John C. Maxwell: A True Mentor

John C. Maxwell (1947) is a public speaker, educator, and author of several books about leadership and personal development. He has written, in fact, more than 50 books, having sold millions of copies all over the world, some of them have even appeared in the bestseller lists of the New York Times. Among others, stands out: "The Power of Influence", "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership", "Developing the Leader within You" and "25 Ways to Win with People".

John C. Maxwell - Leadership Mentor

Now, let's talk about some of the quotes that we have found in some of their books and public speeches:

1. It is difficult to find common ground with others when the only one on whom you focus is yourself.

Relationships have a lot to do with the interest that you show to other people. If you use too much the pronoun "I", it's time to change. People love talking about what they like and what they know. Give them the opportunity to do it, to speak about themselves. Ask them about their interests. No matter if they are related to finances, traveling, mode, cars or food. People show sympathy to those people who are interested in them, who ask them about their lives, to sum up, people who pay attention to them.

2. Working hard is not enough; being excellent at what we do, the same; to be successful you have to learn to establish relationships.

The ability to socialize with other people is one of the main explaining factors of success. It has been said on one occasion, half-seriously, that luck is the result of having a lot of relationships. The lack of abilities to connect with people is an important handicap in professional development. But, doing "networking" (establishing networks of personal relationships) is not about exchanging cards or knowing lots of people; it's something else; networking is, especially, connecting with people, creating a perfect harmony, chemistry, understanding. To do that is essential to avoid falling into the temptation of judging the other side. When we suppress judgments and we develop empathy, it's easier to connect with others. You will sell more and you will participate in more projects, once you start feeling connected with a larger group of diverse people.

3. It's not about establishing relationships, but rather keeping them.

"Networking" starts once we've established relationships with people. Knowing each other is the first step, but the important thing is to be in contact. Every day, people meet others, but the relevant thing is the emotional connection that we establish with people. To establish this kind of connection, people must see each other, make calls between them, meet at a restaurant or any other place, ultimately, to maintain contact. From there, we can start building something. Another important aspect is to add value. If you go through different events, without adding any value, without having anything to offer, you are simply adding people to your agenda, but you are not building anything.

4. The first time you say something people listen to it; the second time people recognize it; the third time people learn it.

To be effective, communication must be repetitive. This can shock you, but it's just like that. It's one of the basic principles of communication. For a message to get through, it is necessary to repeat it constantly and for a long time. It's also necessary to pay attention, first, to the "Strength", in other words, to the number of times the message is repeated, and secondly, to the "Intensity", this is, for how long the message is repeated. If one forgets the latter factor, as time passes, that intensity runs out of steam due to the presence of the message in people's minds is diluted. Do you know who are the most boring people in the entire world? Mothers, because they repeat persistently, again and again, an idea until it consolidates in her son or daughter's mind.

5. People don't remember the things we believe are important, but what is important or relevant to them.

This is one of the worst mistakes committed at the time of communicating with others: trying to reach the public and the clients, without thinking about them; to prepare the speech as the audience was oneself. If you want to have a great impact on society, always put yourself on the other side of the counter. As we said before: people are only interested in the things that are relevant to them. Except for a few occasions, they don't want to listen to you, they want to listen to solutions to their problems, and nothing else.

6. As your face will tell something about you, whatever you like it or not, it should communicate something positive.

90% of our impact on others has nothing to do with what we say, but rather it has to do with our attitude, to what we transmit; so, it is better to keep a good attitude towards the others. People understand it, perceive it. There's nothing that causes more rejection than having people, close to you, who glow an aura of negativity and pessimism. These people are often sad, whining and victimizing people. Your attitude is your fate. Your good attitude is found on good projects; your bad attitude always prevents you from doing them. Forget about the complaints, the cries, the pessimism. Just smile, inspire and glow positive energy to your surroundings, and you will see how your "luck" changes. And if you don't feel well, just do the same. Arousing pity among others could be effective on some occasions, but it is not a sustainable strategy in the long term.

7. Having low self-esteem is like driving our lives with the parking brake on.

When self-esteem is deteriorated, the possibilities for success are very low. If you don't believe in yourself, nobody will believe in you, simple as that. Low self-esteem is like wandering throughout life chained. We don't live with our full potential and we miss many opportunities. The limits of each person are the limits of their credentials. When we manage to break free from all those limits which asphyxiate us, then every goal will be waiting for us to be materialized.

8. The belief that a single person can do something big is a myth.

We all have talent, but each one stands out doing different things. Committing the sin of falling into self-sufficiency makes us waste a lot of energy and time, and moves us away from our area of expertise, from our inside genius. Also, a person who wants to be an expert on everything, in the end, ends up exhausted, stressed out, their attitude gets worse and everything goes out of control. The smartest thing to do is to look for help and collaboration. Focus on your expertise area and remember what Rockefeller once said: "Do not work for money, make money work for you."

9. Leaders don't see people as they really are, but rather as how their future could look like.

That is to believe in the potential of every person and the possibilities of the human being. That is to believe in the value of personal development. Leading is basically inspiring others to induce them to look for what they really want. Leading is to inspire each person and to encourage them to get out of their comfort zone. How could we know the limits if we never try to surpass them?

10. Fear is an interest that is paid out using a debt that you don't have.

Fear, if not managed correctly, isolates us, tortures us, overrides us and pulls us away from our true potential. The consultant David Fischman says: "Fear is a wall that separates who you are from what you could really become". Because of this, there's no other alternative rather than confronting it and defeating it". Here are some suggestions:

  • First: Look for motivational challenges; when you really want something, you always end up venturing into it; when dreams are borrowed, the fears dominate you.  
  • Second: Get support from others; being surrounded by people who believe in ourselves, helps us to venture; we feel safer thanks to the breath from others. 
  • Third: Start small and gradually start to think in bigger ideas; achieving small victories encourages us to search for bigger ones; being too ambitious creates anxiety and makes us more scared. 
  • Fourth: Get inspired by others; observing that there are people who have managed to achieve what you are seeking now makes easier to take the plunge. 
  • Fifth: Visualize your successes; success reinforces self-esteem; looking at everything you have achieved, encourages you to continue progressing; self-esteem is a type of memory; do not underestimate yourself and appreciate your achievements. 
  • Sixth: Relativize; like the Spanish poet Antonio Gala said, "happiness is realizing that nothing is so important"; take it easy, put a touch of humor in your life, humor relativizes everything. 

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