John Maxwell Leadership Notes from #LeadMichiana

I had the opportunity this weekend to attend the Lead Michiana conference in South Bend, IN. This event was put on by Justin Maust in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the City of South Bend. The following will be some of my notes from the John Maxwell segment of the conference.

Leadership Principles from John Maxwell:

  1. “If you will spend one hour a day on the same subjective for five years, you will be an expert on that subject” – Earl Nightingale
  2. The better the leaders are in your organization, the better your organization’s chance for growth
    • Leaders develop daily, not in a single day. As leaders in an organization, we need to spend our resources (time, money, etc.) on improving our leaders.
    • The people in our organizations are the most appreciable resource we have, but we have to train and equip them.
    • There is no room to “microwave” leaders; we must “crockpot” them.
  3. 5 Levels of Leadership:
    1. Position — as a level one leader, people follow you because they have to
      • 80% of leaders stay in this level
      • Being a level one leader does not make you a leader. A person may have a position, but the position doesn’t make you a leader.
    2. Permission — as a level two leader, people follow you because they want to
      • Followers of level two leaders give a significant amount more of energy to the organization because they have a relationship with the leader and want to be there.
      • In order to be a great leader you have to connect with people.
      • If you are going to lead, you have to listen (listen, then learn, then lead).
      • Most leaders lead by assumption, assuming they know where their people are, what they are passionate about, where they are going, etc. Leaders need to walk slowly “through the crowd” in order to know their people.
      • Level two leaders are servants.
      • True leaders don’t need to be introduced.
      • There are three questions followers ask their leaders (leaders should ask themselves these same three questions):
        1. Do you care for me? (Do I care about others?)
        2. Can you help me? (Can I help them?)
        3. Can I trust you? (Am I trustworthy?)
    3. Production — as a level three leader, people follow you because of what you have done for the organization
      • This level is where you really get the credibility to lead. People want to follow successful people.
      • Leaders cannot send people where they have not gone. As leaders we have to be tour guides instead of travel agents.
      • You reproduce what you are, not what you want.
      • Level three leaders lead by example.
      • You attract who you are, not who you want. The better producer you are, the better people you attract (on a scale of 1 to 10, if you are a 5, you will not attract levels 6-10).
    4. People Development — as a level four leader, people follow you because of what you have done for them personally
      • Level four leaders are good recruiters.
      • You can only raise a person’s skill level one or two levels, so recruitment is essential. If someone comes in with a skill level of three, then you will most likely only be able to raise their skill level to a four, or at most a five.
        • Recruit with care. Don’t hire the wrong person for the job.
      • After recruiting, you must train and equip your leaders
      • Five steps to equip people well:
        1. I do it.
        2. I do it and you are with me.
        3. You do it and I am with you.
        4. You do it (and I hope you are better than I am!)
        5. You do it and somebody is with you (you’ve never equipped someone until they equip others).
    5. Pinnacle — as a level five leader, people follow you because of who you are and what you represent
      • When you do levels two, three, and four well, for a long time, level five happens naturally as a result

I hope these notes help you grow as a leader! I know there are some challenging concepts in here. Work your way through them, take the time to do them well, and strive to always improve as a leader.

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