WATCH THIS To Stay Motivated Everyday & Achieve GREATNESS! | John Maxwell | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "WATCH THIS To Stay Motivated Everyday & Achieve GREATNESS! | John Maxwell".


Note: This transcription is split and grouped by topics and subtopics. You can navigate through the Table of Contents on the left. It's interactive. All paragraphs are timed to the original video. Click on the time (e.g., 01:53) to jump to the specific portion of the video.


Intro (00:00)

I heard Earl Nightingale say on a tape, "If you had spent one hour a day, every day, on one subject, for five years, you could become an expert on that subject." So I said, "Wow, I want to become an expert in leadership." So for the next five years, you know, I spent an hour of a day reading about leadership, talking to leaders, asking leaders, questions, practicing leadership. And when I started that process, I was thinking five years, Earl Nightingale said, "I could become an expert in five years, okay, wow. I'm a leader's a vector, hello." But something happened to me about halfway through that five-year process. Instead of keeping me and asking myself, "How long will it take? How long will it take? How long will it take?" One day, I began to realize how I was growing as a leader and the change that was happening within me. And I stopped asking the question, "How long will it take?" And I started asking the question, "How far can I go?" Hey, everybody. Welcome to Impact Theory. Today's guest is a multiple-time New York Times bestselling author who has written more than 100 books that have collectively sold more than an astonishing 31 million copies. One of the world's most famous and respected speakers and coaches, he's worked with more than six million leaders from literally every single country on Earth. His works have been translated into 50 languages, and he's coached the presidents of nations and an untold number of business leaders, including many Fortune 500 executives. He's a recipient of the Horatio Algier Award and the Mother Tree Surprise for Global Peace and Leadership from the Luminary Leadership Network. The American Management Association recognized him as the number one leader in business, and both Inc. Magazine and Business Insider named him the most influential leadership expert in the world, and he's been voted the top leadership professional six years in a row on Additionally, he's founded multiple nonprofit organizations designed to make positive impact through leadership the world over. So please help me in welcoming the man that Toastmasters International awarded with their prestigious Golden Gavill and who Amazon inducted into their author's Hall of Fame, the leadership expert, John C. Maxwell. Welcome. Welcome, welcome. Great to be with you. Dude, it is so good to have you. The first book of yours that I read was "Sometimes You Win and Sometimes You Learn," and that literally changed the direction of how I thought about failures and mistakes and just opened up a whole new world for me. And your new book on leadership is really fantastic about how to get the multiplication effect from creating other leaders.

Concepts And Insights On Leadership

What is Leadership (02:51)

And I'd love to start with what exactly is leadership? Well, you know, Tom, leadership's just influenced. In fact, I say it's really nothing more or it's nothing less. You show me a person that influences others, and I'll show you a person that leads them. So many people think leadership's title or position, and you may be a leader that has a title position, but many people who have great influence really don't have that. But I just learned very early that if I could teach a person how to increase their influence, then I would help that person become a better leader. So we just kind of deal with the leadership influence world and it works really well. What's interesting is reading your books and hearing you talk about your strategies, but then seeing you come in today. So you say that you're in the people business. You tell a really great story about how one of your leaders had walked by a group of people and not said anything, and you taught them that that was a real missed opportunity. And then when you came in today, you literally went to each person and introduced yourself.

Power of Connection (03:56)

