Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another. — John C. Maxwell
John Calvin Maxwell is an American author, speaker, and pastor who has written many books, primarily focusing on leadership. Titles include The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. His books have sold millions of copies, with some on the New York Times Best Seller List.
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1. A successful person finds the right place for himself. But a successful leader finds the right place for others. — John C. Maxwell
2. A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. — John C. Maxwell
3. A leader who produces other leader multiples their influences. — John C. Maxwell
4. A leader is a reader. — John C. Maxwell
5. A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position. — John C. Maxwell
6. A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit. — John C. Maxwell
7. A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them. — John C. Maxwell
8. A minute of thought is greater than an hour of talk. — John C. Maxwell
9. Actions are remembered long after words are forgotten. — John C. Maxwell
10. Always take the high road. — John C. Maxwell
11. Always turn to God in the midst of your struggle and view people who offended you as an instruments of divine sovereignty. — John C. Maxwell
12. Be a river not a reservoir. — John C. Maxwell
13. Be intentional to add value to every person you meet every day— John C. Maxwell
14. But the law of magnetism really is true: who you are is who you attract. — John C. Maxwell
15. Becoming a good listener, you are able to connect with others on more levels and develop stronger, deeper relationships. — John C. Maxwell
16. Change is inevitable. Growth is optional. — John C. Maxwell
17. Collaboration is multiplication. — John C. Maxwell
18. Character makes trust possible, and trust is the foundation of leadership. — John C. Maxwell
19. Connecting is the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them. — John C. Maxwell
20. Coming together is a beginning, and staying together is progress, but only when teams sweat together do they find success. — John C. Maxwell
21. Confidence is a characteristic of a positive attitude.
The greatest achievers and leaders remain confident regardless of circumstances. — John C. Maxwell
22. Do something you hate every day, just for the practice. — John C. Maxwell
23. Don’t worry about yesterday it ended last night at midnight. — John C. Maxwell
24. Dreams don’t work unless you do. — John C. Maxwell
25. Diligent follow-up and follow-through will set you apart from the crowd and communicate excellence. — John C. Maxwell
26. Disappointment is the gap that exists between expectation and reality. — John C. Maxwell
27. Delegate, work smarter not harder; do what you do best and drop the rest; get control of your calendar;
do what you love because it will give you energy; work with people you like so your energy isn’t depleted. — John C. Maxwell
28. Encouragement is oxygen for the soul. — John C. Maxwell
29. Everything rises and falls on leadership. — John C. Maxwell
30. Everything begins with a decision. Then, we have to manage that decision for the rest of your life. — John C. Maxwell
31. Everyone is a leader because everyone influences someone. — John C. Maxwell
32. Efficiency is the foundation for survival.
Effectiveness is the foundation for success. — John C. Maxwell
33. Earn the right to be heard by listening to others.
Seek to understand a situation before making judgments about it. — John C. Maxwell
34. Failing forward is the ability to get back up after you’ve been knocked down,
learn from your mistake, and move forward in a better direction. — John C. Maxwell
35. Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward. — John C. Maxwell
36. Failure is an inside job.
So is success.
If you want to achieve, you have to win the war in your thinking first.
You can’t let the failure outside you get inside you. — John C. Maxwell
37. Failed plans should not be interpreted as a failed vision. Visions don’t change, they are only refined.
Plans rarely stay the same, and are scrapped or adjusted as needed. Be stubborn about the vision, but flexible with your plan. — John C. Maxwell
38. Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you. — John C. Maxwell
39. Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best. — John C. Maxwell
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40. Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another. — John C. Maxwell
41. Leadership is the power of one harnessing the power of many. — John C. Maxwell
42. Leadership is influence. — John C. Maxwell
43. Leadership development is a lifetime journey, not a quick trip. — John C. Maxwell
44. Leadership is taking responsibility while others are making excuses. — John C. Maxwell
45. Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others. — John C. Maxwell
46. Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand. — John C. Maxwell
47. Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them. — John C. Maxwell
48. Losers focus on what they are going through; winners focus on what they are going to. — John C. Maxwell
49. Leadership is developed daily, not in a day. — John C. Maxwell
50. Live to learn and you will really learn to live. — John C. Maxwell
51. Life is now in session. Are you present? — John C. Maxwell
52. Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. — John C. Maxwell
53. I believe that everyone chooses how to approach life.
If you’re proactive, you focus on preparing.
