The John C. Maxwell Meditations
I met someone recently, who by all accounts is a kindred spirit. One of those relationships, you’re not quite sure about in the beginning, yet after enough exposures with the person you realize its not a superficial series of coincidence but a real connection. We have discussed the possibility of working together on a business venture, more importantly we’ve started to support each others professional ambitions.
For Christmas this person got me a book, The Maxwell Daily Reader by John C. Maxwell. If you have a pulse, and are in business most likely you’ve heard of at least one of his books. The most well known being the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. So far the books been great, I thought it required a bit more marinating and chewing. So I’ve decided to post about each daily entry on this blog. Back in December I’d already started to reread Sun Tzu’s, Art of War. So occasionally you will find Sun Tzu posts following the Maxwell one’s but I am going to try and post everyday as I go through the reader.
Each of the John Maxwell entries is broken up into six components, the date, the title of the reading, a brief synopsis, my favorite quote, the action item (each entry has an activity), the origin of his words (most come from previous books), and my ramblings.
From: The Maxwell Daily Reader, John C. Maxwell
Date: January 9
Title: The Power of Focusing
The text emphasizes the method in which a competent leader can execute plans effectively. Within the text the focus is comprised of two components. The first being the ability for a leader to adequately prioritize tasks, and the second being the need for concentration on those prioritized activities. Maxwell believes these two abilities must align to provide focused leadership. At the same time, there’s a brief discussion on “effective leaders”. Maxwell believes effective leaders spend most of their focused time on those things they do best, and that growth occurs when leaders take direct effort to challenge those areas of strength. Finally, delegation within this context means the distribution of those responsibilities a leader is weak skilled in, to subordinates who are better equipped to face those challenges.
“A leader who knows his priorities but lacks concentration knows what to do but never gets it done. If he has concentration but no priorities, he has excellence without progress. But when he harnesses both, he has the potential to achieve great things.”
SET YOUR PRIORITIES AND FOCUS ON YOUR STRENGTHS TODAY.
While the text itself speaks directly to the focusing of the individual, the concept itself parallels directly with an organizations ability to make effective progress. I found the idea of the two forces controlling focus requiring a synchronistic balance interesting. The quote I picked struck me right away, as I’ve for sure been in all of the three places Maxwell describes. My first two years of business felt as if I knew what had to be done, yet I was being pulled in so many different directions I could never get anything done. Conversely, as my business grew I’d built an effective system, and produced a great product, but found I was losing myself because there was no forward movement toward some end goal.
The alignment of these two factors of priorities, and concentration I feel are starting to come together today, and over the last few months. A handful of items remain out of focus, yet it feels like two parallels streams of light are moving closer and closer together. A convergence of my life goals, and ideas.
I am going to try and focus on my strengths today. Writing this blog, with some other written materials is all part of an effort to improve those things I think I do well, whether or not I can write is up to you; but I feel pretty good about it.