What is that power of connection? Well I think first of all, it's valuing people. You know, you have an incredible work here. And every person here in this studio makes it happen. And one is too small of a number to achieve greatness. And the moment that you understand that the people that you have around you, you know, they're either your number one asset or to be honest with you, they can be your number one liability. But the moment that you understand that and begin to value people, I think that is what creates the connection. Because the moment that, I think, "Well, no, don't you, Tom, think, don't you think you know when a person values you and when a person doesn't value?" And so I think that giving value to people and expressing that to them is the common ground that builds relationships. And so, yeah, when I came in the studio, I wanted to meet everybody because you've got an incredible successful program and I want to meet the people who help you be who you are. I love that. What got you so obsessed with leadership? You've been doing this for a long time, traveling all over the world. It's pretty extraordinary. And to go from starting in a small town as a pastor to what you've accomplished now, what is it that drives you? Well, in 1974, I came to conclusion that everything rises and falls on leadership. Now, the reason I did that is because I started off as a pastor and by the time I was 28, I had the 10th largest church in America. Whoa. I come to him and they said, "Well, how did you do this?" And I came to conclusion that I learned leadership. I was a good leader. And the day that I became convinced that everything rises and falls on leadership as the day I said, "That's what I'm going to give my life to." Because think about it. If that is true, then in the business world, in the education world, in the government world, in every world, if you can just help people lead better, you're going to help them be more successful. And when I wrote the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, that first law of the lid, which basically says how well you lead determines how well you succeed, I truly believe that. And so what better thing can I do than to help people increase their influence, learn how to lead better so that they can be more successful in whatever area of life they really want to be successful in. So one thing that I love about you is when people ask you if leaders are born or if they can be made, that you make it pretty clear that, first of all, yes, they're born, of course, but that they can be made. Did you just take to it naturally? Did you have a mentor? How did you, I mean, at 28 to have the 10th largest church, that's pretty extraordinary. Well, I think, first of all, I think there are people who would be born with what I would call leadership leanings. They would have a tendency to lean or be gifted in that area, just like somebody's gifted in music or whatever. So I think that starts it and I think I have that. But then I grew up in a leader's home. In fact, my father is 98 still living. Whoa. And in fact, until two years ago, was still working full time and was a terrific leader. So I grew up in a culture and environment of leadership. And so when I look at myself where I am today, so much of it was caught from not only my father, but I've had great mentors throughout my life. In fact, while we're out here in Los Angeles, every time I come out here, I think of John Wooden, who mentored me for the last probably 11 years of his life. And in fact, when you talked about this, sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. He did the forward on that book and he just loved the idea of how to get back up after you feel. So when you look at my home background, the leadership experiences that I had, because a person learns to lead by practicing leadership. And at a very early age, I was practicing leadership. And so it all comes together. And then when I began to realize everything rises and falls on leadership, I became really intentional Tom of developing my leadership skills. So I can remember, for example, I was probably, I don't know, maybe 26. I heard Earl Nightingale say on a tape that if you had spent one hour a day, every day on one subject for five years, you could become an expert on that subject. So I said, wow, I want to become an expert in leadership. So for the next five years, you know, I spent an hour of a day reading about leadership, talking to leaders, asking leaders, questions, practicing leadership, but it really was consistent. So when I started that process, I was thinking five years, Earl Nightingale said I could become an expert in five years. Okay, wow, I actually, there's a expert. Hello. And so I kept, you know, I was kind of like doing countdown five years, four years, three years. I'm thinking I'm capable of okay, but something happened to me about halfway through that five year process. Instead of keeping asking myself, how long will it take? How long will it take? How long will it take? One day I began to realize how I was growing as a leader and the change that was happening within me. And I stopped asking the question, how long will it take? And I started asking the question, how far can I go? And everything changed that day. I realized that you can set goals and have five year goals, whatever, but I changed from a goal mindset to a growth mindset. And the fact that if I would be intentional in the areas of growth that would have the return and would fit who I was, then I could really be successful and help a lot of people. And that was kind of a shift for me. And so when I wrote my first leadership book, I thought I would write one leadership book and I'd be done. You know, I didn't think a hundred books later. I had to leave the guy there. He said, "You've written more books than I've ever read in my life. You know what I mean?" But I didn't have any intention to write a lot of books. But growth allows you to continue to expand yourself and your world until there's just so much more that you know and so much more that you want to share. So my journey has been really one of understanding that if I everyday intentionally grow, the question is just how far can I go? And I don't know that answer. I'm still growing. I'm still moving towards that finish line. I love that.

How do we get the practice? (10:32)

So you talk a lot about how I think you called it the 70, 20, 10 principle of how we learn. So the vast majority of what we learn, we learn by actually doing. And I love the way that you detail that in the book. So for somebody who wants to become a better leader, especially if they're in a company that doesn't necessarily foster that, how do they get that practice? How do they do those reps?