If you’re reactive, you end up focusing on repairing. — John C. Maxwell
54. It’s lonely at the top, so you better know why you are there. — John C. Maxwell
55. It takes a team to do anything of lasting value. — John C. Maxwell
56. If you wait until you feel like doing something, you will likely never accomplish it. — John C. Maxwell
57. If you focus on goals, you may hit goals – but that doesn’t guarantee growth.
If you focus on growth, you will grow and always hit goals. — John C. Maxwell
58. If you don’t try to create the future you want, you must endure the future you get. — John C. Maxwell
59. If you don’t have peace, it isn’t because someone took it from you; you gave it away.
You cannot always control what happens to you, but you can control what happens in you. — John C. Maxwell
60. If you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, then someday you can do the things you want do when you want to do them. — John C. Maxwell
61. If you start today to do the right thing, you are already a success even if it doesn’t show yet. — John C. Maxwell
62. If you can learn to understand people how they think, what they feel, what inspires them, how they’re likely to act and react in a given situation- then you can motivate and influence them in a positive way. — John C. Maxwell
63. If you don’t change the direction you are going, then you’re likely to end up where you’re heading. — John C. Maxwell
64. If your habits don’t line up with your dream, then you need to either change your habits or change your dream. — John C. Maxwell
65. If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone. — John C. Maxwell
66. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare.
Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing. — John C. Maxwell
67. Image is what people think we are; integrity is what we really are. — John C. Maxwell
68. Great leaders understand that the right attitude will set the right atmosphere, which enables the right response from others. — John C. Maxwell
69. Good thinkers are always in demand.
A person who knows how may always have a job, but the person who knows why will always be his boss. — John C. Maxwell
70. Growth today is an investment for tomorrow. — John C. Maxwell
71. Goals may give focus, but dreams give power. — John C. Maxwell
72. The ability to understand people is one of the greatest assets anyone can ever have. — John C. Maxwell
73. The bottom line in leadership isn’t how far we advance ourselves but how far we advance others. — John C. Maxwell
74. The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm. — John C. Maxwell
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75. The difference between where we are and where we want to be is created by the changes we are willing to make in our lives.
When you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done to get it. — John C. Maxwell
76. The key to becoming a more efficient leader isn’t checking off all the items on your to-do list each day.
It’s in forming the habit of prioritizing your time so that you are accomplishing your most important goals in an efficient manner. — John C. Maxwell
77. The longer you wait to do something you should do now, the greater the odds that you will never actually do it. — John C. Maxwell
78. The only guarantee for failure is to stop trying. — John C. Maxwell
79. The only one you should compare yourself to is you.
Your mission is to become better today than you were yesterday. — John C. Maxwell
80. The greatest enemy of good thinking is busyness. — John C. Maxwell
81. The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes.
That’s the day we truly grow up. — John C. Maxwell
82. The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one. — John C. Maxwell
83. The truth is that teamwork is at the heart of great achievement. — John C. Maxwell
84. The true measure of leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. — John C. Maxwell
85. The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. — John C. Maxwell
86. The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development.
There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people,
raises them up as leaders and continually develops them. — John C. Maxwell
87. The road to success is long and up, hill all the way. — John C. Maxwell
88. The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. — John C. Maxwell
89. The whole idea of motivation is a trap.
Forget motivation. Just do it.
Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever.
Do it without motivation.
And then, guess what?
