Developing the Leader Within You – Part 2

Summary Written by Chris Taylor
"Most people think success is instantaneous. They look at it as a moment, an event, or a place in time. It’s not. Success is really a process."

- Developing the Leader Within You, page 120

The Big Idea

Forget Motivation

"Motivation is not going to strike you like lightning. And motivation is not something that someone else – nurse, doctor, family member – can bestow or force on you. The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever."- American Medical Journal, as quoted in Developing the Leader Within You, page 110

Strong leaders understand this: if you want to create change in this world, change that benefits you and/or those you care about, you don’t wait for motivation – you create it. Too many people spend their days waiting and hoping for motivation to fill them with a fervour that allows them to commit to their cause. Motivation doesn’t do that. Motivation doesn’t come from the outside. Sure, inspiration can come from a motivational speech. No doubt you have heard a fantastic speaker at some point, left the room feeling like you were going to change the world, then a week later was back to life as usual. Motivation doesn’t come from someone’s words, no matter how impactful. Motivation does, however, share this fascinating and reciprocal relationship with “Action”.

Insight #1

Take Action

"‘Motivation,’ says John Bruner, ‘is like love and happiness. It’s a by-product. When you’re actively engaged in doing something, the motivation to keep on doing it sneaks up and zaps you when you least expect it.’"- Developing the Leader Within You, page 111

The reason JFK was able to rally the United States of America to the idea of landing on the moon by the end of the 1969 was because he was willing to act. He dedicated all the resources he could muster, kept the public abreast of progress and showed a genuine and personal interest in the mission’s success. Motivation – both your own internal motivation and the motivation of those around you – comes from action. Only through your actions can you expect to build “motivation momentum”.

What action could you take today in regards to a goal you have? (I.e. Losing weight, quit smoking, increase sales by X%, build an orphanage, etc.) It doesn’t matter the size or scope of the goal – the first step to rallying people to the cause is taking action. People respect it, and you’ll motivate yourself by knowing you’re one step closer (no matter how small the step) to accomplishing your goal.

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Insight #2

Be Different

"True leaders are always in the minority because they are thinking ahead of the majority."- Developing the Leader Within You, page 152

I believe one major reason why people hesitate in stepping into the leadership role on a cause they care about is because they feel alienated in doing so. They start to doubt themselves. They think, “Well, people don’t support this idea yet, so maybe it’s not a good idea”. The fact is that every new idea starts with the minority. There is nothing in this world that everyone thought of at the same time, and then simultaneously dedicated all their efforts to realizing. For every idea that seems to have “sprung into the world” fully formed and fully supported, there is a small group of dedicated individuals who have been toiling for years. If you want to lead change, you should know up front that you will get strange looks, skeptics and those who shake their heads because they can’t see your vision. However – here’s the good news – tthere are others like you. There are other leaders out there who are also living on the fringes with their ideas. And every successful leader has gone through exactly the same thing. In fact, the more radical the change, the more isolated they felt and the longer they felt that way. Take confidence in your idea – share it with a small group of like-minded thinkers and pursue it with everything you’ve got.

Developing the Leader Within You is a book about honing your own leadership skills. It’s written under the firm conviction that “if you build it (i.e. develop yourself into a leader), they will come.”

Read the book

Get Developing the Leader Within You – Part 2 on Amazon.

John C. Maxwell

John C. Maxwell is an internationally respected leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold more than 19 million books. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP, a non-profit organization that has trained more than 5 million leaders in 126 countries worldwide. Each year he speaks to the leaders of diverse organizations, such as Fortune 500 companies, foreign governments, the National Football League, the United States Military Academy at West Point, and the United Nations. A “New York Times,” “Wall Street Journal,” and “Business Week” bestselling author, Maxwell has written three books that have sold more than a million copies: “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,” “Developing the Leader Within You,” and “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader.”

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