The 360 Degree Leader (10:52)

Well, first of all, a lot of companies don't foster leadership. They don't have a leadership environment. They'll come and say, I love your leadership principles, but I'm not a leader because I don't have a position. In fact, I wrote a book several years ago called the 360 degree leader. And I wrote it for that person that kind of is in the middle, how to influence or lead people above you, besides you and kind of around that 360 idea, helping them understand that the key to leading people, even if you're not in leadership environment, is again, influenced. So the question now comes down, then how do I influence people? And if I do influence people, how do I increase that influence? And my answer is very simple. We increase the influence with people when we intentionally add value to them on a consistent basis. Because if you think about, Tom, think about people in your life that have a high influence on your life, they've really added a lot of value to you. And so what I share, I do a little simple for me that kind of works. And that is every day, again, consistency compounds. So you put consistency with intentionality. And you've got a powerful combination. So every day, every day, I basically do five things. Every day, first of all, I value people. It begins there because if I don't truly value people, I won't add value to them. You don't add value to people that you don't value. You don't add value to anything you don't value. So every day I value people, that's where it starts. But then every day, I think of ways to add value to people. So I mean, I'll look at my calendar and I look at my agenda today, I realize I was going to be with you. And I think, well, okay, how can I add value to you? What can I do for impact theory that'll just help? Because again, if you're constantly adding value to people, you're going to be of great value to people. So, okay, I value people, think of ways to add value people, then I look for ways to add value people. When I'm in the setting, I'm looking for, okay, what can I do? What can I say? And what we see is what we look for. And so if I'm looking at value, guess what? I'll see ways to add value to it. Somebody else might be beside you, not add value at all to you. But I look for ways. And then number four, I do things that add value to people. And then number five, I encourage others to add value to people. And I've just lived that simple formula. I do that every day of my life. It's very simple. And I try to help other people do that understanding that if they do that, wherever they are, leadership culture, not a leadership culture, doesn't really matter. They'll begin to influence and begin to lead people and they'll begin to make a difference in people's lives. And I think that's essential, but I think you have to be intentional and I think you have to be consistent. Consistency compounds. I'm 72. And I've been doing leadership for 50 years. And so when people say, well, how did you become leadership guru and all these things that you got, I tell them, it's just consistency. So for those people that are learning the 360 degree leadership, they're not necessarily somewhere that's making these opportunities readily available for them, other than just adding value, where can they go to learn, what are principles of leadership that they should be taking in in this sort of abstract learning that they can then apply. Well, I think that there are several things. First of all, in the beginning, I couldn't find anybody to mentor me in leadership. I mean, they didn't know who I was. And so books became my mentors. And then I did something that I just encourage everybody to do. I've done this for 40 years. I began to have what I call learning lunches. And I loved in your green room your statement on learning. I just love it. But I would go out, I would take somebody like you, Tom, out and I'd buy the lunch. I didn't even eat. I just had questions. And I would ask you leadership questions. And what are some of your go-to leadership questions? Well, the first question is I always look at somebody and I ask them, tell me about your greatest failure. And the reason I ask that is because I think that the character of a person comes out of their failures, not out of their success. And I think that the bedrock part of a foundation of leadership is character. And you build on it. And so I want to know about, tell me about a mess up in your life. And I've had so many of them. I mean, when people ask me that question, it's kind of like, you know, which one do I pull out? But I really like to talk to people about their losses because it just really tells me a lot about who the person really is. I'm not sure success does, but I know failure. So I ask that question. I ask one of the questions I ask them is, who do you know that I should know? And that's led me to meet some incredible people in my life that somebody also opened the door that I wouldn't have. So I just find that in asking questions, in fact, I wrote a book one time, good leaders ask great questions, I just find in asking questions that's the way that I can grow and develop myself the best. And I tell leaders all the time that before you lead people, you've got to find them. And I think this is a big miss in leadership. We just assume people are already on our page. So we just start leading and we've never found them. And so I think there's a finding. And then these give me a little more detail on that. So you're talking about finding what they want, what they like, what's the point of that? Find out who they are. You know, the expression, Tom, it's only at the top. That's not a leadership expression. Although people say it all the time in the context of leadership. In fact, I tell people all the time, if you're lonely at the top, it's not a leadership issue. It's just the fact you're dysfunctional. But if you think about it, if you're lonely at the top, no one's with you. No one's following you. I mean, that's a hiker, not a leader. And I think one of the things that leaders need to do, one of the first things is they need to get off the top. That's interesting. What do you mean by that? Well, I think that if I'm the leader, I don't ask you to come to where I am. I go to where you are. I get on your ground because people are more secure in the areas that they're comfortable. And so I always go to where they live and who they are and begin a relationship with them and ask questions. And get to know them, just get to know them because managers try to lead everybody the same. Whereas leaders understand that you lead everyone differently and you lead them according to their temperament, according to their passion, according to their giftiness. I mean, they're about a dozen things that you lead them according that is unique to every individual. And so the only way I can lead you correctly, Tom, is to know you. So I know what you care about. And I know what you value. And the moment I do that, then I put all my leadership with you in context of who you are, not who I am. So finding people really means to intentionally value them and show that you value them by learning about them and getting to know them and doing, then you lead them with their best interest in mind, which is a beautiful way to lead people.