After you start doing the thing, that’s when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it. — John C. Maxwell
90. The value you receive from reflective thinking will depend on the kinds of questions you ask yourself. — John C. Maxwell
91. The more intentional you are about your leadership growth, the greater your potential for becoming the leader you’re capable of being. Never stop learning. — John C. Maxwell
92. Time management is an oxymoron.
Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives.
Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have. — John C. Maxwell
93. Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team. — John C. Maxwell
94. Teamwork gives you the best opportunity to turn vision into reality. — John C. Maxwell
95. To add value to others, one must first value others. — John C. Maxwell
96. To grow yourself, you must know yourself. — John C. Maxwell
97. There is no success without failure and losses. — John C. Maxwell
98. There are two paths people can take.
They can either play now and pay later, or pay now and play later.
Regardless of the choice, one thing is certain. Life will demand a payment. — John C. Maxwell
99. Talent is a gift, but character is a choice. — John C. Maxwell
100. True success is obeying God. — John C. Maxwell
101. Momentum solves 80% of your problems. — John C. Maxwell
102. Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing. — John C. Maxwell
103. Mistakes are the stepping stones to success. — John C. Maxwell
104. Make personal growth a daily priority. — John C. Maxwell
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105. Most People have a desire to look for the exception instead of the desire to become exceptional. — John C. Maxwell
106. Most people want to avoid pain, and discipline is usually painful. — John C. Maxwell
107. Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.
That’s the Law of Consistency.
It doesn’t matter how talented you are.
It doesn’t matter how many opportunities you receive.
If you want to grow, consistency is key. — John C. Maxwell
108. Nothing of significance was ever achieved by an individual acting alone.
Look below the surface and you will find that all seemingly solo acts are really team efforts. — John C. Maxwell
109. Nobody ever got ready by waiting. You only get ready by starting. — John C. Maxwell
110. Needless to say, you can love people without leading them, but you cannot lead people without loving them. — John C. Maxwell
111. You cannot enjoy others until you enjoy yourself because you cannot give to others what you do not have. — John C. Maxwell
112. You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything. — John C. Maxwell
113. You can change your life if you really want to.
You can improve it, make it better. And it all starts with changing the way you think. — John C. Maxwell
114. You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.
The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. — John C. Maxwell
115. Your life today is a result of your thinking yesterday. Your life tomorrow will be determined by what you think today. — John C. Maxwell
116. Your core values are the deeply held beliefs that authentically describe your soul. — John C. Maxwell
117. Your talk talks and your walk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks. — John C. Maxwell
118. Your attitude determines your actions, and your actions determine your accomplishment. — John C. Maxwell
119. One is too small a number to achieve greatness. No accomplishment of real value has ever been achieved by a human being working alone. — John C. Maxwell
120. One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination. — John C. Maxwell
121. Once a decision is made, you should stop worrying and start working.
It’s not always what we know that makes it a good decision. It is what we do to implement and execute it that makes it a good decision. — John C. Maxwell
122. Success is knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others. — John C. Maxwell
123. Successful people are willing to do things unsuccessful people will not do. — John C. Maxwell
124. Successful people don’t have any fewer problems than unsuccessful people; they just have a different mindset in dealing with them. — John C. Maxwell
125. Success is a continuing thing. It is growth and development.
It is achieving one thing and using that as a stepping stone to achieve something else. — John C. Maxwell
126. Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities.
They vary in their desires to reach their potential. — John C. Maxwell
127. Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time. — John C. Maxwell
128. So think long and hard about who you’re spending the most time with, for wherever they are headed, so are you. — John C. Maxwell
129. Real leadership is being the person others will gladly and confidently follow. — John C. Maxwell
130. Reflective thinking turns experience into insight. — John C. Maxwell
131. Pay now, play later; play now, pay later. — John C. Maxwell
132. Problems almost always create opportunities – to learn, grow and improve. — John C. Maxwell
133. Positive thinking must be followed by positive doing. — John C. Maxwell
134. People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their overall purpose in life. — John C. Maxwell
135. People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. — John C. Maxwell
136. People who add value to others do so intentionally.
I say that because to add value, leaders must give of themselves, and that rarely occurs by accident. — John C. Maxwell
137. Profile of a winning team.
They play to win.
