welcomed event, or drudgery? How do I lead myself?
the willingness to put oneself at risk.
the passion to make a difference with others.
being dissatisfied with the current reality.
taking responsibility while others are making excuses.
seeing the possibilities in a situation while others are seeing the limitations.
the readiness to stand out in a crowd.
an open mind and an open heart.
the ability to submerge your ego for the sake of what is best.
evoking in others the capacity to dream.
inspiring others with a vision of what they can contribute.
the power of one harnessing the power of many.
your heart speaking to the hearts of others.
the integration of heart, head, and soul.
the capacity to care, and in caring, to liberate the ideas, energy, and capacities of others.
the dream made reality.
above all, courageous.
John Maxwell, page x
Can you imagine working in a workplace or living in a home in which these goals were foremost in the minds of everyone? If I’m trying my best to understand your heart and support your contribution and you are doing the same, I believe we would have the potential to make dreams a reality! What are your personal goals? Dreams?
Each chapter is a separate leadership topic with discussion questions. I’m hopeful to read a chapter and then answer the questions. When you get a post, you can answer in the comment section so others can learn from your experiences.
From the “Leadership is” list above, which one is as a leadership quality that comes easy to you, and which one from the list is challenging for you?
I find it naturally easy to connect with others and care for them. There is no greater joy than to help someone achieve a goal. This takes time as you build a trusting relationship, and the capacity to really listen–open your heart and mind to what they are sharing day-to-day. You may need to sacrifice your time and resources in order to support them.
I find it difficult in the moment when a meeting turns into a limitations discussion. It usually takes me time to process the negativity or potential attitudes in the room before getting to solutions. I think sometimes when you share direction as a staff, there needs to be a time for “Yes, and______” versus listing all the reasons the direction will not work. This “Yes, and_____” session may need to be at a separate time for folks to process and generate ideas.
I hope you will share your ideas in the comment section on the blog!
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