Finding the Best Way to Lead People Forward (18:19)

I want to go back to what you were talking about with character. Are there particular things that you believe every person should have to build a strong or, I'm not sure what the right word would be, meaningful character? I think character mainly has developed out of adversity. I know in my life, it's been in my failures that I've discovered myself. And it's been in my failures, I've discovered things that I really probably do well. But it's also been in my failures, things that I've discovered about myself that I thought. Is it just discovery though, or is it like, can you build your character? Oh, I think you build it off of it. But I think you have to discover first. I think awareness is always on the front end. You can't grow yourself if you don't know yourself. So I think awareness is huge. You have to be aware of yourself, strengths, weaknesses, the whole deal. And once you're aware of yourself, then you have to take your giftedness and maximize your strengths and then you have to make the right choices. But awareness is on the front end and we don't hear a lot about awareness. How can you develop awareness?

John on having a high self-awareness (19:43)

Well first of all, I think you need other people's help. I hear people all the time say, "Well, I think I'm very self-aware and I always get amused for that because we're not. We all have blind spots. I have blind spots." So if there's any self-awareness for me, it's because I've had somebody speak into my life. And one more thing on character, okay? I was having an interview with a major CEO of a large large software company. And so I asked him, I said, "Talk to me about your failures like I do in my learning lunches." This was on an executive circle called where I was on the phone and other executives were listening. So I said, "Talk to me about your failures." I said, "What would you like to go in your life and do over? Get the do over." So what's your top do over? He said something very interesting to me. He said, "Well, I've had failures and I've had a lot of mistakes, made some wrong decisions. But I don't think I want to do any of them over." I said, "You're kidding me. You mean if you could go back and correct a failure, a mistake, you would want to go back and correct." He said, "No." He said, "The lessons I learned out of my failures probably are a lot more valuable than if I had just made a successful decision and moved on." He said, "Who I am today is based upon not having dual first and learning out of my adversity and difficulty and struggles and darkness." And I thought it was a fantastic answer. It really talked to me a lot. And I thought to myself, "I think that's a perfect example of leaders building character out of their failure and out of their adversity." Going back to what you were saying about asking the right questions, part of just being a good leader is the questions that you asked.

John on turning a negative into a positive (21:33)

Talk to me about a U-turn leader. Oh, yeah. I love what you say about how to really get something going in a new direction. Well, I think that if somebody said, "John, what is the acid test of a great leader?" I think it's a U-turn leader. And I use the word U-turn, Tom, in the fact that you take something that's going down, in other words, the ship sinking. And so you grab ahold of it and you slow that going south down. And finally, you kind of bottom it out and so it's no longer losing. It's probably not gaining, it's just trying to hang on. And then as a leader, you begin to turn it and begin to bring it back up. I think that's the greatest indication that you know how to lead. In fact, I'm not sure anybody proves their leadership until they get something that's not doing well and they turn around. What role does competency have in leadership?

