John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold over 12 million books. His organizations have trained more than one million leaders worldwide. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of Injoy Stewardship Services and EQUIP. Visit Maximum Impact for additional information.
As any farmer knows, the growth of a crop only happens when the right ingredients are present. To harvest plentiful fields, the farmer has to begin by planting the right seed in rich topsoil where sunlight and water can help the seed to sprout, mature, and bear fruit. If any of the ingredients (seeds, topsoil, sunlight, or water) are missing, the crop won't grow. Growing as a leader also requires the proper ingredients. Unless the right attitudes and actions are cultivated an aspiring leader will sputter and fail rather than growing in influence.
To restore society's confidence with those in power, leaders have to be able to inspire. I'm not talking about inspiring someone to buy into the corporate vision statement, to meet quarterly sales goals, or to work more efficiently. These aren't bad things, but right now, people are looking for a leader attuned to their personal needs. They want leaders who will encourage them, believe in their potential, and help them grow.
"It's nothing personal; it's just business," is a commonly heard phrase in the workplace. However, I tend to disagree with anyone who tries to impersonalize business. At its heart, commerce is a human enterprise, founded upon relationships between people.
At 97 years of age, John Wooden is a legend in the coaching profession. In 1999, ESPN named him The Greatest Coach of the 20th Century. The list of honors garnered by Coach Wooden during his coaching career is unrivaled. After glancing at Coach Wooden's record, a person may be misled into thinking Coach Wooden was a man preoccupied with winning. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
The power of thought is indisputably great. For illustration, look at the life of Henry David Thoreau, a 19th-century Massachusetts philosopher. Thoreau's thoughts, as the basis for nonviolent resistance, would end up fueling two of the greatest social advancements of the 20th century - Ghandi's struggle to free India from Britain's colonial rule and the American Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Of all leadership attributes, charisma is perhaps the least understood. At first glance, charisma appears to be an invisible energy or magnetism. There's no denying its presence, but it's hard to put a finger on its source. Some mistakenly believe charisma is a birth trait—embedded in certain personalities, but completely absent in others. I believe charisma is both explainable and learnable.
In part one, we looked at five questions leaders ask to create a winning environment. In this lesson, we'll pick up where we left off by exploring five more questions posed by leaders concerned about the climates they are orchestrating.
Consciously or unconsciously, leaders cultivate the environment in their workplaces. Some are lush climates where leaders flourish and thrive, while others are toxic environments where leaders either leave or wither from the pollution. My goal is to help you nurture a winning environment in your organization.