Thoughts of John Maxwell

I am in Orlando right now.  I’m attending the International Maxwell Certification conference with nearly 3,500 others from around the world.  It has been a great day and a half so far.  

Last night, John Maxwell spoke to us about the Maxwell “DNA”.  Here are some of his thoughts:
Value People

  • We should be people of value who value people.  
  • Do we connect with people or do we correct people?
  • Be safe with others: value them, believe in them, unconditionally love them
  • adding value to people gives you influence
  • when you stop loving people, stop leading them – you’ve lost influence

Live Intentionally

  • everything worthwhile is uphill and the only way to go uphill is with intention
  • don’t have uphill hopes with downhill habits
  • if you put in no effort, you’ll never get anywhere
  • you don’t receive anything good unless you’re intentional

Think about this:  did any of the Olympic gold medal winners just by chance win?  No!  They have intentionally, consistently, daily worked hard (uphill) to get to the place where they could win gold.  

To be intentional, you need to be:

  1. Deliberate
  2. Consistent
  3. Willful

We all know that consistency does not get recognized or rewarded in the beginning.  If you trying to lose weight, few will notice when you lose the first couple of pounds.  That’s true!  

Start small, but dream BIG!

Key:  be the author of your life, not the reader of your life.  And don’t let anyone else to write your story.  Be intentional!

You Can’t Matter Unless You Know What Matters by Dan Rockwell


Leaders define what matters. Organizations grow weak and lethargic until someone creates focus and direction by explaining what’s meaningfully important. Leaders describe what’s relevant.

Things that matter capture attention.

In the absence of something meaningful,
insignificance prevails

Distraction, frustration, and office politics dominate where people don’t know what’s important.


Focus is magnetic, it establishes and clarifies direction. Everyone looks at and thinks about what matters. You ultimately go where you look. The most useful thing leaders do is point to what matters.

Don’t tell people where to focus.
Tell them what matters.


Everyone rows in different directions until someone explains what matters. Teams languish, meetings waste time, and effort grows meaningless without the guidance of something that matters.

Don’t tell people to pull together.
Give them a rallying point.


Pursue what matters.
Reject what matters less for what matters more.
Feel energized when doing what matters.
Galvanize when they see what matters.
Strive for success when they contribute to what matters.
Fight for what matters.
Fit in when aligned with what matters.
Know what’s next when what matters now is clear.
Endure when they believe in what matters. Struggle matters when you know what matters.
Feel accomplishment when achieving what matters.


Most sink inward. But, leaders press outward by reminding everyone they don’t exist for themselves.

Every organization focused
on self-preservation is doomed.

It’s normal to focus on internal matters. But, leaders connect what matters inside organizations to what matters outside.

How can leaders explain what matters?

Check out the great list of leadership M’s on the Leadership Freak Facebook Page. While you’re there, add leadership N’s for tomorrow’s post.