John on why competency is critical for leadership (22:34)

Like at some point, surely you actually have to be good as well. You can't just be sort of this facilitator. Yeah, it's kind of like a surgeon who just has great relationship skills. But hey, but they're not competent as a surgery. I want to get the very best. I think competence and skill set is what's developed over years of practice and implementing and applying to your life. And again, I think those are things that you learn through experience. I think those are things that you learn through mentoring. And so when I look at my skill set as a leader today compared to when it started, it's been incredibly improved. But it would not have been improved if I wouldn't have practiced leadership. It would not have been improved if I wouldn't have learned from my leadership experiences. Because I think this is another mess. Experience is not the best teacher going on. But we hear all the fact, I used to say, "experience the best teacher." And then one day I woke up and said, "That's a stupid statement, John. If experience was the best teacher, then everybody got older. Everybody get better." And yet I know a lot of people, they're getting older and they're not getting better. And so I stopped and I said, "Okay, it's not the experience that's the best teacher. It's evaluating that experience."

How to find insight through your experiences (23:57)

That's interesting. You know, reflection turns experience into insight. So how do we get good at that? Well we get good at that by understanding that experience isn't enough. The point being is that after every experience I have to pull away and I have to ask myself, "Okay, what did I learn from that?" Because there's something to teach you. In fact, when my children, when we have experiences with our children, I would always ask them two questions after every experience. What did you learn and what did you love? And for a kid, in fact I'd really ask them, "What did you love? What did you learn?" Because kids kind of know, "Oh, I love that daddy." This was a lot of fun. So that was kind of an easy one. But I always then wanted to, I would say, "What did you learn from that?" So probably by the time they were 10, after every experience, they'd just say, "Okay, here's what I love. Well what I taught my children to do is evaluate every experience." Because if I don't stop and reflect and evaluate out of that experience, I will do the same thing next time. And that's not what is where the growth is. The growth is always in learning and evaluating. And not only evaluating, but in learning is overrated unless you improve. So it's more than what did I just learn out of that. What do I do out of that that I improve my life with? And I think that's a big miss also. That's so interesting. So in the book, you really go into detail, and I'd actually like to dive into this part of it now about how to cultivate other leaders. And as I was reading it, I was like, "Oh man, there's an element of this where it's like, you even say it in the book." I was literally like, "Oh please tell me he addresses this." You have the leadership table, you're giving people the chance to be a leader, but some people don't get invited to the leadership table. And so how do you deal with that? Like how do you keep the organization functional? How do you say the hard things? If somebody has a blind spot at a minimum, if they're not effective, you can't have them at the leadership table. So how do you manage that? Well first of all, I think it's fair to say that everybody should have an invitation to the leadership table. Because it's at the table, where you learn about each other.

The Leadership Table (26:21)

So tell everybody what the leadership table is. Well the leadership table, it's a phrase I use to let everybody sit down. And just like you come to a table to have a meal, or you go to a table to play a game, here you come to the table to sit with other leaders. And at that table, the discussion's going to be leadership. And they're going to be talking about decisions they're having to make. They're going to be asking questions about things that they need to do as a leader. And so you're in this leadership environment where, and you're going to participate, and you're going to be able to ask questions, and you're probably going to be given a project. You know, it's okay now that the table's done today, let's go out and do this. But what happens is that that leadership table, everybody ought to be able to come there. But that doesn't mean everybody's going to stay there. Because there are some people who come to the table, and they just aren't to the capacity yet where they need to be. And so that's where you get into what I call the tough conversations. And what I say to people all the time is that I care enough for you, to be honest with you. In our John Maxwell Company, we do a lot of corporate training with the five levels of leadership. Level number two is relationships. The connecting factor, but level number three is production. And anybody that's got to know that it's one thing to be a friend and it's good to be together. It's even good to work together. But you do have to produce. We've got to have some results down the road. And so that's a big gap for many people to go from a relationship level to a leadership level where now we've got to get you to become effective and fruitful. And I think that if I truly value you as a person, I'm going to share with you how you can improve. And it's one thing to say I don't like what you're doing, but it's more important to say there's some things you're going to have to do to improve there. And I think you always give people a path to improvement. And then it's their decision. You know, the two questions you ask all the time, can he or can she or will he or will she? You know, can the person is all about competence and ability? Will is probably more about attitude. But what we've discovered is that it's very important to keep an authenticity and an honesty. And I think it's also very important for the leader to share their difficulties.

