Read an ExcerptGo for Gold
Inspiration to Increase Your Leadership Impact
By JOHN C. MAXWELL
Copyright © 2008 John C. Maxwell
All right reserved.
It's Lonely at the Top, You're Not Doing Something Right
Key Growth Questions for the Week
Are you better at the science or art of leadership?
Why do you want to be at the top?
How big is your dream
TO LEADERSHIP, ADD FRIENDSHIP
Why do I recommend that you work to develop friendships on the job?
Friendship Is the Foundation of Influence: President Abraham Lincoln said, "If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend." Good relationships make influence possible, and friendship is the most positive relationship you can develop on the job with your coworkers.
Friendship Is the Framework for Success: I believe long-term success is unachievable without good people skills. Theodore Roosevelt said, "The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people." Without it, most achievements are not possible, and even what we do achieve can feel hollow.
Friendship Is the Shelter Against Sudden Storms: If you're having a bad day, who can make you feel better? A friend. When you have to face your fears, who would you rather do it with? A friend. When you fall on your face, who can help pick you up? A friend. Aristotle was right when he said, "True friends are a sure refuge."
leadership depends upon my ability to develop those closest to me.
Stop for a moment and think of the five or six people closest to you in your organization. Are you developing them? Do you have a game plan for them? Are they growing? Have they been able to lift your load?
In their first training session, I give new leaders this principle: As a potential leader you are either an asset or a liability to the organization. I illustrate this truth by saying, "When there's a problem, a 'fire' in the organization, you as a leader are often the first to arrive at the scene. You have in your hands two buckets. One contains water and the other contains gasoline. The 'spark' before you will either become a greater problem because you pour the gasoline on it, or it will be extinguished because you use the bucket of water."
The question a leader needs to ask is, "Am I training them to use the gasoline or the water?"
-Developing the Leaders Around You
Have you trained the people closest to you in your organization to be water carriers?
DEVELOP A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PEOPLE YOU EQUIP
All good mentoring relationships begin with a personal relationship. As your people get to know and like you, their desire to follow your direction and learn from you will increase. If they don't like you, they will not want to learn from you, and the equipping process slows down or even stops.
To build relationships, begin by listening to people's life stories, their journeys so far. Your genuine interest in them will mean a lot to them. It will also help you to know their personal strengths and weaknesses. Ask them about their goals and what motivates them. Find out what kind of temperaments they have. You certainly don't want to equip and develop a person whose greatest love is numbers and financial statements for a position where he would be spending 80 percent of his time dealing with disgruntled customers.
One of the best ways to get to know people is to see them outside of the business world. People are usually on their guard at work. They try to be what others want them to be. By getting to know them in other settings, you can get to know who they really are. Try to learn as much as you can about the people and do your best to win their hearts. If you first find their hearts, they'll be glad to give you their hands.
-Developing the Leaders Around You
Make an appointment to get to know someone on your team today.
VALUE AND REWARD LOYALTY
A quality you should look for in people to join you on your journey is loyalty. Although this alone does not ensure success in another person, a lack of loyalty is sure to ruin your relationship with him or her. Think of it this way: When you're looking for potential leaders, if someone you're considering lacks loyalty, he is disqualified. Don't even consider taking him on the journey with you because in the end, he'll hurt you more than help you. So what does it mean for others to be loyal to you?
They love you unconditionally. They accept you with your strengths and weaknesses intact. They genuinely care for you, not just for what you can do for them.
They represent you well to others. Loyal people always paint a positive picture of you with others. They may take you to task privately or hold you accountable, but they never criticize you to others.
They are able to laugh and cry with you as you travel together. Loyal people are willing and able to share your joys and sorrows. They make the trip less lonely.
They make your dream their dream. Some people will undoubtedly share the journey with you only briefly. You help one another for a while and then go your separate ways. But a few-a special few-will want to come alongside you and help you for the rest of the journey. These people make your dream their dream. If you find people like that, take good care of them.
-Your Road Map for Success
Do you inspire loyalty? Show gratitude to the loyal people in your inner circle today.
Excerpted from Go for Gold by JOHN C. MAXWELL Copyright © 2008 by John C. Maxwell. Excerpted by permission.
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