Leadershift | John C. Maxwell

Summary of: Leadershift: The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace
By: John C. Maxwell


In ‘Leadershift: The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace,’ John C. Maxwell explores the mindset shifts necessary for effective leadership. The book examines multiple attitude shifts, delving into the importance of prioritizing growth over goals, supporting others in climbing the ladder of success, embracing diversity, and discovering one’s true calling in life. Drawing from real-life examples and historical figures, Maxwell aims to guide readers towards making valuable transformations in order to become resilient, influential, and compassionate leaders.

From Soloist to Conductor

Being a leader is not about what you can do for yourself; it’s about what you can do for others. A shift from me to we is necessary for true leadership. The mindset of a soloist needs to be replaced with that of a conductor. Leaders should focus on helping others shine by centering leadership around their needs and building mutual trust, cooperation, and understanding. The right way to focus on personal growth is to do it with the intention to help others. Understanding and leading people effectively is crucial, much like a tango leader understanding the partner to lead effectively. A leader should listen to their people first, work out their strengths, and include them in achieving the organization’s big picture. All these actions are simple yet powerful only when backed with the intentionality to help others shine.

Shifting from Goals to Growth

When John Maxwell aimed to make his church the largest in Ohio, he doubled the congregation size in a year. However, he realized that his personal growth was far more important than numerical goals. Thus began his leadershift from a goal to a growth mindset, where he focused on self-development and stretching himself. Adopting a growth mindset means embracing teachable spirit, planning, preparation, and cultivation. Learning and growth opportunities are always present, and a mentor with similar mindsets is essential. Through his journey, Maxwell learned the hot-poker principle of staying close to the fire. A shift from goals to growth can lead to surprising accomplishments beyond one’s expectations.

Building Ladders for Others

True leaders aim to help others climb the ladder of success after reaching the top ten percent of their fields. Kevin Myers emphasizes that leaders want more for their people than they want from them. To build ladders for others, good mentors invest their time in the right people, those who are hungry for knowledge and display true leadership potential. Mentors need to offer bite-sized truths and options for the mentees’ future, not just simply telling them what to do.

Shift Your Leadership Style

Leadership based on connection, not direction, embraces collaboration rather than authority; and listening rather than talking. Learn to listen well and lead with connection for better relationships and communication.

Leadership is a crucial skill in any organization. And John C. Maxwell shares some valuable insights on how leaders can shift their approach from directing people to connecting with them. Maxwell witnessed this kind of leadershift when he visited the locker room of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers basketball team, coached by Pat Summitt, a legendarily successful coach.

Summitt focused on trying to understand her players by asking questions and listening to them instead of assuming where her players were mentally and simply telling them what to do. She embraced collaboration rather than authority, listening rather than talking. And this shift led to better relationships, communication, and a two-way flow of ideas.

Maxwell emphasizes the importance of listening in leadership. When you meet with people, your job as a leader is less to talk than to listen. So, try out what Maxwell does. Every time you meet with someone, take out a pad to write notes. And at the top of that pad, write a big L, standing for “Listen.” This will act as a reminder to pay attention and try to understand those you lead.

To improve listening skills, tackle it with a growth mind-set. Be brave enough to ask your colleagues – or friends or family members – how good a listener you are on a one-to-ten scale. Pay attention to their answers and act on them. Leading with connection is better for everybody. Embracing this leadershift will help you build better relationships, communicate effectively, and achieve success in your organization.

In conclusion, Maxwell’s message to leaders is clear – shift to leadership based on connection, not direction. It would be best if you started focusing on collaboration rather than authority and listening rather than talking. Learn to listen well, tackle it with a growth mindset, and lead with connection to start seeing results flow within your organization.

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