I have been attending the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) in August the past seven years as one of the annual investments in my personal and professional development. One of the speakers at the 2016 GLS was John C. Maxwell, who has mentored me since 1990. John is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach and speaker, and his latest book is Intentional Living: Choosing a Life That Matters, and it’s what he spoke about at the GLS.
John said, “Significance is always about others, and serving them intentionally. When you change your thinking from “What am I going to receive?” to “What am I going to give?” your entire life begins to turn around. And the gratification you receive becomes long lasting.”
John has written for decades that everything rises and falls on leadership. When leadership is good, everything rises. The first step of leadership then is to intentionally, every day, add value to people. But there is a thin line between motivating and manipulating people. Manipulating people is always wrong. As a leader, you have the ability to bless people and/or curse them.
Here are three questions John said followers should ask those leading them: One. Do you like me? Why would I want to follow someone that doesn’t care about me? Two. Can you help me? Will you assist me in growing in confidence and competence? Three. Can I trust you? Are you going to take my life and manipulate it or truly make it better? Will you add value to my life?
John reminded us that everything worthwhile is uphill. Life’s not easy. It’s not supposed to be. Great marriages are uphill. If you’re going to be healthy, it’s uphill. If you’re going to be successful in business, it’s uphill. Here’s the problem: people have uphill hopes and downhill habits. The only way to break through is to get intentional. There is no accidental achievement. Most people don’t lead their life, they accept it. When you accept your life, it’s not intentional and its downhill. We have to make a choice that we are going to add value to people in our lives.
John then presented five things he does every day that intentionally adds value to people:
First, he values people. As we follow Jesus through the Gospels, the essence of Jesus is that he values men and women. Nicodemus, the Samaritan women at the well, the thief on cross, a blind man, and all sorts of children. Do we spend time connecting with people or correcting them?
Second, he thinks of ways to add value to people. Intentional living is upfront thinking. Who am I going to see today and how can I add value to them?
Third, he looks for ways to add value to people. When I am an added value liver, I begin to see ways to add value. If you’re an added value liver, you become an added value looker.
Fourth, he adds value to people. John said to make sure that it is action-oriented.
Fifth, he encourages others to add value to people. Read Mark 10:45. Jesus came to serve others, not himself. It was His mission in life and it should be ours. It’s why we’re here.
Live communally. John Maxwell says that involves living intentionally. We know Jesus agrees because He modeled it. How will you add value to someone in your network of influence?
Love is a verb,
©2017 by Mike Olejarz