John Maxwell has written another book to help you succeed in business and in life. He shows that each of us is given a variety of talent, some of us are lucky to be high in particular talent. This talent though is not enough to succeed. Mr. Maxwell shows that although talent will often get you in the door or in the game it alone is not enough to keep you successful. He uses a variety of famous people to illustrate his points and each chapter includes a series of exercises and questions to help the reader work on the variety of points.
I found the examples he gave using a variety of people’s lives helpful to understand the variety of things to stretch your talents. The use of a variety of people was helpful so I could relate to several people. The quotes that he used were also helpful and I intend to keep these at hand to remind me of ways to stretch my talents.
I would recommend these to anyone starting out in their work careers. It helps to remind one that you can not rest on your laurels but you always need to stretch and challenge yourself to continue moving forward to succeed. Even though I am not in my early stages of my career, I was able to come away with a few gems to use in the future. For example, the relationships you have can increase your talent or stagnate your talent. Choosing the right people around you to encourage you is important.
Disclosure: I received a copy from Thomas Nelson through the Book Sneeze program.
When my dog, Seamus, was young he would gently guide the various cats we had around. He would let the first cat he ever knew, Mistletoe even sleep with him. He has always been surrounded by cats but in the last few months he has had three cats in his life.
As he has gotten rather old and senile, the cats have taken to herding him and watching over him. He can’t tell when he goes out (in a fenced in yard) that it is time to come in. Often, he will stand at the back door wanting in but even when you open the door he doesn’t have a sense that it is open. Only his cat friends are there to let him know that it is time to come in. They will cut in front of him, nuzzle their face into his face and at times walk under him to get his attention.
This role reversal reminds me of people and especially leaders. At times, we need to know when to follow and when to lead. Just because you are a leader either by position or by your talent there are times that you don’t know where to go or have the skills or knowledge to lead the way. You must be humble enough to know when to lead and when to follow and not let your ego get in the way. It’s amazing to me that by watching animals interact we can learn a little on how we should act. The next time I am leading, I hope I take the time and self-reflection to look around and realize that I might not be the person at the time to lead. I also hope, that in reverse, that if I’m following and I do have the belief that I can better lead than the person that is that I have the strength to step out in lead.
I am one who likes to deer hunt. Many people have the idea that people who hunt enjoy the harvesting of the animal. Many folks who hunt actually enjoy the time out in the woods watching the relationship between the variety of things in nature.
In the past year, I have continued to study leadership. I strongly believe that there is a big difference between leadership and management. There are many things that leaders must possess in order to be successful. Some of these things, I believe are God-given and others are a learned behavior. This past year while deer hunting, I discovered that there are many things that hunting which can teach me about leadership.
One of the biggest things I need to learn to be a better leader is to reflect. I have been working on this in one aspect of my life which is my time with God. I set aside time each morning to read my bible and then to have a quiet prayer time to reflect about what is going on in my life and what God is speaking to me through his Word. I still need to find time at work to reflect daily on what is going on in regards to my work life. Deer hunting is a great way to learn how to reflect. You spend many hours alone in the woods where you can reflect about your life and your success and failures in the woods. Another aspect of reflecting with deer hunting is thinking about what you could have done differently to be more successful every time.
Deer hunting, for me, is a great way to remember that every action has a consequence. This year I saw the biggest buck I have seen in the woods while hunting. I first saw a doe come down the hill from some thick brush. A few minutes later, the biggest buck I ever saw came down the hill following her. I drew my gun in my excitement and shot. The buck ran off and to my dismay, I did not bring the buck down. In reflecting on this situation, I learned several things. One is that I should have waited a few minutes later to insure I had a good shot. A second thing, was that because I was so excited, I didn’t think of the consequences by not making sure I had a good shot and lost the buck of a lifetime.
For me the best thing that I can do to become a better leader is to examine myself in my strengths and weakness. (Knowing that always using your strengths can turn them into a weakness.) I try to examine myself in all aspects of my life and learn or hone skills that I think I need to improve as a leader. Deer hunting while a hobby of mine gives me an opportunity to improve my leadership skills.