The Learning Leader Show With Ryan Hawk

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Episode #351: John Maxwell – The Laws Of Leadership (Follow Them & People Will Follow You)

John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, coach, and author who has sold over 20 million books. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell has written three books which have each sold more than one million copies: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader.


  • “Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” – Pat Riley
  • The difference between ‘best’ and ‘better’
    • “Whatever is best for now… Tomorrow has got to get better. I always look at ‘best’ for a moment.”
    • “If you’re not growing today, I have to talk about yesterday. I don’t want to talk about yesterday.”
  • The great leaders:
    • Listen
    • Learn
    • Lead
  • The importance of listening and asking questions:
    • “I began to ask questions, invite people to sit down and talk.”  Shared learning and growing together…
  • What John learned from Angela Ahrendts:
    • “I aim to always give 60 and take 40.  Always give more than you take.”
    • “Add more value to people than you take.”
  • Working with your team:
    • “I put an idea in front of my team and say, ‘make it better,’ and they always do.”
  • Proactive: “If you’re not proactive, you’re reactive.  I’ve never met a great leader who wasn’t proactive.”
    • “Be unforgettable.  Always be the first person to help.”
  • Action Attraction
    • “The moment I move, I attract all resources because I’m moving.”
    • “I never draw people to me when I sit still.”
      • “Action shows intention”
  • Keynote speaking preparation:
    • “When I’m in the green room preparing, I’m thinking about the people in the audience. I begin to envision the people leaning in, taking notes, engaged.  It helps me.”
    • The content you have will alone will not cut it — “Connecting the content to the people carries the day. I want them to say, ‘oh my gosh, he’s talking to me.'”
      • “The response of the people charges me up.”
  • Layered learning:
    • Is your fence facing out or facing in?  Are you growing?  Or shrinking?
  • Building a company?  “I wasn’t trying to build a company.  It started in a garage.  Each company was created just to help solve problems for people. –> Find a need, start a company, find a need, start a company.”
    • There are now over 30,000 John Maxwell coaches
  • “I’ve always had the ability to take a problem and develop a resource for it.”
  • “I can smell an opportunity… And I can see it in people.  I’ve always been quick to spot this.”
    • How to develop this skill? –> “You must seize the opportunities. Act quickly.”
  • Adaptability – “A person that lacks flexibility will mist a lot of opportunities.”
    • Peter Drucker did not make long range plans.  He focused on seizing the moment.
    • John’s long range plan: “What I want for people is for them to do well and I want to help them do that.”
  • Life advice:
    • Value people
    • Continually grow
    • Live very intentionally

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