Share Your Weaknesses (28:59)

I was with Johnson & Johnson one time speaking about a hundred presidents of companies. It was kind of like an appreciation day by Johnson & Johnson. So they brought in all the companies they work with. And so it was what they called President's Day. And I was telling the president, I said, now you need to go home or go back to your offices and share with the people your weaknesses. And that room just bowed right up. It was so much fun. I mean, they were just resist us. I mean, they were stiff-arming me big-dives. So I called a little break and said, I'll sign some books. So I had a CEO standing beside me while I'm signing books. And he's not happy. You know, it's a rain cloud for sure. And so finally they all left. He said, you know, I really disagree with you about telling people about your weaknesses. He said that. He said, you know, and then he gave me this kind of old-time leadership talk about you. Never let them see you flanch, you know. So I'm letting kind of go through his processes. I could be his therapist for a day. So when he finished, I said, I think you're operating your leadership under a misunderstanding. He said, what misunderstand that? I said, you think your people don't know your weaknesses. Word. They already know about it. In fact, they're talking about it. But I said, the reason I want you to go back and share your weaknesses with your people is so that they know that you know. It'll make them just feel a lot. Oh, thank God he knows. He knows. I think that even in being, having the difficult conversations with people, I think when you're open with your own areas that you're working on, I think that's very important. In fact, one of the things that we teach in our companies is have upfront expectations. And I learned a long time ago. Again, all the things I'm teaching now is because I did them wrong and to begin it. It's not like I have this wisdom. It's like, if you do it wrong, you either keep doing it wrong and never build anything or else you change. And when I started off, I was very relational. So I wouldn't have tough conversations with people. I thought, I'll friendship them through the process. And then I realized that's... So we just teach our people to have upfront expectations. And basically we just sit down and say, "Tom, I'm glad you're going to join the team." Now we're going to have some tough conversations down the road. That's good to happen. Today it's kind of like a high five day, but we'll have days when we just have to sit down and look at each other and deal with some issues. And I just think that if you tell people up on the front end, then when you have them, it's not so personal. I mean, it's personal, but at least they knew that it was coming. I think leaders prepare their people for not only the good days and the touchdowns, but for the adversity also.

Keys to fostering the growth of leaders (31:54)

No doubt about it. All right. Let's get really specific. What are some of the keys to fostering the growth of leaders within your organization? First of all, I think that Tom, I think 90% of leaders never develop leaders. I think they just have followers. And one of the reasons is a lot of leaders don't really want other leaders. Leaders are hard to lead. It's like hurting cats. I mean, they just don't naturally fall in line. So I think that first of all, most people don't really develop leaders. In developing leaders, there are three things that are just absolutely essential. In the book, "The Leader's Greatest Return," I wrote "The Leader's Greatest Return," because I truly believe that the greatest return a leader ever gets is developing other leaders, because that's when you really begin to compound. And I think there are three essentials always in developing leaders. First of all, is your own example. People do what people see. So if I'm going to develop leaders, I have to be a good leader. Maybe the greatest leadership words ever said was "Follow me." Just follow me. Watch me, because people, it was said research says that 89% of what we know, we know visually. And so I think first of all, in developing leaders, you have to model it. The second thing I think in developing leaders is you have to be intentional. I think that you have to commit yourself to finding them, which I talked about in the book, letting them come to the leadership table, discerning what kind of capacity they have. And then I think you have to intentionally have a program of development for them. I think you have to have a process. I think of all the money we spend in companies and marketing and advertising. And I was speaking one time, this is several years ago, for AT&T. And what I was introduced to there, maybe top 300 leaders I was going to spend an afternoon with them. The guy said something very interesting. He said to them, he said, "You're our most appreciable asset." And of course, that's a wonderful statement there. Everybody loves that. And I came up behind him and I said, "It's true, but it's not true." I said, "You're really only an appreciable asset if somebody intentionally develops you and you intentionally develop yourself." We don't automatically get better. And this is a big mess. I think that we think, "Well, if I just automatically go to work or if I automatically do my job, then I'll just grow." And I had a mentor when I was in my 20s just saying, "John, growth is not automatic. Getting older is automatic, but getting better isn't." And there's a world of difference. So I think that you have to be an example. And I think you have to be incredibly intentional in saying, "Okay, I'm going to have a leadership culture. I'm going to develop leaders." And the third thing I think that is just overlooked consistently in development is that you've got to empower them. You have got to let them run the ball because the only way you learn leadership is by practicing leadership. So I think what a good leader does is he sets the, or she sets the stage for a successful run. You want to get some wins under their belts for them. And I just think that it's an empowering environment where you release people and the problem is leaders will stop and say, "Well, but they don't do it as well as I do it." And so that's not the point. The only way they can ever do it as well as you do it is for them to do it. And then for you to coach them and come alongside of them and say, "Okay, here's how you can do that better." And we have a kind of like a five step equipping process. "I do it. I do it. You're with me. You do it. I'm with you. You do it." And then you do it in someone else's with you. And it's a multiplication process there. So I think those three things of the example, the intentionality and the empowerment, that's I think what develops the leadership culture that really establishes the fact that if you want to learn how to lead, this is a place where you can do that. I say this in the book, by the way, that when I would bring people on the team, I would share with them that I wanted them to work themselves out of a job.