They have a winning attitude.
They keep improving.
They make their teammates more successful. — John C. Maxwell
138. Want to impress others?
Talk about your successes.
Want to impact others?
Talk about your failures. — John C. Maxwell
139. Wanting to win isn’t enough.
You have to go through a process to improve.
That takes patience, perseverance, and intentionality. — John C. Maxwell
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140. While a good leader sustains momentum, a great leader increases it. — John C. Maxwell
141. We were created for meaningful work, and one of life’s greatest pleasures is the satisfaction of a job well done. — John C. Maxwell
142. We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are. — John C. Maxwell
143. When you nurture people and add value to them without expecting anything in return, they feel significant. — John C. Maxwell
144. When the leader lacks confidence, the followers lack commitment. — John C. Maxwell
145. When was the last time you did something for the first time? — John C. Maxwell
146. When the leader lacks confidence, the followers lack commitment. — John C. Maxwell
147. Why worry about things you can’t control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you? — John C. Maxwell
148. Where there is no hope in the future, there is no power in the present. — John C. Maxwell
149. Vision without passion is a picture without possibilities. — John C. Maxwell
150. In life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with your problems.
If the possibility of failure were erased, what would you attempt to achieve?
The essence of man is imperfection. Know that you’re going to make mistakes.
The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does.
Wake up and realize this:
Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success.
Achievers are given multiple reasons to believe they are failures.
But in spite of that, they persevere.
The average for entrepreneurs is 3.8 failures before they finally make it in business.
When achievers fail, they see it as a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic.
Procrastination is too high a price to pay for fear of failure.
To conquer fear, you have to feel the fear and take action anyway.
Forget motivation. Just do it.
Act your way into feeling, not wait for positive emotions to carry you forward.
Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes.
If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience.
Life is playing a poor hand well.
The greatest battle you wage against failure occurs on the inside, not the outside.
Why worry about things you can’t control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you?
Handicaps can only disable us if we let them.
If you are continually experiencing trouble or facing obstacles, then you should check to make sure that you are not the problem.
Be more concerned with what you can give rather than what you can get because giving truly is the highest level of living.
Embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you’re not failing, you’re probably not really moving forward.
Everything in life brings risk.
It’s true that you risk failure if you try something bold because you might miss it.
But you also risk failure if you stand still and don’t try anything new.
The less you venture out, the greater your risk of failure.
Ironically the more you risk failure, and actually fail, the greater your chances of success.
If you are succeeding in everything you do, then you’re probably not pushing yourself hard enough.
And that means you’re not taking enough risks. You risk because you have something of value you want to achieve.
The more you do, the more you fail.
The more you fail, the more you learn.
The more you learn, the better you get.
Determining what went wrong in a situation has value.
But taking that analysis another step and figuring out how to use it to your benefit is the real difference maker when it comes to failing forward.
Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge; let your learning lead to action.
The last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed, or did you fail because you stopped trying?
Commitment makes you capable of failing forward until you reach your goals.
Cutting corners is really a sign of impatience and poor self-discipline.
Successful people have learned to do what does not come naturally.
Nothing worth achieving comes easily.
The only way to fail forward and achieve your dreams is to cultivate tenacity and persistence.
Never say die. Never be satisfied. Be stubborn.
Be persistent. Integrity is a must.
Anything worth having is worth striving for with all your might.
If we look long enough for what we want in life we are almost sure to find it.
Success is in the journey, the continual process. And no matter how hard you work, you will not create the perfect plan or execute it without error.
You will never get to the point that you no longer make mistakes, that you no longer fail.
The next time you find yourself envying what successful people have achieved, recognize that they have probably gone through many negative experiences that you cannot see on the surface.
Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward. — John C. Maxwell