John Maxwell on the Three Phases of His Journey Pt. 1

John Maxwell told me there have been three phases to his leadership journey. The first is having followers.

leadership aspiration

Follower phase:

A leader without followers is delusional.

5 top ways to gain followers:

  1. Have character. Be humble and passionate – at the same time – about your vision. Humility stays open and listens. Passion presses through resistance.
  2. Solve painful problems with others. Leaders don’t just talk, they take action. They don’t just work on their own, they work toward a noble cause with others. It takes more than hard work to be a leader. A “leader” who works alone is an individual contributor.
  3. Make people believe they matter. Leaders who focus on themselves collapse from within. Leaders who focus on others expand from without.
  4. Establish strong connections by combining strengths with vulnerability. Leaders without weaknesses are off putting fakers who can’t be trusted. Run!
  5. Align values. You can’t lead people who don’t believe what you believe. Adapt your language with what’s important to them, not you. When Jesus called fishermen to be his followers he said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”

Danger in the follower phase:

Leadership changes people. What happened to Billy or Mary? They got a promotion and now they think they’re all that.

Pride is self-limiting.

Anyone who hasn’t felt the darkside of pride hasn’t seen the look of admiration in a follower’s eyes. That’s when you slap yourself and say, “I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve.”

Arrogant leaders surround themselves with compliant, admiring followers.

John Maxwell on phase one of the leaders journey (1:00): 

The shortfall of having followers is, “… if you just have followers you can add but you can’t multiply,” John Maxwell.

Arrogance prevents leaders from finding phase two on the leader’s journey.

Phase two of the leader’s journey tomorrow.

How can leaders be worthy of having followers?

Read John Maxwell’s latest book:Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership.”