Experiences And Stories On Influence

Work yourself out of a job (36:10)

And pretty much I would just say, "Okay, you've got the job. I want you to do it well. Let me see you do it well." But while you're doing it well, you find somebody to replace you. And that's how you, boy, that's really how you develop. You talk about a farm team of leaders. And if you can work yourself out of your job, I'll give you another job. You know, Mark Cole, who he and I are owners of the company now, and he's the CEO and president, but he started off in the stockroom 20 years ago, well, 20 years ago. And I was just asking him recently in a conversation, I said, "How many jobs did you work your way out of to get where you are?" He said nine times, and I tell people, "First of all, I can't promote you unless you've got somebody to replace you." So the first part of promotion isn't just getting better until I want to bring you up. First part of promotion is to show me some person that we're not going to have a big loss if I do bring you up. And you know, nine times he worked himself out of a job, found somebody else and said, "Okay, come on up, come on up, come on up until one day." He's where he is. Not bad. That's very impressive. All right, there's two people I would be remiss if we don't get to before the end of this interview. One is Claude. So when we start there, tell me about Claude. That was such a great insight in terms of how many different flavors leadership can take, and it's ultimately just about being effective. And then of course the person that took over that church after you and how it went south. Wow. You read the book. You read the book. Hey, Tom. You read the book. Well this is in my first church. Okay, so I have very little leadership experience. And the bylaws, me being the pastor of the church, the bylaws, Tom said, that I was the chairman of the board, which I thought meant that I was the leader. So I went to my first little, this was a little country church, a place called Hillham. Okay, nobody's ever heard of Hillham. So I'm way out in the country. Way out, just farmers. So we have about five people in our little board meeting, and I go in to be the chairman of the board. And these farmers don't have a clue what the chairman of the board is, which means basically I open the meeting. And so of course I never was instructed on how to have a board meeting. I mean, I just graduated with a degree and they never taught me anything that would be practical and helpful.

Church in the Country (38:43)

So I thought, well, what do I do? So I looked and I said, well, does anybody have anything they'd like to share? Well, there was one farmer. His name was Claude. And he said, well, yeah, John. He said, I think that we need to paint the front door. He said, you know, cracks peeling and said, people come up and they see that door. I think we need to, you know, we need to take off the old paint and paint the door. And there was a guy who sat right beside named Benny and Benny would second everything that Claude would suggest. So Benny would say it, Benny, or Claude would say it, Benny would suggest it.

