|Debby at Barbara Vey's Readers' Appreciation Luncheon,|
April 10, in Oak Creek, WI. I arrived early with my
author giveaway basket, a beach tote that was carefully packed
in my carry-on luggage for the flight from Atlanta.
Debby Giusti here!
If you’re like me, you don’t have much free time so short self-help books often catch my eye. Recently I noticed Leadership 101, by John C. Maxwell, in my daughter’s stack of required reading for her educational specialist degree. Although I knew Maxwell’s name, I wanted more information about the author and quickly ran a Google search.
According to his bio, Maxwell is a leadership expert who has sold over 19 million books. That alone was enough to pique my interest. Then I saw Michael Hyatt’s name mentioned. Formerly the head of Thomas Nelson, Hyatt had suggested repackaging Maxwell’s longer, in-depth books, published by Thomas Nelson, into a series of easy-to-read formats. Since Hyatt will be the main speaker at this year’s ACFW Conference, I went with his endorsement and tucked Maxwell’s book into my carry-on luggage when I traveled to
last week to attend Barbara Vey’s
Readers’ Appreciation Luncheon. Milwaukee
|Barbara Vey was a wonderful hostess. We snapped|
this pic at the end of the day.
On the flight home, I started reading and soon recognized a number of parallels between leadership and the writing life. Today, I’m sharing pictures from the luncheon along with a few of Maxwell’s statements, written below in bold, for our blog discussion.
“Each of us influences at least ten thousand other people during our lifetime,” Maxwell writes.
Although the majority of us are not CEOs who run large organizations, what we say and do affect those with whom we come in contact, whether members of our family, the people in our church and local communities or our fellow employees at our day jobs or in the writing community. Add the number of people we connect with on the Internet—through Facebook and Twitter and blogs like Seekerville—as well as the thousands of folks who read our books and magazine articles, and the span of our influence grows even larger. If what we say and do impacts others, then we should continually endeavor to extend our circle of influence and learn to lead others in positive ways.
|Barbara's helpers are ready for the guests to arrive.|
Notice the bags filled with books and other goodies
that everyone received!
“What matters most is what you do day by day over the long haul.”
We all know the axiom that
wasn’t built in a
day. The same holds true for writing a
book or learning a job or becoming a leader.
The longer we work at something, the more our skill improves. Olympic
athletes take home the gold because of their hard work and years of commitment.
To be effective and productive, we need to keep our nose to the grindstone and
our hands on the keyboard. According to
Maxwell, our daily work routine is a good indicator of our own self-discipline,
and self-discipline is one of the hallmarks of an effective leader—and a selling
author as well. Rome
“The first person you lead is you.”
When we point a finger at someone else, three fingers point back at us. We need to ensure we’re part of the solution and not the problem. Maxwell offers the following suggestions: stop making excuses and withhold rewards until the job is done.
|My table's set. Each person received a copy of|
THE CAPTAIN'S MISSION, a votive candle,
notepaper, a small journal, a Bath & Body mirror and candy.
Notice the cute cupcakes decorated with my book cover.
“Successful leaders are learners, and the learning process is ongoing.”
We need to stay current within the industry, and attend conferences and workshops to improve our craft. Seek out those who have succeeded and learn from their achievements. Identify areas of weakness as well as strengths. Don’t get discouraged. Sometimes the smallest steps are the hardest to take, but moving forward is the key. Perseverance pays off.
“The discipline to prioritize and the ability to work toward a stated goal are essential to a leader’s success.”
Maxwell mentions that, according to the Pareto Principle, 20% of our effort should yield 80% of our results, yet often we spend too much time on tasks that produce few results. In order to be good time managers, we need to identify when we are most productive and spend those hours on the most important work we need to accomplish. Of equal significance is the ability to identify which projects should be given top priority.
|L to R: Carol, Jenny, Estelle, Carrie, Lelia, Matty and|
Nadine were the wonderful ladies at my table.
“It’s not how hard you work; it’s how smart you work.”
The leadership guru ranks jobs according to urgency and importance. Tackle the high importance/high urgency jobs first. The low urgency/low importance projects can be handled by someone else or often ignored altogether.
Frequently review the “Three Rs: Requirements, Return, Reward,” by asking the following questions: “What is required of me? What gives me the greatest return? What is the most rewarding?”
To ensure we’re not spinning our wheels on something that won’t move us forward, evaluate the personal expenditure needed for each task, whether the payout is worth the effort and what personal satisfaction will be realized upon completion of the project.
|Librarian Barbara Roark won my beach tote.|
Doesn't she look cute in the hat?
“All true leaders have learned to say no to the good in order to say yes to the best.”
Keep in mind Parkinson’s Law, which states: work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. Eliminate the nonessential, delegate anything that someone else can effectively accomplish, and establish deadlines so key projects can be completed in a timely manner.
“There are three qualities a leader must exemplify to build trust: competence, connection, and character.”
We should set high standards for ourselves and our work, admit when we make a mistake and put the needs of those we lead ahead of our own personal desires. Additionally, leaders should have a clear vision for the future.
|Heidi Endicott visits Seekerville frequently and also|
reviews books on Barbara's Beyond Her Book blog.
Thanks for driving me to the airport, Heidi!
“A truly valuable vision must have God in it,” Maxwell states. “Only He knows your full capabilities. Have you looked beyond yourself, even beyond your own lifetime, as you’ve sought your vision?”
Pray for direction. Listen to the voice within to determine where your want to go. Don’t limit yourself or your dreams. Step out in faith. Be bold.
“A leader is great, not because of his or her power, but because of his or her ability to empower others.”
Be a mentor. Share your expertise. Extend a hand up. Help others to achieve their greatest potential.
Although I’ve highlighted only a few of Maxwell’s points, I hope you see how they apply to our writing as well as our ability to be effective leaders. Both endeavors require hard work and perseverance. To succeed, we must establish priorities and put maximum effort into the most important projects.
What did I learn from Leadership 101? Juggling marketing with writing the next book is always a balancing act, but by identifying less essential tasks that take time but provide little return, I can better schedule my work day and focus on the important tasks first. I also need to give myself permission to sometimes say no. Putting God in charge of my future centers my focus on His will for my life and for my writing career.
Did anything strike a chord with you?
Leave a comment to be entered in today’s drawing. I’m giving away a copy of John Maxwell’s book, Leadership 101.
Wishing you abundant blessings,
Watch for book three, THE COLONEL’S DAUGHTER, in bookstores this August.