The Villager Inn (39:18)

And everybody said, I'm just kind of watching him. And then Claude says, well, there's a second thing we need to be doing. And he talked about the two rooms behind the platform area and that we needed some more Sunday school space and we needed to clean them out because they had junk. So he's in Benny seconds and everybody. And so anyway, I'm watching all this. I'm just 22 years old. I'm just a kid. I'm watching all this. And finally, Benny looks at me and he said, well, he said, pastor, he said, I think we're done tonight. He said, you didn't close in prayer. So thank you, God. And I walked out of that meeting. So I got home, I said, well, how'd it go? And I said, wow, I learned a lot tonight. And he said, what'd you learn? I said, well, I want to need two people. She said, I need God and Claude. So it just seems like that's the way it works there. And so Claude was a farmer. And so about a week before the next board meeting, I called him. I said, Claude, can I come down and just hang with you? I did some chores today. Oh, he said, I'd love that. So I did. And I went down to Claude and I'd say, I would make a suggestion of something that would need to be done. And Claude would say, I like that. He said, that's a good idea. I said, would you bring that up to the board next Tuesday night? I'll take care of that. And literally, I was there for three years in three months. So we went just from a handful of people to over 300, which is big in that community. And in three years and three months, I never brought an item to the board. I just would open up the meeting and ask if they'd buy anything on their heart. Claude would say it, and Benny would second it. I got to go. Good board meeting. Good morning. So I did that for three years and three months. And it was there, by the way, that I learned that leadership was influenced, not title or musician, because I had the title. I had the position. I just didn't have any influence. I'm just a kid. Those farmers are not going to listen to me. So I'm going to go to my second church. And so a guy named Danny that I went to college with me was going to be the pastor. So I took him to the Villager Inn restaurant. And I said, "Look, this has been a great place to start. I mean, these people, these are farmers. They're just simple people. They were good to me. And we've grown from three to 300. It's been great." I said, "You're going to have this or something mine." But I said, "I just want to give you one leadership thought."

Understanding Who Has the Influence (41:56)

So I told him about Claude and how I worked with Claude. And the more I was talking to him, I'll never forget. I mean, Danny, he's sitting up there and I mean, he's getting ready. He's not very happy. Boy. And I finally closed that conversation down. He looked at me and said, "Look," he said, "I'm not going to do it that way." He said, "I'm the leader of the church on Claude." And Claude needs to know his place. And I just want you to know right now that I'm not going down the farm. And he searched him and I remember sitting back in that booth at the villager in and just silent. I didn't say it to him. I'm just looking at him and I'm saying to myself, "You're looking at a stupid man." And sure enough, he did it his way and he lasted eight months, lasted eight months. And sadly, the church went down some. But it's a classic leadership story of, again, understanding who has the influence and influence your, you don't have to get all the credit. But he never learned that he went from that tree. He I think he went to three within two or three years and burned out. He was done. But he just never really learned a very important leadership principle. Yeah, you don't need to get the credit. I think that is super powerful, just the result. All right. Where's the best place for them to get more of you and your teaching? Go to They'll find everything. Sounds good. And then your books are certainly easy to find. One last question. What's the impact that you want to have on the world? First of all, I want to, this has kind of been my North Star. I want to add value to leaders who multiply valued others. So I have consciously focused on leaders because if every time you impact a leader, influence a leader, it multiplies, it compounds. My passion is to help communities and help people be transformed by living and learning great values. And so this is a whole different story.

Understanding And Transforming Values

Transforming Values (44:04)

But we have, we trained through our, one of our nonprofit organizations in 19 years, we trained 5 million leaders in every country of the world. And now we're doing transformation in countries where we have values, transformational tables, we call transformation tables. Transformation happens when table at a time where we, people 6 to 8 sit around and talk about values and learn good values and start to live out those good values. And we're invited by leaders of the country, presidents of the country. We're in Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and Paraguay getting ready to go to our fourth country. And we have, you know, we have like 1.3 million people now in round tables. And 135,000 facilitators at these round tables. And we're just really seeing communities changed and we have it for, we have it, we have curriculum for kids. But it's all based on just good values, learning. Here's what we know. If you learn good values and you live them out, you just become more valuable to yourself and other people. It's just that simple. So you know, my passion is to help people experience a transferational life by embracing good values and practice to them where everybody wins. And that's the world I hope for. That's the world I give my life for. It's amazing. Guys, 100 books, 100 books. This guy really is the expert on leadership. You cannot go wrong. So many of his books, every one of them has been incredibly valuable. Few people have shaped my thinking on leadership more than he has. I cannot recommend enough getting involved in all of the stuff that he's doing. And speaking of getting involved, if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe. And until next time, my friends, be legendary. Take care. John, thank you so much. That was incredible. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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